Please sign in to post.

PBS Secrets of the Dead - Building Notre Dame

Airing in the SF Bay area this Tuesday night (4/28) on KQED. i’m sure it will air throughout the US, but not sure if it will be on 4/28. If you’re interested you can look for it.
The description says:
An in-depth investigation into the centuries-long construction of the Notre Dame de Paris, including the architectural, technical, and human challenges that played out during its history.

Posted by
6511 posts

It's on Oregon Public Broadcasting on Tues night also - 8:00 pm. I'm watching it for sure.

Posted by
5648 posts

Maybe not going to be covered in this show, but I wonder if/how repairs are coming along on the cathedral, with this pandemic going on? Sounds like a great program coming up, which is standard for PBS. One of our 2 Denver PBS stations has resumed showing Rick’s programs on Saturday afternoons, which had been a fixture for years. Thank you for the programming heads-up, Susan!

Posted by
8401 posts

Cyn, i’ve seen links on FB about the progress of rebuilding Notre Dame - one recently, but now i can’t find it. It’s slow-going i do know. Maybe we could Google for something. I wish PBS would do a show on the rebuilding, that would be great.

Posted by
6511 posts

I wish PBS would do a show on the rebuilding, that would be great.

I'll bet they will, when it's finished or near finished. I'm sure they'd want to do a show on the whole process from beginning to end.

Posted by
8401 posts

Good tip Nancy, thanks.
And i agree with you that PBS probably will.

Posted by
2216 posts

PBS just had a show on the rebuilding. It ended with them taking the scaffolding down so I hope there is a part 2.

edited. Sorry, the show was called Saving Notre Dame and it was on the National Geographic channel. Very good.

Posted by
8401 posts

Tammy, thanks for clarifying and for the tip on the show you saw. Sounds good.

Nukesafe, thanks, i’m sure that’s a very interesting read.

Posted by
8401 posts

Tonight’s the night! Can’t wait!

Posted by
2051 posts

In the Denver area, it's on tonight (4/28/2020)-7pm-RMPBS (#6) on my tv. Looks good! i really enjoyed "Saving Notre Dame" . I watched it on You Tube; it was fascinating!

Posted by
134 posts

If you are a PBS Passport member, you can watch the "Secrets of the Dead" shows online (streaming), or on your Roku, etc., if it is set up for PBS Passport. Just fyi.

Posted by
2216 posts

Having seen Saving Notre Dame on Nat Geo and the PBS show Secrets of The Dead on the construction of Notre Dame, I really feel when I do finally get to see it in person again, I will be appreciative and knowledgeable.
I should be in France right now, which did make me a bit sad watching it.

Posted by
8401 posts

Watched it tonight and it was so good.
Secrets of the Dead always does a very good job and this one was excellent.
I’ve been going to ND since i was 4 yo, it’s a very special place for me. This show made me feel like i was there from the beginning - lol.

Posted by
2002 posts

Yes, I loved this show. I'm always amazed when they deconstruct the cathedral and show all the parts of it fitting together - done in cool animation!

Posted by
1781 posts

Hi Susan, thanks for the heads up. We watched the program last night, very informative. Missed our trip to France this year but we look forward to seeing the progress as ND is rebuilt.

It was also a nice surprise to see Ken Follett’s commentary. After reading Pillars of the Earth, I felt prepared to build my own cathedral!

Posted by
1425 posts

NOVA has a great episode, Building the Great Cathedrals, from several years ago. It's not about any one specific structures, but it is a good complement to last night's special on ND.

Posted by
8401 posts

Hi Donna, you’re welcome : )
This show also gave me hope for the rebuilding of ND now. Seeing that they’ve taken down and replaced the buttresses and the roof in the distant past, before they had the science, tools and technology of today, reassured me that ND will rise again.

Posted by
5262 posts

I enjoyed it too and learned a lot from it. I hadn't realized what a short time it took to build ND, about 100 years. I hadn't known they'd rebuilt some of the upper parts with a different design during that period. And I hadn't heard the show's perspective on Viollet-le-Duc, who did a major restoration in the 1850s that included important changes like the tower. Whatever I'd read or heard about him in the past had portrayed him as kind of a spoiler, embellishing medieval architecture to its detriment (like the Carcassonne towers). Maybe that came from Henry Adams. But this show credited him with improving the overall look of ND, as well as keeping the structure sound and repairing the damage of past centuries.

High praise from Susan, who knows that area much better than most of us. What's your take on Viollet-le-Duc?

Posted by
5697 posts

I liked the PBS show, but not as much as the National Geographic one on rebuilding Notre Dame. Maybe because I remember seeing scenes of the fire while we were in France last April so seeing the progress was uplifting.

Posted by
8401 posts

Hi Dick, yes, all the info on Viollet-le-Duc and what he did was fascinating. Adding the gutter system, for instance. Also, Maurice de Sully was fascinating to me, and thank goodness for him. Too bad he didn’t get to at least see the front facade go up, and of course, the two towers. Interesting how they built, then filled in the vaulted ceilings with stone blocks. As a child, and even now, i am amazed at how they’ve stayed up there for what, 900 yrs. But then, i know nothing about engineering. Also, the ingenious scaffolding system they came up with, the dual treadmill crane, and how they built the foundation so the cathedral would not sink. I could go on and on. Every bit of this show was just so fascinating and so good.

Edit: i haven’t see National Geographic’s Rebuilding Notre Dame yet. But i am always much more fascinated by how they built incredible structures and castles 900 + yrs ago vs what they can do now with all the technology and equipment available today.

Posted by
4535 posts

A very good show. I even learned a few things I did not know.

The show was very complimentary to Viollet Le Duc, and no doubt his work did save the cathedral. But their view in the show is not widely held. Modern preservationists would never change work done during the construction of the cathedral or soon after, and installing speculative work. Changing the windows the way he did was a travesty and goes counter to everything the Gothic builders were trying to achieve: more light. And the inventive additions he made, although beloved today, were not historically authentic to the cathedral. Of course, le Duc's work is now a part of the cathedral's history and layers, and few would suggest removing them. But I'm still not sure if his spire should be rebuilt or a new one installed that would add to the layers of history the way le Duc added his layers.

Posted by
8401 posts

More interesting info Douglas, thank you. Didn’t Viollet-le-Duc’s enlargement of the windows bring in more light?

Fwiw, i’m in the “re-build the spire as it was” camp. It’s how we all have always known it and i want it kept the same, not changed and modernized. I don’t want another, new layer - lol.

Posted by
1810 posts

Susan, thank you for posting this. I probably would have missed it otherwise. In L.V., there are multiple PBS options and last night they linked this with “Secrets of the Vatican,” so it was a great night!

Posted by
8401 posts

Patty, most welcome. Sounds like you had a fun night with a double feature!