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RIVER SEINE River of Life Source to Mouth The Seine, at 780 km (485 miles) long,

RIVER SEINE

River of Life Source to Mouth

RIVER SEINE River of Life Source to Mouth The Seine, at 780 km (485 miles) long,

The Seine, at 780 km (485 miles) long, is France's second longest river. The longest is the Loire. The Seine rises in the region of Burgundy and then flows through Troyes and Melun to Paris. Beyond the capital, the river meanders in large loops through Normandy and Rouen, entering the English Channel in an estuary between Le Havre and Honfleur. Its name has Celtic roots and means “sacred source” or “sacred river”.

The Seine is dredged to allow ocean-going vessels to dock at Rouen, 120 km (75 miles) from the sea. Commercial riverboats can use the river from Bar- sur-Seine, 560 km (350 miles) from its mouth. At Paris, the river is only 24 metres (80 feet) above sea level and 445 km (277 miles) from its mouth. The river is slow flowing here and easily navigable by shallow draught vessels.

The water of the Seine is an important resource. Power stations, both thermal and nuclear, pull cooling water from the river. Half the water used in the Paris region, both for industry and for consumption, and three quarters of the water used in the area between Rouen and Le Havre, is taken from the river.

Intensive farming has developed over 60% of the Seine basin, which produces about 80% of French sugar and 75% of the country's rapeseed and vegetable oil crops. A direct result of this is that a high level of agricultural wastewater leaches into the river. In Paris, worse things end up in the Seine. During periods of heavy rainfall, to prevent the sewage system from overloading, raw sewage can be discharged into the Seine.

RIVER SEINE River of Life Source to Mouth The Seine, at 780 km (485 miles) long,

The Seine enters Paris at its southeast corner, it arcs northward and bends out of Paris at its southwest corner (see aerial photograph left). Traveling in a downstream direction, the right bank of the river is known as the River Droit (Right Bank) and the left bank as the Rive Gauche (Left Bank). At water level, some 30 feet below street level, the river is bordered, at least on those portions not transformed into expressways, by cobbled quays graced with trees and shrubs. From street level another line of trees leans towards the water. Between the two levels, the retaining walls, usually made of massive stone blocks, are decorated with the great iron rings that are reminders of a past age of busy river commerce. The old buildings, riverboats, gardens, and 32 bridges compose one of the world’s grandest and most endearing cityscapes. In recognition of this, the banks of the Seine were added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1991.

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

RIVER SEINE

Polluted River Les Egouts

RIVER SEINE Polluted River Les Egouts In 1815, by comparison with Pari s, London was a

In 1815, by comparison with Paris, London was a sweet-smelling city. Households in London had a flush-sewage system while the Paris sewers still served mainly as street drains (see left). Cesspools had to be emptied periodically, resulting in a disgusting smell. While Parisians barely consumed 7 litres of water a day, every citizen of London had the use of 62 litres; only one in five Parisian houses had

running water.

In Paris, a series of cholera epidemics in the 1830s forced a rethink. A consequence was a complex system of new covered sewers called Les Egouts. Designed by Eugéne Belguard, construction of this system started in 1850, and by 1870 over 500 km of new sewers were either in service or under construction. The sewers were the pride of Paris and tours around them became a tourist offer. The King of Portugal was the first guest of honour to make the descent.

Impressive though these sewers were, the areas best served by them were where the rich lived. The one third of homes without running water were disproportionately situated in the poorer neighbourhoods and it was here that dysentery, typhoid fever, diptheria, whooping cough, smallpox and tuberculosis were most likely to be prevelent.

Today's network of more than 2,100 km (1,312 miles) of underground tunnels carry drain water from the streets, sanitary sewers (now in separate pipes), mains for drinking water, the water used for street cleaning, telecommunications cables and pneumatic tubes between post offices. The cables that operate the capital’s traffic lights also run through the sewer pipes.

The main sewer pipes take much of the sewage that Paris produces to the purification plant at Achères, 12 miles northwest of the capital (pictured left)

From their opening, the Paris sewers have never lost their tourist appeal. People were initially carried by carts that were suspended from the walkways along the tunnel walls, later by carriages drawn by a small locomotive, and until the 1970s, in little boats. Today, the carts and boats are gone, having been replaced by an even better attraction: the Musée des Égouts de Paris, or Paris Sewers Museum. This museum is located in the sewers beneath the Quai d'Orsay on the Left Bank. And, where else but in Paris could a sewer system inspire a blockbuster musical – Victor Hugo set part of Les Miserables in Les Egouts.

RIVER SEINE Polluted River Les Egouts In 1815, by comparison with Pari s, London was a

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

RIVER SEINE

Polluted River Clean Water

RIVER SEINE Polluted River Clean Water In 1500 there were 17 public fountains in Paris and

In 1500 there were 17 public fountains in Paris and these were embellished and added to in the mid- century. The most striking addition was the Fountain of the Innocents. Sculptural reliefs from which are shown on the left.

