The Seine (/seɪn/ SAYN, French: [sɛːn] (listen)) is a 777-kilometre-long (483 mi) river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Source-Seine, 30 kilometres (19 mi) northwest of Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre (and Honfleur on the left bank). It is navigable by ocean-going vessels as far as Rouen, 120 kilometres (75 mi) from the sea. Over 60 percent of its length, as far as Burgundy, is negotiable by commercial riverboats, and nearly its whole length is available for recreational boating; excursion boats offer sightseeing tours of the river banks in Paris, lined with top monuments including Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and Musée d'Orsay.
There are 37 bridges within Paris and dozens more spanning the river outside the city. Examples in Paris include the Pont Alexandre III 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.
The Seine in Paris
Topographic map of the Seine basin
|0 m (0 ft)|
|Length||777 km (483 mi)|
|Basin size||79,000 km2 (31,000 sq mi)|
|- location||Le Havre|
|- average||560 m3/s (20,000 cu ft/s)|
|- left||Yonne, Loing, Eure, Risle|
|- right||Ource, Aube, Marne, Oise, Epte|
The Seine rises in the commune of Source-Seine, about 30 kilometres (19 mi) northwest of Dijon. The source has been owned by the city of Paris since 1864. A number of closely associated small ditches or depressions provide the source waters, with an artificial grotto laid out to highlight and contain a deemed main source. The grotto includes a statue of a nymph, a dog, and a dragon. On the same site are the buried remains of a Gallo-Roman temple. Small statues of the dea Sequana "Seine goddess" and other ex voti found at the same place are now exhibited in the Dijon archaeological museum.
The Seine can artificially be divided into five parts:
The Seine is dredged and ocean-going vessels can dock at Rouen, 120 kilometres (75 mi) from the sea. Commercial craft (barges and push-tows) can use the river from Marcilly-sur-Seine, 516 kilometres (321 mi) to its mouth.
At Paris, there are 37 bridges. The river is only 24 metres (79 ft) above sea level 446 kilometres (277 mi) from its mouth, making it slow flowing and thus easily navigable.
The Seine Maritime, 123 kilometres (76 mi) from the English Channel at Le Havre to Rouen, is the only portion of the Seine used by ocean-going craft. The tidal section of the Seine Maritime is followed by a canalized section (Basse Seine) with four large multiple locks until the mouth of the Oise at Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (170 km). Smaller locks at Bougival and at Suresnes lift the vessels to the level of the river in Paris, where the junction with the Canal Saint-Martin is located. The distance from the mouth of the Oise is 72 km.
The Haute Seine, from Paris to Montereau-Fault-Yonne, is 98 km long and has 8 locks. At Charenton-le-Pont is the mouth of the Marne. 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 (48 km, 7 locks). From there on, the river is navigable only by small craft to Marcilly-sur-Seine (19 km, 4 locks). At Marcilly-sur-Seine the ancient Canal de la Haute-Seine used to allow vessels to continue all the way to Troyes. This canal has been abandoned since 1957.
The average depth of the Seine today at Paris is about 9.5 metres (31 ft). Until locks were installed to raise the level in the 1800s, the river was much shallower within the city most of the time, and consisted of a small channel of continuous flow bordered by sandy banks (depicted in many illustrations of the period). Today the depth is tightly controlled and the entire width of the river between the built-up banks on either side is normally filled with water. The average flow of the river is very low, only a few cubic metres per second, but much higher flows are possible during periods of heavy runoff. Special reservoirs upstream help to maintain a constant level for the river through the city, but during periods of extreme runoff significant increases in river level may occur.
A very severe period of high water in January 1910 resulted in extensive flooding throughout the city. The Seine again rose to threatening levels in 1924, 1955, 1982, 1999–2000, June 2016, and January 2018. 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 have been flooded. A 2002 report by the French government stated the worst-case Seine flood scenario would cost 10 billion euros and cut telephone service for a million Parisians, leaving 200,000 without electricity and 100,000 without gas.
In January 2018 the Seine again flooded, reaching a flood level of 5.84 metres (19 ft 2 ins) on 29 January. An official warning was issued on January 24 that heavy rainfall was likely to cause the river to flood. By January 27, the river was rising. The Deputy Mayor of Paris, Colombe Brossel, warned that the heavy rain was caused by climate change, and that "We have to understand that climatic change is not a word, it's a reality."
