La Seine and Its Bridges, Paris

29 Reviews

  • port de Suffren boats delights
    port de Suffren boats delights
    by gwened
  • pl de la rotonde to canals
    pl de la rotonde to canals
    by gwened
  • Pont Mirabeau
    Pont Mirabeau
    by Nemorino

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  • BeatChick's Profile Photo

    Most Ancient Clock in Paris

    by BeatChick Updated May 8, 2006

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    In the historical centre of Paris, on the Île de la Cité, at the meeting point of the Quai de l'Horloge, Boulevard du Palais & the Pont au Change, on the Tour de l'Horloge, ON the corner of the medieval Conciergerie building is the most antiquated clock (horloge) in all of Paris! Not only is it the oldest but, yes, dear readers, it was also the first public clock in Paris. It lends its imagery & name to the nearby quai (Quay of the Clock) and continues the Gothic note of this historic area that is so closely interwoven with royalty.

    While it is not exactly off-the-beaten path, most people do overlook this interesting architectural curiosity that had been marking time since its installation by Charles V in 1370 (or 1371 dependent upon your resources). It was damaged during the Revolution and several reports I've read state that it no longer works BUT the dials do seem to move! You see on my photo that the face reads one time (around 12:07pm) yet in this photo you see another time (9:24am). Here's another photo but I cannot see the time on it clearly.

    In any case, the clock was refurbished by Henri III who added the inscription that would read in English:
    He who already gave him two crowns will give him a third one
    This is in reference to God giving Henri III a heavenly crown after He already gave him the crowns of France & Poland.

    The blue background of the clock you'll see covered with the very royal fleurs-de-lys while the figure on the left signifies Law & the figure on the right signifies Justice.

    Photos: April 2003 & Feb 2006

    l'Horloge - Conciergerie Time is Ticking!  The Oldest Clock in Paris!
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    Les Bouquinistes

    by CALSF Written Jan 5, 2005

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    Along the banks of the Seine between the Pont des Arts and Pont Neuf you will find lots of bouquiniste stalls. They sell second-hand books, posters, and different objects. Nowadays they sell lots of souvenirs as well. You can walk from stall to stall checking the offerings.

    A bouquiniste stall

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  • BeatChick's Profile Photo

    Sara & Gerald Murphy

    by BeatChick Updated Sep 3, 2005

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    Gerald & Sarah Murphy's Home
    23 Quai des Grands Augustins
    (or 1 rue Git-le-Cœur)
    (along the Left Bank of the Seine)

    The Murphys were the type of folks of which myth was made. F. Scott Fitzgerald placed them as the Dick & Nicole Divers characters in Tender is the Night, in fact they were great friends of the Fitzgeralds.

    They were also great friends of the Hemingways. Hemingway attributed the demise of his marriage to his first wife, Hadley, to the influence of his rich friends, the Murphys, because they introduced to him the woman who tore his marriage apart (not that HE didn't have a hand in the matter); all chronicled in his memoir of Paris, A Moveable Feast.

    This address is just around the corner from where Oscar Wilde's niece, Dolly Wilde, used to live at 1 rue Git-le-Cœur, and just down the street from e.e. cumming's "pisseur" incident. If you travel further down the quai on your way to the Musée d'Orsay, you'll discover where Oscar Wilde was "dying beyond" his means at 19 Quai Voltaire.

    Their most famous address, however, was the Villa America on the Cap d'Antibes which Fitzgerald wrote about. It may be these writing that popularized this area of the Riviera, lent it a certain '20s flair, a cachet. People such as Dorothy Parker used to visit them here.

    Also great friends to Cole & Linda Porter as testified in the recent movie De-Lovely (starring Ashley Judd and Kevin Kline).

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  • kenyneo's Profile Photo

    Pont Des Arts

    by kenyneo Written Sep 22, 2004

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    The only bridge that is made of wood and is for pedestrain only ...thats where I am supposed to meet my friend Romain at 9.15am but there was an accident in the tube so I was late. I am so sorry Romain.

    And when I was there...I discover that he bought some croissant and coffee ..how nice of him...and we had breakfast on the Pont des Arts . It was a beautiful morning ....and its cool to dine on the bridge (my first )...but then the wind came and blew our paper bags away ...there goes our serviette ...lol...