In the 19 th Century, as part of a massive modernisation scheme for Paris, Napoléon Buonaparte and his master planner Baron Haussmann restricted the waters of the Seine and Canal d’Ourq for public consumption. In place, and at enormous cost, they built an impressive series of aquaducts to bring fresh water into the city from outlying sources. By the 1870s Paris’ water consumption had increased ten fold over that in the 1850s and around two thirds of all private homes had running water. These days, half of the capital’s drinking water arrives via these and other aqueducts and tunnels; the other half is pumped from the rivers Seine, Marne, and Oise and filtered in treatment plants around the City.

RIVER SEINE Polluted River Clean Water In 1500 there were 17 public fountains in Paris and

Five great reservoirs around Paris store this water, emptying during the day and refilling at night, ensuring a continuous supply, even in times of shortage or drought. There’s even a huge pipe skirting the city, linking all five reservoirs to balance demand. Part of today’s purification process echoes natures own, allowing the water to seep naturally through successive layers of filtering substances until it attains a purity similar to source water.

The dark green Wallace fountains (see left) were donated to the city by the English philanthropist Richard Wallace after the Prussian war of 1870 and are scattered around main intersections and thoroughfares, as well as numerous parks and city squares. Wallace designed the fountains himself, with the dual aim of producing something artistic as well as utilitarian. His criteria for construction were impressively strict. They had to be practical, but still pleasing to the eye; easy to spot for thirsty travellers, but not so tall as to blemish the landscape; affordable so that many could be installed; and finally, resistant to the weather, easy to manufacture and simple to maintain.

In the 16th arrondissement, hidden away in the Square Lamartine, flows the last vestige of one of Paris’ 63 underground water sources. A deep well taps the ancient underground River Albien, running 750 metres below the heights of the fashionable Parisian district of Passy, just across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. Passy was once a popular spa area going back as far as the 17th century and its water is still considered to have therapeutic properties, including healing lumbago, alleviating arthritis, and leading to longer life.

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

RIVER SEINE

Resourceful River Flooding

RIVER SEINE Resourceful River Flooding Historically, the Seine was prone to flooding. It was particularly bad

Historically, the Seine was prone to flooding. It was particularly bad in 1740 and 1801-2. As a result, Napoléon Bonaparte decided to construct an embankment, the Quai d’Orsay, running without a break between the Pont Royal and Concorde.

The Quai was completed in 1806 and in March 1808, Napoleon issued a decree to continue the quais from the Concorde all the way to the Ècole Militaire on the Left Bank. Three years later, he built the short Quai Montebello opposite the Hôtel Dieu. By 1812, the length of the quais constructed over 10 years reached 3,000 metres.

Of the Emperor’s many proud achievements, the quais were the ones which evoked the most praise for both efficacy and beauty.

RIVER SEINE Resourceful River Flooding Historically, the Seine was prone to flooding. It was particularly bad

It rained steadily through the winter of 1909 and 1910. By 29 January, the waters of the Seine had risen to some 8½ metres – the highest level ever recorded. The Seine at Pont Alexander is shown on the left. Several areas were inundated including the new metro, the pride of the city. Bridges were underwater and people were terrified by press reports of deadly crocodiles swimming out of the zoo. When the waters finally receded in the spring, over 200,000 homes had been wrecked. The cost to the city was enormous.

Since the 1910 flood, four dams have been built in the Paris region. These help to lower the level of the Seine in the winter and to feed the river in the dry summer months. But the state institution in charge of the dams in the Seine basin, says that at best they could reduce the level of the Seine by a metre in the case of flooding. In fact, the Seine again rose to threatening levels in 1924, 1955, 1982 and 1999-2000. A 2002 report by the French government stated the worst-case Seine flood scenario would leave hundreds of thousands without electricity and phones, bring economic life to a standstill, and cost billions of euros in damage.

Some commentators think that Paris is unprepared to deal with the effects of severe flooding. Following a flood alert in 2003, about 100,000 works of art were moved out of Paris, the largest relocation of art since World War II. Much of the art in Paris is kept in underground storage rooms that would have been flooded.

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

RIVER SEINE

Resourceful River River Bièvre

RIVER SEINE Resourceful River River Bièvre The River Bièvre was named after the beavers which lived

The River Bièvre was named after the beavers which lived here even before the Romans first arrived.

The Bièvre’s source lies in the Versailles area, and the river wends its way into Paris from the south, originally reaching the Seine around the Gare d’Austerlitz. However, in 1148 the monks in a local abbey diverted water away from the river to run it through their gardens and power their mills and this changed the course of the river. Thereafter, it entered the Seine more or less across from Notre Dame, along what is now the Rue de Bièvre.

From the 12th century the banks of the Bièvre attracted wine-growers, butchers, tanners, dyers, starch-makers and brewers. There was a wool mill and a limestone quarry too. The industries located along the river used it as a dumping ground and as a result, the river stank. Rabelais described it as the collective urination of 6,000 dogs. Others called it a chamber pot for pigs.