The basin area is 78,910 square kilometres (30,470 sq mi), 2 percent of which is forest and 78 percent cultivated land. In addition to Paris, three other cities with a population over 100,000 are in the Seine watershed: Le Havre at the estuary, Rouen in the Seine valley and Reims at the northern limit—with an annual urban growth rate of 0.2 percent. The population density is 201 per square kilometer.
Periodically the sewerage systems of Paris experience a failure known as sanitary sewer overflow, often in periods of high rainfall. Under these conditions untreated sewage is discharged into the Seine. The resulting oxygen deficit is principally caused by allochthonous bacteria larger than one micrometre in size. The specific activity of these sewage bacteria is typically three to four times greater than that of the autochthonous (background) bacterial population. Heavy metal concentrations in the Seine are relatively high. The pH level of the Seine at Pont Neuf has been measured to be 8.46. Despite this, the water quality has improved significantly over what several historians at various times in the past called an "open sewer".
According to his will, Napoleon, who died in 1821, wished to be buried on the banks of the Seine. His request was not granted.
At the 1900 Summer Olympics, the river hosted the rowing, swimming, and water polo events. Twenty-four years later, it hosted the rowing events again at Bassin d'Argenteuil, along the Seine north of Paris.
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 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.
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 is a popular site for 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.
During the 19th and the 20th centuries in particular the Seine inspired many artists, including:
A song 'La Seine' by Flavien Monod and Guy Lafarge was written in 1948.
Boulogne-Billancourt (French pronunciation: [bulɔɲ bijɑ̃kuʁ]; often colloquially called simply Boulogne, until 1924 Boulogne-sur-Seine) is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 8.2 km (5.1 mi) from the centre of Paris. Boulogne-Billancourt is a subprefecture of the Hauts-de-Seine department and the seat of the Arrondissement of Boulogne-Billancourt.Châtillon-sur-Seine
Châtillon-sur-Seine is a commune of the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.
The Musée du Pays Châtillonnais is housed in old abbey of Notre-Dame de Châtillon, within the town, known for its collection of pre-Roman and Roman relics (especially the famous Vix Grave).Communes of the Seine-Maritime department
The following is a list of the 711 communes of the French department of Seine-Maritime.
The communes cooperate in the following intercommunalities (as of 2017):
Métropole Rouen Normandie
Communauté d'agglomération Caux vallée de Seine
Communauté d'agglomération de Fécamp Caux Littoral
Communauté d'agglomération Havraise (Le Havre)
Communauté d'agglomération de la Région Dieppoise
Communauté de communes des 4 rivières (partly)
Communauté de communes interrégionale Aumale - Blangy-sur-Bresle (partly)
Communauté de communes Bray-Eawy
Communauté de communes Campagne de Caux
Communauté de Communes du Canton de Criquetot-l'Esneval
Communauté de communes Caux - Austreberthe
Communauté de communes Caux Estuaire
Communauté de communes de la Côte d'Albâtre
Communauté de communes Falaises du Talou
Communauté de communes Inter-Caux-Vexin
Communauté de communes de Londinières
Communauté de communes Plateau de Caux-Doudeville-Yerville
Communauté de communes de la Région d'Yvetot
Communauté de communes Roumois Seine (partly)
Communauté de communes Terroir de Caux
Communauté de communes des Villes Sœurs (partly)Communes of the Seine-et-Marne department
The following is a list of the 510 communes of the Seine-et-Marne department of France.