    Me and my friend Romain from St Etienne
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  • Henrik_rrb's Profile Photo

    Just for a bit of relaxing

    by Henrik_rrb Written May 6, 2004

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    Go to the side of the big river, Seine, and then just follow it, anyway you want. Just relax, look at the boats, the people and before you know it you will have found a new thing to see...

    The river goes right through the Paris-centrum, which means it's easy to go from one famous piece of building to another. Just take a few others around the Siene, and you'll have seen a lot!

    Seine

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  • BeatChick's Profile Photo

    Dolly Wilde!

    by BeatChick Updated Sep 3, 2005

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    Dolly Wilde's place
    1 rue Gît-le-Cœur
    (close to the Left Bank of the Seine)

    A close friend of Natalie Barney's and the flamboyant & unusual niece of Oscar Wilde (gee, wonder where those characteristics came from!), Dolly had quite the reputation in the '30s while living in Paris. She also looked remarkably like her uncle.

    Website below provides link to a biography about her called Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story of Dolly Wilde.


    This was also the residence of Gilbert Seldes, a close friend of e. e. cummings, the poet, and he was the managing editor of The Dial. Seldes called this building Chez Murphy because of its proximity to Gerald & Sara Murphy's apartment (just around the corner).

    I read about both of these expatriates in Expatriate Paris: A Cultural & Literary Guide to Paris of the 1920's by Arlen Hansen, a fabulous compendium of Paris stories.

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  • Dee22's Profile Photo

    River shopping

    by Dee22 Updated Jan 14, 2004

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    At the path-walk along the Seine (mostly on the left bank) you'll get the chance to do a little 'river shopping'.
    There is lots and lots of these small street-shops selling old books, posters, postcards and stuff like that.

    You'll find thngs at all price levels and it's very interesting to just look even though you don't wanna buy anything.

    Almost 250 of these 'salesmen' get an 'official license' from the town every year.

    It's shopping-time! Need a postcard?

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Allee des Cygnes

    by Nemorino Updated Oct 8, 2012

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    If you are one of those people who can't get enough of the River Seine, then this is your place. Here you can walk (or cycle) along this nice promenade and have the Seine on both sides of you, because it is on a long narrow island right in the middle of the river. Cygnes means swans, by the way, but I didn't see any, just a couple of ducks.

    Second photo: Boats at the Port de Grenelle, with some modern buildings in the background, as seen from the Allee des Cygnes.

    Third photo: The Statue of Liberty, at the downstream tip of the island near the Grenelle Bridge.

    Fourth photo: Looking upstream from the Grenelle Bridge.

    Location on the Vélib' map

    Allee des Cygnes Port de Grenelle Statue of Liberty View from Pont de Grenelle

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  • GUYON's Profile Photo

    Paris Plage (2)

    by GUYON Updated Jun 19, 2005

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    During the Paris Plage Time, you can eat on the Quays.

    And drink too.

    On the picture, it was a bottle of water. Believe me.

    But you can bring a wine or a beer bottle.

    2005 : from 21 July and 20 August.

    Paris Plage
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    Paris Plage (1)

    by GUYON Updated Jun 19, 2005

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    From Mid-July to Mid-August, each Year, the Quays are open to the tourists and to the Parisians.

    The town supplys freely deck chairs, umbrellars, balls for the "petanque" (a French sport), skating way, bicycles, concerts, books, etc...
    Diving in the Seine is forbiden and ... dangerous.

    The right bank of the Seine is devoted to the amusement between Concorde (West) to Mazas (East).

    2005 : from 21 July to 20 August. Focused on Brasil (Samba)

    Paris Plage
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  • BEETLE_VERTE's Profile Photo

    Bouquinistes

    by BEETLE_VERTE Written Apr 11, 2004

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    Try looking for them... Les Bouquinistes are an old tradition of books sellers lined on the Seine edges. You'll find vintage and new books, pictures, photos, music, postcards... and a wee bit of the Paris ambiance!

    I liked it a lot.

    Bouquinistes

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Auteuil: Mirabeau Bridge

    by Nemorino Updated Jan 29, 2016

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    Mirabeau Bridge (Le Pont Mirabeau) is well known in France because of the poem of the same name by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880 – 1918), a sad and deceptively simple poem about the end of a love affair. His lover, the painter Marie Laurencin (1883-1956), was living in Auteuil at the time (in Rue Jean-de-La-Fontaine), and this was the bridge he often crossed to visit her before moving to Auteuil himself (Rue Gros) in 1909.