In 1860, the Bièvre supplied water and power for over 100 factories within the city limits including 24 tanneries, 21 leather dressers, 9 specialists in leather goods, 8 laundries, 4 dyers and 3 breweries. Further upstream there were washerwomen and laundries (see photograph left) and, when the river froze over, there was even an ice industry.

Work to canalize the Bièvre and reduce pollution levels started in the 1840s and by 1910 the whole of the river had been placed under stone and concrete. The river is now part of the Paris sewer system. Factories still draw on its waters but the river has now disappeared.

RIVER SEINE Resourceful River River Bièvre The River Bièvre was named after the beavers which lived

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

RIVER SEINE

Working River Port

RIVER SEINE Working River Port In Ancient times, the local people of the Seine basin, called
RIVER SEINE Working River Port In Ancient times, the local people of the Seine basin, called

In Ancient times, the local people of the Seine basin, called the Parisii, excelled in navigation and traded all the way down to the Mediterranean Sea. Examples of their gold coins are pictured left. The Parisii built quays and towpaths along the banks of the Seine, and maintained them carefully. Their motto, which translates as “it is beaten by the waves without being submerged” is still on the Paris coat of arms (left below).

As a Gaulish settlement, people depended on the Seine as a conduit for trade and life centred at the places where goods were landed. Originally, this was situated at Place de la Grève (where Hôtel de la Ville now stands), a marshy swamp on the Right Bank, which was the original Parisian business district. On the Left Bank, where Caesar formerly made his camp, there came the monasteries, churches and then later the University of Paris. Hence the separation of the city into the Right Bank: the profane domain of work and commerce and the Left Bank: the spiritual and intellectual centre of the city.

These days, the Seine is dredged and ocean going vessels can dock at Rouen, 120 km (75 miles) from the sea. The dredging in the 1960s mostly eliminated the tidal bore ("le mascaret"), a huge wave that raced up the river from its mouth drawn by the coinciding forces of a full moon and a particularly high full tide.

The tidal part of the river, from Le Havre to well beyond Rouen, is followed by a

canalized section with multiple locks to lift the vessels up to the level of the river in Paris. Upstream of the capital, more locks ensure navigation all the way to Nogent-sur-Seine.

The state owned Port of Paris Authority is the largest river port in France and the second largest in Europe. They coordinate and oversee the operation of a network of 70 public harbours, including the large facilities of Gennevilliers (Hauts-de-Seine), Bonneuil (Val-de- Marne) and Limay (Yvelines) as well as 200 private harbours.

There are nearly one thousand houseboats and pleasure-boat that dock on the Seine, the Marne and the Oise. Over the last 30 years, demand for this original type of housing has skyrocketed. 60% of the boats are concentrated in Paris and its inner western suburbs. The few berths still available are located in eastern Ile de France and in the outer suburbs.

RIVER SEINE Working River Port In Ancient times, the local people of the Seine basin, called

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

RIVER SEINE

Working River Boats

RIVER SEINE Working River Boats In the 17 century, the Seine was, congested at the best

In the 17 th century, the Seine was, congested at the best of times. Wine and grain were transported into the city in small vessels known as ‘flettes’ or, more commonly, in large convoys of boats 16 to 18 metres long. These had to be pulled by two dozen horses. It was a common occurrence for such convoys to be robbed or their passage blocked by thieves.

In the early years of the 18 th century, the Seine was still the lifeblood of Paris but it also carried disease into the city – dysentery and typhus were commonly imported from smaller hamlets downriver.

The great frost of 1709 had made the river impassable for weeks at a time. Little grain was brought into the city, and this forced up the price of bread to such an extent that armed guards had to be posted to defend the city bakeries.

In the early 20 th century, the Belle Époque, the Seine was a busy channel through the centre of the city, packed with bateaux-lavoirs (floating wash houses), barges and fishing boats and ferries carrying suburban commuters.

RIVER SEINE Working River Boats In the 17 century, the Seine was, congested at the best

These days, the river is busy with commercial barges and massive Bateaux Mouches pleasure boats (route pictured left) cruising sightseers up and down the river. The Batobus river service operates as a shuttle or bus service, allowing you to get on and off anywhere along the river. Bateaux Mouches are the largest of the pleasure cruise boats. They have a fleet of 11 boats offering 75 minute cruises with capacities varying from 600 to 1,400. Their passenger areas are all enclosed in glass for excellent all round viewing and at night floodlights are used to pick out riverbank buildings. A more luxurious version of these is used on the Bateaux Parisien cruises (pictured top). They have a fleet of seven 1,255 capacity boats and their 60 minute cruises are accompanied by a commentary in up to 13 languages. The Vedettes are smaller and more intimate boats, with viewing through glass walls. The Canauxrama canal boats are flat-bottomed and offer canal trips along the banks of the River Marne and the old industrial St Martin canal in the east of the city.

