Saturday, April 21, 2012

S = Seine River, Paris - A to Z

Romance, Intrigue, Trysts . . .it's the perfect setting. 



The Seine River in Paris, tour boats on left, by DG Hudson


Seine River, Paris


The Seine (Fr: La Seine) is a 776 km (482 mi) long river and important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. The Seine rises near Dijon in eastern central France, and flows through Paris and into the English Channel.  The river is only 24 metres (80 ft) above sea level 446 km (277 mi) from its mouth, making it slow flowing and easily navigable.



Seine River from the Eiffel Tower, by DG Hudson



The 1910 Great Flood of Paris

In January 1910, the Seine flooded 20 feet (6.1 m) above normal, drowning streets throughout the city of Paris and sending thousands of Parisians to emergency shelters. The 1910 Great Flood of Paris was the worst the city had seen since 1658 when the water reached only a few centimetres higher.


The Seine again rose to threatening levels in 1924, 1955, 1982 and 1999–2000. After a first-level 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 be flooded. 


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Evening by the Seine



Bridge view of the Seine River, Paris, by DG Hudson

We managed to walk by or across the Seine at least once a day.  I haggled with a Spanish painter who displayed his canvases by the tour boats, on the banks (the quai) of the Seine River.  (Mostly, he tried to get us to haggle.)  He ended up throwing in one extra painting because we came back a second time. 


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Paris Beach Scene


Since 2002, Paris-Plages (Paris Beaches) has been held every summer on the Paris banks of the Seine River: a transformation of the paved banks into a beach with sand and facilities for sunbathing and entertainment.  Riverside thoroughfares become car-free resorts for pedestrians. The Paris Plages starts around July 20 and lasts four weeks.   It's more reasonable than the Côte d'Azur.




Seine with Alexander III bridge in background , by DG Hudson


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Seine Trivia


After the burning at the stake of Joan of Arc in 1431, her ashes were thrown into the Seine from the medieval stone Mathilde Bridge.  Per Wikipedia, In 2006, Joan's 'reported remains' were tested by a forensics team and proven to be false, so this story of the ashes rings true.


According to his will, Napoleon, who died in 1821, wished to be buried on the banks of the Seine. His request was not granted.  He rests now at the Panthéon, a secular mausoleum containing the remains of distinguished French citizens.


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Intrigue and Desperation

The Seine River was a popular site for suicides and the disposal of murder victims.  In 2007, fifty-five bodies were retrieved from its waters; in February 2008, the body of a celebrity was found there.  Many large rivers have this same problem.

In the late 1700s and early 1800s over the space of six years, 306 bodies were retrieved, the highest number in one day being 16. They were kept in the morgue for many years, and some were never identified.  (The French Revolution covered 1789–1799.)

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DG's Theme:  Paris, Etc. (Art, Film, Places and People)

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Have you seen the Seine River? Any impressions?  If not, do you like walking by a water source or do you prefer the woodsy terrain?  Please share in the comments.
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References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seine  The Seine River

http://www.bateauxparisiens.com/cruise-tours-paris.html  River Cruises in Paris

http://www.paris.fr/english/visit/highlights/paris-plages/rub_8208_stand_34146_port_18969   City of Paris, Paris Plages

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris-Plages  Paris-Plages


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17 comments:

  1. Hey D.G.

    this was very interesting info on the Siene and I just had to share this on my A.D.'s FAV 5 of the A to Z challenge today! Wow, very interesting share! Come check it out- http://adduling.wordpress.com/

    I am working my way through, you are #1, so if you do not see my FAV 5 yet, I'm still working, so please check back!

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    A.D.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks, A.D., I'm honoured. I stopped by your blog for a visit.

      Glad you liked the photos. I still have some interesting ones to come for the last few days. Writing about the city has stirred up all my memories of Paris.

      Thanks for the follow, too.

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  2. do you still have that painting--would you put it up---i simply love hearing about your travels!!

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    1. How nice, Lynn, I'm glad you like hearing about my travels. I'd love to do more. I replied on your blog about the sketch.

      I first started my journal-and-sketch thing when we were in Key West, and enjoyed reading it afterward, so I did the same in Paris. Sure helps when you want to use it for blog posts later.

      Delete
  3. I've seen it from the air. I love water...rivers, creeks, ocean...just being able to watch the rolling surface, or better yet, hear its movement is calming for me.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Water calms me, too, if it's a lake or a slower river. On the other hand, the smell of the ocean invigorates.

      Some of the more meditative cultures emphasize the calming power of water.

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  4. Wow this is a great history lesson I like it! Pix are beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed them. I planned my posts around the photos I had taken, but I had to research the history info.

      Thanks for following and for dropping by.

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  5. The pictures are really impressive. Sounds like the Seine floods as often as the Mississippi.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. Glad you liked the photos.

      I didn't know the Mississippi flooded that often. Natural disasters are never any fun.

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  6. I used to live on the beach, but then we moved to the mountains, and to say I miss the ocean is an understatement.

    I love the Seine, sooo romantic. And interesting. One of my characters has to take a boat from La Havre to Rouen.

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    1. Sounds interesting, Anne. Male or female character?

      I like walking on the beach but prefer living in an area that has some elevation to it. That way you get better views.

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  7. An excellent, informative post. Thank you!

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    1. Glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by, Sara.

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  8. Beautiful post. I've seen the beaches created in Berlin as well, and can only assume they copied the French. My husband and I traveled there a few years ago and heard Beachboys music blaring all over the river area, with surfing parties being held by German businesses.

    I live near the coast in Northern Sonoma County (wine country) California, and would die if I didn't have a body of water to go visit. But I do like mountains. Western Canada is pretty yummy, too, especially Whistler and Lake Louise.

    Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's great that the mayors and cities do this for the residents and visitors who can't get out of the city when it's hot and humid.

      Whistler and Lake Louise are exceptional, I like Banff too.

      Hope you get to that goal, Sharon. Thanks for stopping by and for following.

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  9. Hi DG .. great tour - I'm loving it .. and seeing the pictures of the Seine, together with some geographical features - I hadn't known it had flooded. Art storage .. I hope they can move fast enough ... I hope you're going to do a write up on Underground Paris .. I shall see ..

    Cheers - love these - thanks .. Hilary

    ReplyDelete

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