Wednesday, December 11, 2013
This famous river flows from east to west through the heart of the city and divides Paris's Left Bank and Right Bank.
There are 37 bridges within Paris and dozens more spanning the river outside the city. Examples in Paris include the Pont Louis-Philippe and Pont Neuf, the latter of which dates back to 1607. Outside the city, examples include the Pont de Normandie, one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the world, which links Le Havre to Honfleur.
Rev: "Stunning walk taking in Paris in the sun, by the river with my wife. Stunning views. Have also taken a boat trip along the river before which is a must as it's a wonderful way to take in the city!"
Rev: "The only question about the Seine is how you'll experience it. Take a cruise, especially after dark when the buildings are floodlit and the Eiffel Tower sparkles at the top of the hour. Walk along the banks (preferably in daylight or when it's still crowded). Cross all of the bridges. Have the ring scam tried on you a few times. You don't have to do it all at once, just avoid the temptation to do all of your travel by Metro and take advantage of opportunities to see more of the river that is the heart of Paris."
Rev: "If you visit Paris it will be hard to miss the River Seine as it flows right through the heart of Paris. There are many ways you can experience it: views from the Eiffel Tower are exceptional; crossing the many bridges; walking alongside it; take a river cruise, especially at night when the city is lit up."
Rev: "We caught the boat from the Ile de la Cite, itself well worth a visit because the little island is the energetic centre of the city. The boat ride is inexpensive and lasts for just over an hour during which you get to see many of the iconic sites of Paris including the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame cathedral. The views from the river give some great angles for photos so being out on deck is a must for photographers. The commentary is interesting and in English as well as French. I'd say this is a good start to a visit of Paris because you get a potted history and views of some sites all in a short space of time - then you can go and explore for yourself in more detail. For a different experience you may also want to try the evening cruise to see this beautiful city illuminated, its much more romantic seen from the water -enjoy!"
Upstream from Paris seven locks ensure navigation to Saint Mammès, where the Loing mouth is situated. Through an eighth lock the river Yonne is reached at Montereau-Fault-Yonne. From the mouth of the Yonne, larger ships can continue upstream to Nogent-sur-Seine. From there on, the river is navigable only by small craft. All navigation ends abruptly at Marcilly-sur-Seine, where the ancient Canal de la Haute-Seine used to allow vessels to continue all the way to Troyes. This canal has been abandoned for many years.
Rev: "You can see it from different bridges across the city , walk alongside it and have a river cruise. We had viewed the river when walking alongside throughout the time we were in Paris and decided to inquire about a cruise. We walked upto pier 3 without reservations to book an hour cruise. There was no fuss as the ticket operators were very friendly and were able to fit us on a cruise later that evening which cost 10 euros. Whilst on the cruise you could listen to the guide telling you about the history of Paris and the river as well as pointing out the landmarks you were passing or you can walk about the boat taking photos of the city. The cruise was scheduled only to be for an hour however it lasted 1 hour 45 minutes which was fantastic. Its a definite must do when in Paris its in-expensive, a lot of fun and a great way to see all the landmarks in the city."
Rev: "The Seine is one thing London doesn't have. You disagree? Okay, how many times on a given London day do you cross the Thames? Right. It is not a good day in Paris unless you (re)cross the Seine at least once. It is the Aorta of Paris, changeable with the time of day and season of the year. You cross it like a grand boulevard, over different bridges with into different epochs of the city's history,skirting islands, ogling the Eiffel Tower, etc etc. That said, I love the Thames, too….I just don't get to/need to use it as much."
Rev: "As an alternative to the crowded metro and buses, the Batobus proved to be a very safe, enjoyable and inexpensive way to travel to and from the main attractions that are within walking distance of the Seine, on either bank. The locations of the 8 stops afford convenient access to all of the main attractions. We purchased the 5-day pass and took advantage of the opportunity for unlimited boarding and disembarking use that is a feature of that option. The vessels themselves are pleasant and provide great views of what's on the river, the beautiful bridges and the riverside structures. I only wish it didn't stop running so early in the evening."
Rev: "We booked the cheap and cheerful 10 Euro /1 hour boat tour by French company CEETIZ. The tour can be booked on line - no drama`s Show up at pier 3 - just below the Eiffel Tower any time between the morning and 21.30hrs (winter schedule) and the boat casts off approx. every hour. It heads off towards Notre Dame and returns to pier 3 in about 65 /70 minutes. There is a commentary provided at each seat - also there is a customer service rep who also adds colour commentary along the way. there`s no refreshments etc on board but None are advertised or expected. Its a nice trip and you can go outside onto the deck an take pictures as conditions allow........It`s a `no brainer` 10 Euro`s each for that experience - get it booked!"
Rev: "My husband and I walked along the banks of the Seine on a number of occasions to explore the city and when we were on our way to specific attractions. This really is an iconic part of Paris and whether you walk the banks or take a cruise there is lots to see of this beautiful city by sticking to this river. If walking, the paths along its banks are excellent and very easy access. Highly recommended."
Rev: "You can't avoid the Seine in Paris, and that is a wonderful thing. It's woven into the city's culture, history, and daily life (at least for tourists). But there s one experience I cannot recommend highly enough: cruising the river at sunset or at night. There are several ways to do this, and they aren't that expensive, nor do they need to be. I have been fortunate in being able to travel a fair amount and enjoy fine experiences. But nothing compares to the joy of seeing the city glide by while the lights sparkle on the water while you are with the one you love. My wife and I have tradition of doing this on our final night in Paris. It is our way of saying farewell to our favorite city and pledging our return. It is a wonderful way to wrap up a visit."
Until the 1930s, a towing system using a chain on the bed of the river existed to facilitate movement of barges upriver. World Canals by Charles Hadfield, David and Charles 1986. The Seine River was one of the original objectives of Operation Overlord in 1944. The Allies' intention was to reach the Seine by 90 days after D-Day. That objective was met. An anticipated assault crossing of the river never materialized as German resistance in France crumbled by early September 1944. However, the First Canadian Army did encounter resistance immediately west of the Seine and fighting occurred in the Forêt de la Londe as Allied troops attempted to cut off the escape across the river of parts of the German 7th Army in the closing phases of the Battle of Normandy.
Some of the victims of the Paris massacre of 1961 drowned in the Seine after being thrown from the Pont Saint-Michel and other locations in Paris. Dredging in the 1960s mostly eliminated tidal bores on the river, known in French as “le mascaret.” In 1991 UNESCO added the banks of the Seine in Paris the Rive Gauche and Rive Droite to its list of World Heritage Sites in Europe. Since 2002 Paris-Plages has been held every summer on the Paris banks of the Seine: a transformation of the paved banks into a beach with sand and facilities for sunbathing and entertainment.
The river was a popular site for suicides and the disposal of bodies of murder victims. In 2007, 55 bodies were retrieved from its waters; in February 2008, the body of supermodel-turned-activist Katoucha Niane was found there. 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.