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

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River City Lutetia

RIVER SEINE River City Lutetia Earliest records show that the Paris area was inhabited as far

Earliest records show that the Paris area was inhabited as far back as 5,000 BC. A dugout canoe was found in the Paris mud dating back 4,500 BC. But the first significant group to settle in the area that was to become Paris was a Celtic tribe called the Parisii. They settled on the Île de la Cité and records show that they revered water. They believed the river had magical powers and they prayed to it for luck in farming and hunting.

The Romans conquered the Parisii settlement in 54 BC when the area was givent the name Lutetia. The Romans built wooden bridges at what is now Pont au Change and the Petit-Pont. The name Lutetia, or its softened version Lutèce (‘the place of the mud marshes or swamp’ or ‘among the waters’) lasted only a few hundred years. By the 4 th century it was being referred to as Paris and by then, Roman rule was petering out.

In AD 358, the Roman Emperor Julian wrote:

“Lutetia is capital of the Parisii people. It is a small island lying in the river; a wall entirely surrounds it, and wooden bridges lead to it on both sides. The river seldom rises and falls, but is usually the same depth in the winter as in the summer season, and it provides water which is very clear to the eye and very pleasant for one who wishes to drink.” This is the first description of any length that we have of the city which was to become Paris.

The river’s maximum width today is about 200 metres. In Roman times it may have been up to 500 metres wide. The much harsher winters they experienced then frequently produced an ice-bound river. This put bridges at risk of destruction and threatened starvation through the breakdown of food supply. The river was less deep too, and a broader bank of marshy and muddy land stretched on either bank.

RIVER SEINE River City Lutetia Earliest records show that the Paris area was inhabited as far

On the left bank, a tributary called the Bièvre flowed into the Seine, probably near present-day Austerlitz railway station. The Romans erected an aquaduct that arrived from the south and linked with the Bièvre River to supply water to the city which was ducted into private dwellings.

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

RIVER SEINE

RIVER SEINE River City Île de la Cité On Easter Sunday 845 a lethal force of
RIVER SEINE River City Île de la Cité On Easter Sunday 845 a lethal force of

River City Île de la Cité

On Easter Sunday 845 a lethal force of Norsemen arrived in the heart of Paris via the Seine on 125 black dragon ships. In 846 they were back, smashing up the Great Bridge at the northern end of the Île de la Cité. Following these raids, Paris fortified itself and the Great Bridge was rebuilt and strengthened. For 25 years Paris enjoyed peace. But then the raiders returned in 885 traveling down the Seine in black dragon ships as they had in the past. The Parisians resisted, but a great flood swept away one of the smaller bridges crossing the river further exposing the city and the inhabitants were overwhelmed.

Paris was still a provincial town right up to the early years of the first millennium. Only then did it emerge as an economic, cultural and religious centre. By the 11 th century Paris has remade itself as a city of three parts, linked by impressive stone bridges. The city had exploded outwards from Île de la Cité in which the symbols of state power (the royal palace) and church authority (the cathedral) were located. The Right Bank had developed into a major business and trading location. The Left Bank developed a new role associated with teaching and learning.

The first stones of Notre Dame were laid in 1163. The plan was to build a cathedral that seemed to emerge out of the water like a great and majestic ship. It was the highest building in the history of the city and could be seen for miles around. Its fame spread quickly across Europe as the emblem of a new civilization.

The place where Notre Dame stands has always been a sacred site, a place of Druidic sacrifices and pagan worship. Even as the great church was being constructed elements of the earlier religions were assimilated and incorporated into its body. The Fête des Fous (pictured left), an orgiastic four-day saturnalia that took place in the cathedral was tolerated long into the 16 th century as an echo of antique religious rites.

In 1214, the French won decisive battles against the English. France was established as a nation with Paris as its capital. King Philippe- Auguste (1165 to 1223) invested considerably in the fortification of Paris. He built the Paris walls, within which were two large towers – the Grand and the Petit Châtalet, which stood facing each other across the river. He also installed heavy chains that stretched across the Seine at its eastern and western approaches. These could be raised or lowered to permit the flow of river traffic or to deter marauders. By the time of Philippe-Auguste died Paris was the undisputed cultural capital of Western Europe. The city attracted scholars, traders, politicians and poets who came for its reknown as a centre for learning and artistic achievement.

After the 1789 French Revolution all churches were to be either wrecked or changed to some other designation. Some thought that Notre Dame should be converted into a ‘Temple of Reason’. But its sanctity was never challenged and when Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor of France in December 1804 he did so in the cathedral of Notre Dame.

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

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River City Pont Neuf

RIVER SEINE River City Pont Neuf When it was opened in 1606 the Pont Neuf seemed

When it was opened in 1606 the Pont Neuf seemed to evoke the essence of Paris and was reproduced endlessly in engravings, paintings, sketches and urban landscapes. Great processions of church or state always passed over the bridge.

The longest of the Parisian bridges at 278 metres and the widest at 28 metres, it was the first bridge to be built without overhanging houses on it. It was not financed like preivious bridges through selling bridge- houses but by a new tax levied on every barrel of wine brought into the city.

As it was being completed it was a popular sport for young men to show their daring by leaping across the unfinished ramparts, risking drowning in the Seine if they fell short. To the alarm of his courtiers, King Henry IV was so fascinated by the game that he leaped across himself.

