Skip to main content
This program is over. Hope you didn't miss it!

The River That Made Paris

Noon Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1A0144
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
Select your Tickets
Powered by Zoom

(Photo: Elaine Sciolino)

The Seine flows through every aspect of daily life in Paris. From its legendary origins in the story of Sequana, the Gallo-Roman healing goddess who gave it its name, to its myriad reflections in art, literature, music, and film, this fabled river defines and shapes the essence of a great city—and our imagination’s vision of it.  

Join longtime New York Times foreign correspondent Elaine Sciolino on a visual trip down the Seine. Drawing on her new book The Seine: The River that Made Paris, she explores the Seine through its rich history and follows it from the remote plateaus of Burgundy through Paris and to the sea. With evocative photos and videos of art, architecture, historical figures, and everyday people, Sciolino takes you from the source of the river, a tiny little stream in a village outside of Dijon, to the modern city of Le Havre where it empties into the English Channel. She shares her experiences patrolling with river police, rowing with a restorer of antique boats, sipping champagne at a vineyard along the river, and even daring to go for a swim.

As she offers a vivid portrait of the world’s most irresistible river, she spotlights the role the Seine plays in the works of Renoir, Victor Hugo, Puccini, and makers of beloved films, and recounts the dramatic story of how water from the depths of the river saved Notre-Dame from destruction during the devastating fire in April 2019.

Copies of The Seine (W.W. & Norton Company) are available for purchase.

Book Sale Information

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.