The communes cooperate in the following intercommunalities (as of 2017):
Communauté d'agglomération Coulommiers Pays de Brie
Communauté d'agglomération Grand Paris Sud Seine-Essonne-Sénart (partly)
Communauté d'agglomération de Marne et Gondoire
Communauté d'agglomération Melun Val de Seine
Communauté d'agglomération Paris - Vallée de la Marne
Communauté d'agglomération du Pays de Fontainebleau
Communauté d'agglomération du Pays de Meaux
Communauté d'agglomération Roissy Pays de France (partly)
Val d'Europe Agglomération
Communauté de communes de la Bassée - Montois
Communauté de communes de la Brie des Rivières et Châteaux
Communauté de communes La Brie Nangissienne
Communauté de communes des Deux Morin
Communauté de communes Gâtinais-Val de Loing
Communauté de communes Moret Seine et Loing
Communauté de communes de l'Orée de la Brie (partly)
Communauté de communes du Pays Créçois
Communauté de communes du Pays de l'Ourcq
Communauté de communes du Pays de Montereau
Communauté de communes Pays de Nemours
Communauté de communes Plaines et Monts de France
Communauté de communes Les Portes Briardes Entre Villes et Forêts
Communauté de communes du Provinois
Communauté de communes du Val BriardDieppe
Dieppe (French pronunciation: [djɛp]) is a coastal community in the Arrondissement of Dieppe in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region of northern France. The population stood at 34,670 in 2006.
A port on the English Channel, at the mouth of the Arques river, famous for its scallops, and with a regular ferry service to Newhaven in England, Dieppe also has a popular pebbled beach, a 15th-century castle and the churches of Saint-Jacques and Saint-Remi. The mouth of the Scie river lies in the Canton of Dieppe-Ouest at Hautot-sur-Mer.
The inhabitants of the town of Dieppe are called Dieppois (m) and Dieppoise (f) in French.Eu, Seine-Maritime
Eu (IPA: [ø] (listen)) is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region in northern France.
Eu is located near the coast in the eastern part of the department, near the border with Picardy.
Its inhabitants are known in French as the Eudois.Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau (; French pronunciation: [fɔ̃tɛnblo]) is a commune in the metropolitan area of Paris, France. It is located 55.5 kilometres (34.5 mi) south-southeast of the centre of Paris. Fontainebleau is a sub-prefecture of the Seine-et-Marne department, and it is the seat of the arrondissement of Fontainebleau. The commune has the largest land area in the Île-de-France region; it is the only one to cover a larger area than Paris itself.
Fontainebleau, together with the neighbouring commune of Avon and three other smaller communes, form an urban area of 39,713 inhabitants (according to the 2001 census). This urban area is a satellite of Paris.
Fontainebleau is renowned for the large and scenic forest of Fontainebleau, a favourite weekend getaway for Parisians, as well as for the historic Château de Fontainebleau, which once belonged to the kings of France. It is also the home of INSEAD, one of the world's most elite business schools.
Inhabitants of Fontainebleau are sometimes called Bellifontains.Hauts-de-Seine
Hauts-de-Seine (French: [o d(ə) sɛn]; literally Seine Heights) is a department of France. It is part of the Métropole du Grand Paris and of the Île-de-France region, and covers the western inner suburbs of Paris. It is small and densely populated and contains the modern office, theatre, and shopping complex known as La Défense.Mantes-la-Jolie
Mantes-la-Jolie (French pronunciation: [mɑ̃t.la.ʒɔ.li], often informally called Mantes) is a commune based in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France. It is located to the west of Paris, 48.4 km (30.1 mi) from the centre of the capital. Mantes-la-Jolie is a subprefecture of the department.Melun
Melun (French pronunciation: [məlœ̃], local pronunciation: [mølɛ̃] (listen)) is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France. It is a southeastern suburb of Paris 41.4 km (25.7 miles) from the centre of Paris. Melun is the prefecture of the Seine-et-Marne, and the seat of an arrondissement. Its inhabitants are called Melunais.Neuilly-sur-Seine
Neuilly-sur-Seine (French pronunciation: [nøji syʁ sɛn]) is a French commune just west of Paris, in the department of Hauts-de-Seine. A suburb of Paris, Neuilly is immediately adjacent to the city and directly extends it. The area is composed of mostly wealthy, select residential neighbourhoods, and many corporate headquarters are located there. It is the wealthiest and most expensive suburb of Paris. It is also often recognised as one of the safest and most child-friendly Parisian suburbs.Paris
Paris (French pronunciation: [paʁi] (listen)) is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres (41 square miles) and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.