RIVER SEINE River City Pont Neuf When it was opened in 1606 the Pont Neuf seemed

The bridge had pavements and was built from stone – both Parisian firsts. It had shops in the semi-circular spaces above each of the bastions and also, from 1608, there was the Samaritaine, the first functioning water-pump drawing water from the river. It was decorated with a sculpture of the Good Samaritan. From 1614 the bridge was also graced with an equestrian statue of Henry IV. No previous ruler had ever put his image on display in the capital city in this way.

Street-traders proliferated on the bridge, each with its own distinctive cry to attract attention. There were pedlars, second-hand booksellers, pickpockets, acrobats, umbrella-hire merchants, recruiting sergeants, dog-barbers, flower-sellers, prostitutes, street entertainers, quacks and tooth-pullers.

In 17 th century, King Henry IV ordered the construction of a small park at the waters edge below the Pont Neuf. The area was a reclaimed island originally called Îlot aux Juifs but when the park was laid it became known as the Square du Vert-Gallant (Henry’s nickname). At this time, the Pont Neuf was a cauldron of anti-government, anti-royal and anti-religious activity. Occasionally this was expressed in criminality but the real guiding spirit was the quick-witted satire of the street entertainers and the slick patter of the salesmen. Perhaps because of their subversive nature, by the 1770s these stalls were banned and the Samaritaine was demolished in 1813.

In 1985, the American artist Christo famously ‘wrapped’ the Pont Neuf and the film-maker Leon Carax made it his central character in his feature ‘Les Amants du Pont Neuf’.

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

RIVER SEINE

River City Bridges Old and New

In the 16 th century the Île de la Cité was still connected with the Left and Right Banks with bridges crowded with overhanging wooden buildings - deathtraps in times of flood and fire. In December 1596, the Pont au Meunier collapsed, depositing its 160 or more inhabitants in the Seine. The bridge had been swept away by currants many times, and earlier that year inspectors had warned house owners that it might fall, but they did nothing.

RIVER SEINE River City Bridges Old and New In the 16 century the Île de la

At the beginning of the 17th century all bridges over the Seine were cleared of houses and shops. The 17th century also witnessed the creation of a new island, the Île Saint-Louis. From 1614, a group of private businessmen planned to join two semi-abandoned islands in the lee of the Île de la Cité called Île de la Vaches (Cow Island) and Île Notre Dame. With royal help they circumvented church opposition and built houses with wonderful river views, for those who could afford them, and humbler dwellings for the heart of the new island for the less wealthy. They also constructed new bridges. The Pont Marie (1614-35) linked the island to the Right Bank and the Pont de la Tournelle (1620) continued the line of the Pont Marie to join up with the Left Bank. There was a smaller wooden walkway linking the new island with the eastern tip of Île de la Cité.

RIVER SEINE River City Bridges Old and New In the 16 century the Île de la

Paris had long suffered from a serious shortage of bridges across the Seine, with ferries plying back and forth from the Louvre; then, between 1795 and 1815, four new bridges were laid down. All were to be toll bridges: 5 centimes for people on foot, 10 for horseback and 15 for coach with one horse, 20 for coach with two horses.

Paris now has more river bridges than any other city. The newest bridge, its 37 th , which opened in 2006, is called the Pont Simone de Beauvoir (pictuerd left), after the feminist novelist and philosopher. The bridge spans one of the widest stretches of the Seine without benefit of pillars. It brings to life a newly developed stretch of the river in eastern Paris and links the new national library, the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand with the entertainment complex at Bercy.

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

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River City The Prefect of the Seine

RIVER SEINE River City The Prefect of the Seine In 1853, King Napoleon III appointed Baron

In 1853, King Napoleon III appointed Baron Georges- Eugène Haussmann Prefect of the Seine to clear the medieval city of its develop a masterplan for a modern Paris, one based on grand schemes and functional lines, with a sound sanitation system and drinking water supply.

In 1852, based on his love for and envy of London’s parks, Napoleon donated the Bois de Boulogne to the city and in 1860 followed up with the gift of the Bois de Vincennes. In addition, as Husmann cleared old housing and roads and built sweeping new boulevards creating vistas to key monuments (see Camille Pissarro’s painting on the left), hundreds of thousands of trees were planted too.

Haussmann demolished virtually all the private dwellings on the Île de la Cité. He converted it from a chaotic and crowded residential zone into an ordered administrative centre. Many were forcefully moved; the population fell from 15,000 to 5,000.

RIVER SEINE River City The Prefect of the Seine In 1853, King Napoleon III appointed Baron

By the time he retired in 1870, Haussmann had effectively created the Paris we now recognise today.

Between around 1970 and 2000, the river banks became the focus of major development. The removal of industrial plant from many sites along the Seine opened up space for major projects. Just in from the Boulevard Périphérique on the west side of Paris, the old Citroën car factory was turned into the Parc André- Citroën. The Parc comprises glasshouses, computerised fountains, waterfalls, a wilderness and themed gardens featuring diferent coloured plants and even sounds. Stepping stones and water jets make it a garden for pleasure as well as philosophy. The tethered helium balloon (see left) takes visitors up for marvellous panoramic views over the city.