    Le Pont Mirabeau

    Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
    Et nos amours
    Faut-il qu'il m'en souvienne
    La joie venait toujours après la peine

    Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
    Les jours s'en vont je demeure

    Les mains dans les mains restons face à face
    Tandis que sous
    Le pont de nos bras passe
    Des éternels regards l'onde si lasse

    Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
    Les jours s'en vont je demeure

    L'amour s'en va comme cette eau courante
    L'amour s'en va
    Comme la vie est lente
    Et comme l'Espérance est violente

    Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
    Les jours s'en vont je demeure

    Passent les jours et passent les semaines
    Ni temps passé
    Ni les amours reviennent
    Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine

    Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
    Les jours s'en vont je demeure
    There is a recording, made in 1913, of Apollinaire himself reading the poem.

    Le Pont Mirabeau has been set to music a number of times, and has been sung by Léo Ferré, Yvette Giraud and Marc Lavoine, among many others.

    The poem has often been translated into English, for instance by the American poet Richard Wilber.

    As for the bridge, it was built in the 1890s and was a remarkable technical achievement at the time. It connects Auteuil on the Right Bank with Javel (15th arrondissement) on the Left.

    The bridge was named after the Count of Mirabeau (1749-1791), a rebellious aristocrat whose role in the early stages of the French Revolution remains controversial to this day. (On the Auteuil side a street and a Métro station are also named after Mirabeau.)

    Second photo: On Mirabeau Bridge there are four statues by the sculptor Jean-Antonin Injalbert (1845-1933). The statue in my photo is entitled “The City of Paris” and shows a young woman with bare arms but wearing shoulder- and breast-armor, and holding a battle axe in her left hand. The expression on her face is presumably meant to show determination, but to me she just seems to be pouting. In any case, the really spooky thing about this sculpture (aside from the hose coming out of her posterior) is that the lady’s face looks very similar to the photos of Marie Laurencin when she was in her twenties and involved with Apollinaire. (Am I the only one who has ever noticed this?) The similarity is certainly just a coincidence, however, since Marie Laurencin was only thirteen and was just an unknown schoolgirl when the statue was being made.

    Jean-Antonin Injalbert, by the way, was the sculptor who later made the monument to the philosopher Auguste Comte for the Place de la Sorbonne (fourth photo). Still later he sculpted the four lovely caryatids on the façade of the Gobelin Gallery (fourth photo) and towards the end of his life he even made a statue of the Count of Mirabeau for the Panthéon. (I neglected to take a photo of that statue, but will do so next time. Mirabeau was the first person to be buried in the Panthéon, in 1791, but also the first person whose body was removed, in 1794, because of suspicion that he had been in cahoots with the king all along.)

    Third and fourth photos: Looking upstream from Mirabeau Bridge, we can see the Eiffel Tower, but also the Statue of Liberty at the tip of Swan Island.

    Fifth photo: Looking downstream from Mirabeau Bridge, we have a typical river scene with barges for transporting building materials – still one of the essential functions of the Seine.

    Directions: Location on the Vélib’ map
    Location, aerial view and photo on monumentum.fr
    Website: http://lechatsurmonepaule.over-blog.fr/article-rrr-69516720.html


    Next Auteuil review: the southern tip of Auteuil (16th)

    Pont Mirabeau Statue on Mirabeau Bridge Looking upstream from Mirabeau Bridge Looking upstream from Mirabeau Bridge Looking downstream from Mirabeau Bridge
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  • Peret's Profile Photo

    So romantic

    by Peret Written Oct 29, 2005

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    Probabily you know, and it's true. One of the most romantic thinks in the world: a walk near the Seine.
    Problablement ja ho sabeu, i és veritat. Una de les coses més romàntiques el món: Un passeig vora el Sena.

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  • klebsiella's Profile Photo

    Les Bateaux

    by klebsiella Written Apr 4, 2005

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    If you go to Paris you won't miss the beautiful cruises in the Seine, in the "Bateaux Mouches". I really enjoyed it and not even the rain and the thunders that begun when we were right in the middle of the river (near Notre Damme) made it worse: in fact, it was great!

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  • Aaron7's Profile Photo

    Pont des ArtsThis is a full...

    by Aaron7 Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Pont des Arts
    This is a full sized bridge just for pedestrians that crosses the Seine between the Louvre and the Instiut de France. It makes for a very casual place to stop for a picnic.
    Metro: Pont Neuf

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