Notre Dame: the past, the fire, the future

In April 2019, the world watched in horror as the Notre Dame Cathedral burned. 850 years of history in flames.

President Macron promised a renovation within five years. Today, nearly a year and a half later, we’re finally starting to see the progress. Much of the parvis out the front has reopened, and so has the crypt.

But what next?

Well, to see the broader picture it can help to take a big step back. And that’s exactly what author Agnes Poirier has done with her new book Notre Dame: The Soul of France.

We met at the Saint Regis Cafe on the Ile de la Cité to discuss her book, the cathedral, and why she likes being a tourist in her own city.

After Agnes, you’ll hear the voice of Ariel Weil, the Mayor of Paris Centre, who doubts the president’s five-year plan will come to fruition.

“It won’t be reconstructed in five years, that’s for sure. There’s no way,” he said.

You can listen to the full episode below – and be sure to subscribe for more like this every week. (You can also find the episode anywhere you find podcasts!)

Meanwhile, if you’re interested to know more about the Notre Dame, you should absolutely check out the wonderful book by Agnes. More info on it here.

This book is the Earful Tower Book Club choice for August 2020, so get reading now and join the Facebook group to discuss it with me and 1,300 others.

Want even more about Notre Dame? Well perhaps you’d like this video I made from inside the cathedral just months before the fire. No tourists, no waiting time, and some incredible background music from the practicing choir.

Or perhaps watch this longer video where I explored the perimeter with an expert tour guide, also soon before the blaze.

Meanwhile, here’s a full episode with the Mayor of the Marais about the Notre Dame fire, which was recorded in November 2019.

Still want more?! Here’s a sobering chat with Philippe Hertzberg about the night the cathedral burned down. He was right there when it all happened.

OK, that’s enough Notre Dame for now.

If you’re enjoying this content and want to help me to take it to the next level, sign up as a member today and get access to the new Earful Tower Scrolls. There’s an in-depth guide to today’s episode with loads of extra pictures, links, info, and more. Sign up now on Patreon to unlock the scrolls (and much more!)

7 thoughts on “Notre Dame: the past, the fire, the future

    1. about continuing with your tours of the arrondissements. I say yes please. Pick up where you left off. They are each so different, packed with history and beauty… and always the unexpected. Some might be too large to tackle at one go. If there are two or three distinct personalities of a particular arrondissement, have someone pick you up and take you to each….yes, yes it is a walk show….perhaps a scooter? When you complete the tour, as you begin to introduce other things and places, perhaps an occasional deep dive into an arrondissement…..what does go on behind the beautiful door, gates into the old city. Interview people who “lived” at Shakespeare & Co., backstage at the Opera, the tango dancers I saw in front of Opera Garnier one night, perhaps that is a regular thing. Smaltzy? Perhaps. What is now vs. the history of Canal St. Martin. What did it look like and what goes on there now. There is a street lined with workshops where musical instruments are made, it intersects with the street the “the high line” is on, can’t think of the name just now. Talk to those craftspeople….. an endless list no matter who you might ask. Just keep on walking……

  1. Excellent episode – love the Scrolls too as they add so much! You asked about the Arrondissements episodes – since you already are part way through, instead of starting over or continuing, how about new episodes beginning with number 20 and going backwards down to #1. That way those you had already covered will be new again with current developments. However you decide, I know it will be interesting and wonderful.

  2. Love the podcast, the book, the scrolls … and looking forward to the crocodile book. Yes, continue with the arrondissements, in any order. And how about a Patreon members card or pin so that when we are in Paris we can show the various cafes and restaurants you mention that we are there because of your show. When I go to Paris next (sadly next year but not this year) I will be alone yet I can go to cafes and restaurants that I ‘know’ from your show and feel a bit of a sense of ‘family’.

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