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

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River City Universal Expositions

RIVER SEINE River City Universal Expositions Gustave Eiffel's tower, now world- recognised as a Parisian icon,
RIVER SEINE River City Universal Expositions Gustave Eiffel's tower, now world- recognised as a Parisian icon,

Gustave Eiffel's tower, now world- recognised as a Parisian icon, was built for the International Exhibition of Paris of 1889 commemorating the centenary of the French Revolution. At 300 meters, it was the world's tallest building until 1930. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII of England, opened the tower. The Eiffel Tower had 2 million visitors in the first six months of its opening including 8 African kings, Thomas Edison, Sarah Bernhardt and Buffalo Bill.

Paris’ next International Exhibition in 1900 was attended by 51 million people (32 million attended in 1889). It was a mammoth, chaotic event that included displays of real live `natives' from the colonies and real camels, a complete medieval French village and its inhabitants reconstructed on the Right Bank, and buildings ranging from Serbian Byzantine and English Jacobean to Austrian Gothic. An elevated electric railway surrounded the site and it held examples of what was considered to be the last word in modern architecture and design.

A number of Paris' most noted structures were built for the Exposition, including the Gare de Lyon, the Gare d'Orsay (now the Musée d'Orsay), the Pont Alexandre III, the Grand Palais, La Ruche, and the Petit Palais. But perhaps the greatest legacy of the Exposition was the creation of the Paris Metro. The first line began operation to coincide with the Exposition. 17 million journeys were made on it from July to December 1900. By 1914, the annual total was up to 500 million journeys.

Part of the Exposition was the Second Olympic Games, which were spread over five months. The games also marked the first participation by female athletes and, in such sports as tennis, football (soccer), polo, rowing and tug of war, teams were multinational.

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

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River Culture Seine Spectaculars

RIVER SEINE River Culture Seine Spectaculars When the Pont Royal was built in the 1680s, the

When the Pont Royal was built in the 1680s, the area down to the Pont Neuf flanked by the Louvre and Tuilleries became a kind of public amphitheatre where fireworks, river jousts and ceremonial water processions were held. The quais alongside the Seine were redesigned too so that they could accommodate large numbers who wished to watch river entertainments on public holidays. Of these, none were bigger or better than those created by the painter, architect and scenographer Servandoni.

In 1721, Louis XV was betrothed to his first cousin, Maria Ana, daughter of Philip V of Spain. The eleven-year-old king found no interest in his future wife, the three-year-old Spanish infanta, who only bored him. Undeterred, on 24 March 1722, Spannish authorities commissioned Servandoni to create a huge celebration on the Seine to mark the arrival in Paris of Maria Ana. Centred around a monumental triumphal arch built on barges (see left), there were illuminations, fireworks and an enormous flotilla symbolising the combined maritime power of France and Spain. Most popular of all were the jousting competitions (joutes), which took place on the Seine while the public waited for the fireworks display to commence.

Louis didn’t marry Maria Ana, the king was in need of an heir and she was too young to bear children. Instead, he was matched with Maria Leszczyńska, daughter of the toppled King of Poland. To demonstrate the strength of their relationship, on 21 January 1730, marking the birth the King’s first born son, the Spanish ambassador commissioned Servandoni to organise a second fete on the Seine. Once again there were monumental constructions on the river. The centrepiece represented the borders of the two conjoining countries, the Pyranees, as two huge mountains with the rising sun between and a rainbow overhead (see left). Whilst around was a floating garden in the formal French style with allegorical figures of the Seine and the Guadelquivir. King Louis XV himself was present dressed magnificently in robes of gold and silver studded with a constellation of innummerable diamonds. The fireworks on this occasion were reputed to have been the best that France had ever hosted.

RIVER SEINE River Culture Seine Spectaculars When the Pont Royal was built in the 1680s, the

On 19 August 1739, Servandoni’s third and final Seine spectacular celebrated the marriage of Louise-Elizabeth, Louis XV’s eldest daughter to Prince Philip of Spain. The fabulous event attracted an audience of 500,000 people. The centrepiece on the Seine was a vast Temple of Apollo housing an orchestra of 160 musicians with sumptuous illuminations.

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

RIVER SEINE

RIVER SEINE River Culture River Art During the 19th and 20th centuries, the River Seine inspired
RIVER SEINE River Culture River Art During the 19th and 20th centuries, the River Seine inspired
RIVER SEINE River Culture River Art During the 19th and 20th centuries, the River Seine inspired

River Culture River Art

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the River Seine inspired many painters including Gustave Courbet, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Vincent Van Gogh, Georges-Pierre Seurat, Louis Anquetin, Paul Signac, Emile Bernard and Henri Matisse.