The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The larger Paris metropolitan area had a population of 12,532,901 in 2015. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion (US$850 billion) in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, and was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second-most expensive city in the world, behind Singapore and ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva.The city is a major rail, highway, and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle (the second busiest airport in Europe) and Paris-Orly. Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, and is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, with 262 million passengers in 2015.Paris is especially known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, and the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe. The historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité; the Eiffel Tower, constructed for the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889; the Grand Palais and Petit Palais, built for the Paris Universal Exposition of 1900; the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Élysées, and the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur on the hill of Montmartre. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China. It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London.The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris. The 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris hosted the Olympic Games in 1900, 1924 and will host the 2024 Summer Olympics. The 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, and the 1960, 1984, and 2016 UEFA European Championships were also held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there.Rouen
Rouen (Rouen in French ; (French pronunciation: [ʁwɑ̃]) is a city on the River Seine in the north of France. It is the capital of the region of Normandy. Formerly one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe, Rouen was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy during the Middle Ages. It was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled both England and large parts of modern France from the 11th to the 15th centuries.
The population of the metropolitan area (in French: agglomération) at the 2011 census was 655,013, with the city proper having an estimated population of 111,557. People from Rouen are known as Rouennais.Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis
Saint-Denis (French pronunciation: [sɛ̃d(ə)ni]) is a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 9.4 km (5.8 mi) from the centre of Paris. Saint-Denis is a subprefecture (French: sous-préfecture) of the department of Seine-Saint-Denis, being the seat of the arrondissement of Saint-Denis.
Saint-Denis is home to the royal necropolis of the Basilica of Saint Denis and was also the location of the associated abbey. It is also home to France's national football and rugby stadium, the Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
Saint-Denis is a formerly industrial suburb currently changing its economic base.
Inhabitants of Saint-Denis are called Dionysiens.Seine-Maritime
Seine-Maritime (French pronunciation: [sɛn maʁitim]) is a department of France in the Normandy region of northern France. It is situated on the northern coast of France, at the mouth of the Seine, and includes the cities of Rouen and Le Havre. Until 1955 it was named Seine-Inférieure.Seine-Saint-Denis
Seine-Saint-Denis (French pronunciation: [sɛnsɛ̃d(ə)ni]) is a French department located in the Île-de-France region. Locally, it is often referred to colloquially as quatre-vingt treize or neuf trois (i.e. "ninety-three" or "nine three"), after its official administrative number, 93.
The learned and rarely used demonym for the inhabitants is Séquano-Dionysiens; more common is Dionysiens.Seine-et-Marne
Seine-et-Marne (pronounced [sɛn e maʁn]) is a French department, named after the Seine and Marne rivers, and located in the Île-de-France region.Seine fishing
Seine ( SAYN) fishing (or seine-haul fishing) is a method of fishing that employs a fishing net called a seine, that hangs vertically in the water with its bottom edge held down by weights and its top edge buoyed by floats. Seine nets can be deployed from the shore as a beach seine, or from a boat.
Boats deploying seine nets are known as seiners. Two main types of seine net are deployed from seiners: purse seines and Danish seines.Île-de-France
Île-de-France (; French: [il də fʁɑ̃s] (listen), literally "Island of France"), often called the région parisienne ("Paris Region"), contains the city of Paris, and is the most populous of the 18 regions of France. It covers 12,012 square kilometres (4,638 square miles), or two percent of the national territory, and has official estimated population of 12,213,364 as of January 1, 2019, or 18.2% of the population of France. The region accounts for nearly 30 percent of the French Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The region is made up of eight administrative departments: Paris, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Seine-et-Marne, Val-de-Marne, Val-d'Oise and Yvelines. It was created as the "District of the Paris Region" in 1961, then renamed in 1976 after the historic province of Île-de-France, when its status was aligned with the other French administrative regions created in 1972. Residents are sometimes referred to as Franciliens, an administrative word created in the 1980s.
The GDP of the region in 2016 was €681 billion (or $850 billion USD at market exchange rates). It has the highest per-capita GDP among regions in France and the third-highest of regions in the European Union. In 2018, almost all of the twenty-eight French companies listed in the Fortune Global 500 had their headquarters in the Paris region.Besides the landmarks of Paris, the region has many important historic sites, including the Palace of Versailles and the Palace of Fontainebleau, as well as the most-visited tourist attraction in France, Disneyland Paris.