Claude Monet’s “Bathers at La Grenouillère” (left) was painted in 1869 when the artist was 29 years of age. La Grenouillère was a raffish resort on the Seine near Paris with day trippers, bathing cabins, boats for rent and a narrow wooden walkway leading to a round islet called ‘Camambert’ after the cheese of the same shape.

Pierre Auguste Renoir,’s “Boating on the Seine at Asnières” (left middle) was painted between 1879 to 80 when the artist was 38 years of age and depicts two women rowing lazily on the Seine in the haze of a hot summer’s day, an evocation of suburban leisure.

Georges-Pierre Seurat's masterpiece, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” (bottom left) was shown in the eighth Impressionist exhibition in 1886. The 26-year old Seurat depicted an island in the Seine between today’s business district of La Defense and the suburb of Neuilly, where middle-class Parisians used to stroll, relax, and fish on Sundays. Two years earlier, Seurat had chosen a riverbank scene just opposite the island for his first major painting, Bathers at Asnières. The same location as Renoir’s although Seurat’s subject matter were the lower class, industrial workers relaxing beside the river.

Fifty years before Renoir and Seurat completed their paintings, Asnières was a sleepy countryside village with cows, cottages and a population of 450. In 1837, a new railway bridge linking it to Paris was built. Suddenly Asnières became the city’s most accessible stretch of rural riverside. The Parisians, sweltering in the city heat, began to flock there in the summer. Boating was a major attraction, and shops and restaurants sprang up all over the riverside. Eventually, the middle classes bought houses there and commuted to the city. By the time that La Grande Jatte was painted, the population of Asnières had swelled to 14,000.

The Seine is now the site for many of Paris’ art galleriers and cultural institutions: Biblioteque Nationale de France, Parc de Bercy, Institut du Monde Arabe, Louvre (the world’s most visited art gallery), Jardin des Tuileries (commissioned by Catherine de Medici in 1564), Musee d’Orsay, Musee de l’Orangerie, Petit Palais, Grand Palais, Eiffel Tower and Parc André Citroën.

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

RIVER SEINE

River Culture Les Bouquinistes

RIVER SEINE River Culture Les Bouquinistes <a href=Paris’ secondhand booksellers set up their first official stalls in the early 17th century, having long flourished on the black market despite laws against the trade. Although seen as spivs, the booksellers have always played an important role. In the mid-sixteenth century, they took on the perilous task of bootlegging forbidden books throughout France’s devastating religious wars. And they were also responsible for the survival of treasures from the aristocracy’s libraries, plundered in the French revolution. Even today, they can still turn up rare publications believed long gone, such as a long-lost and priceless engraving by William Blake designed to illustrate Robert Blair’s poem The Grave. The term bouquinistes (boo-keen-eest) probably comes from the Dutch word boeckin, meaning "small book." First using wheelbarrows to transport and sell their goods, these entrepreneurs eventually fastened trays to the parapets of the bridges with thin leather straps. After the Revolution, business boomed when entire libraries were liberated from nobles or clergymen and wound up for sale cheap on the banks of the Seine. In 189 1, bouquinistes received permission to permanently attach their boxes to the quaysides. Each bouquiniste is given four boxes, all of a specified size, and rent is paid only for the stone on which the boxes rest (less than €100 per year). Maintenance costs, including the required vert wagon pai nt (the green colour of old train cars), are paid by the bouquinistes. With little ov erhead, prices are usually cheaper than in most shops. While these days, tourists prefer magnets and posters over vintage books, the city "officially" allows no more than one box of souvenirs for every three boxes of books. Bouquinistes must be open at least four days a week. Wednesdays are best (when school is out), and warm, dry days are golden (notice that every item is wrapped in protective plastic). Precedence in the allocation of bookstalls used to go to war orphans, ex-servicemen and the underprivileged. Nowadays, the stalls are handed down from father to son and the booksellers already in business are first in line for those that become vacant, based on a system of seniority. The number of booksellers has risen since the 1960s and today, the waiting list to become one of Paris' 250 bouquinistes is eight years. River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partne rship with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme www.riversoftheworld.org " id="pdf-obj-15-7" src="pdf-obj-15-7.jpg">

The term bouquinistes (boo-keen-eest) probably comes from the Dutch word boeckin, meaning "small book." First using wheelbarrows to transport and sell their goods, these entrepreneurs eventually fastened trays to the parapets of the bridges with thin leather straps. After the Revolution, business boomed when entire libraries were liberated from nobles or clergymen and wound up for sale cheap on the banks of the Seine. In 1891, bouquinistes received permission to permanently attach their boxes to the quaysides.

Each bouquiniste is given four boxes, all of a specified size, and rent is paid only for the stone on which the boxes rest (less than €100 per year). Maintenance costs, including the required vert wagon paint (the green colour of old train cars), are paid by the bouquinistes. With little overhead, prices are usually cheaper than in most shops. While these days, tourists prefer magnets and posters over vintage books, the city "officially" allows no more than one box of souvenirs for every three boxes of books.

Bouquinistes must be open at least four days a week. Wednesdays are best (when school is out), and warm, dry days are golden (notice that every item is wrapped in protective plastic). Precedence in the allocation of bookstalls used to go to war orphans, ex-servicemen and the underprivileged. Nowadays, the stalls are handed down from father to son and the booksellers already in business are first in line for those that become vacant, based on a system of seniority. The number of booksellers has risen since the 1960s and today, the waiting list to become one of Paris' 250 bouquinistes is eight years.

RIVER SEINE River Culture Les Bouquinistes <a href=Paris’ secondhand booksellers set up their first official stalls in the early 17th century, having long flourished on the black market despite laws against the trade. Although seen as spivs, the booksellers have always played an important role. In the mid-sixteenth century, they took on the perilous task of bootlegging forbidden books throughout France’s devastating religious wars. And they were also responsible for the survival of treasures from the aristocracy’s libraries, plundered in the French revolution. Even today, they can still turn up rare publications believed long gone, such as a long-lost and priceless engraving by William Blake designed to illustrate Robert Blair’s poem The Grave. The term bouquinistes (boo-keen-eest) probably comes from the Dutch word boeckin, meaning "small book." First using wheelbarrows to transport and sell their goods, these entrepreneurs eventually fastened trays to the parapets of the bridges with thin leather straps. After the Revolution, business boomed when entire libraries were liberated from nobles or clergymen and wound up for sale cheap on the banks of the Seine. In 189 1, bouquinistes received permission to permanently attach their boxes to the quaysides. Each bouquiniste is given four boxes, all of a specified size, and rent is paid only for the stone on which the boxes rest (less than €100 per year). Maintenance costs, including the required vert wagon pai nt (the green colour of old train cars), are paid by the bouquinistes. With little ov erhead, prices are usually cheaper than in most shops. While these days, tourists prefer magnets and posters over vintage books, the city "officially" allows no more than one box of souvenirs for every three boxes of books. Bouquinistes must be open at least four days a week. Wednesdays are best (when school is out), and warm, dry days are golden (notice that every item is wrapped in protective plastic). Precedence in the allocation of bookstalls used to go to war orphans, ex-servicemen and the underprivileged. Nowadays, the stalls are handed down from father to son and the booksellers already in business are first in line for those that become vacant, based on a system of seniority. The number of booksellers has risen since the 1960s and today, the waiting list to become one of Paris' 250 bouquinistes is eight years. River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partne rship with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme www.riversoftheworld.org " id="pdf-obj-15-60" src="pdf-obj-15-60.jpg">

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

RIVER SEINE

River Culture Paris Plages

RIVER SEINE River Culture Paris Plages Paris Beaches ("Paris Plages" in French) was inaugurated in 2002.
RIVER SEINE River Culture Paris Plages Paris Beaches ("Paris Plages" in French) was inaugurated in 2002.

Paris Beaches ("Paris Plages" in French) was inaugurated in 2002. It was originally intended as a means of offering Parisians a free beach holiday experience right in the heart of the capital, particularly for those who could not afford to leave the city. Paris Plages was the brainchild of Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, well known for launching ambitious municipal events. The event is so popular that it has now become a permanent fixture in the Parisian summertime calendar.

Paris Plages operates from mid-July to mid-August on the Right Bank from the Louvre to Pont de Sully on a riverside road called voie Georges Pompidou (see left). This otherwise busy road is closed to traffic and transformed with sand and grass beaches, parasols and loungers, fountains, water misters and even a mini-swimming pool. There are free classes in Tai Chi, tango and other social dances aimed at senior citizens and wall climbing, trampolining and roller-blading for youngsters. There are special facilities for young children with baby-changing cabins and everything is kept spotlessly clean. For food and drink there are boardwalk-style cafes and snack bars and, on Friday and Saturday nights, a series of free concerts.

In 2005, Paris Plages at voie Georges Pompidou attracted nearly 4 million visitors. As a consequence, a second beach area was established a few kilometres upriver on the Left Bank. This new ‘plage’, deliberately modern in design and equipped with a free library of books, was located adjacent to Paris’ new, floating swimming pool, Piscine Josephine Baker. This area was linked to the plages at Georges Pompidou by a river boat service. The area was repeated in 2007 but then dropped from the Paris Plages programme in 2008.

In 2007, Paris Plages expanded into a third location around the canal basin at La Villette, where there are kayaks, pedal boats, sailboats and canoes, with instructors on hand to help ensure a safe experience. Although, with public demand far outstripping the number of available boats, advance booking is essential. This area has been designed with a particular emphasis on families with young children.

Paris Plages is an international success story. Photographs of people sunbathing (see left) or playing petanque beside the Seine have been printed in newspapers around the world, promoting the city as a fun place to visit.

Many other cities have followed Paris’ lead and there are now urban beaches in Brussels, Berlin, Budapest, Amsterdam, Munich and Dublin.

River Seine was compiled by Adrian Evans in 2009 Rivers of the World is a Thames Festival project delivered in partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms with support from HSBC Global Education Programme

www.riversoftheworld.org

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