The Seine – River of the Impressionists
Bathing, regattas, open air cafes ... The Seine has been the privileged source of inspiration for Impressionist painters.
Sequana, "like a snake" The Seine owes its name to a Roman goddess who was worshiped at the source of the river, the Langres plateau, more than 2000 years ago. Indeed, the river which measures 776 kilometres, presents a succession of meanders crossing Champagne, the coasts of the Ile de France, Brie, on its way downstream to Paris. Discover the variety of landscapes: wooded banks, chalky slopes, steep banks and flat banks. The Seine flows gently (26 meters of difference between Paris and sea-level), its flow can vary from 30 m³ / s in dry year to 2400 m³ / s as was the case during the historic flood of 1910. During dry summers, the river is sometimes dried up to Châtillon-sur-Seine. In 1966, the commissioning of the reservoir was created to allow the regulation of the river and its tributaries upstream of Paris. It restores water at a maximum flow of 35 m³ / s and merges economic to leisure between hydroelectric production, boating, fishing and tourism.
Take a rivercruise on the Seine, and make a visit to Versailles! The festivities begin in Paris. Cruise under the bridges and experience "Paris by Night." Join a visit to the Castle of Auvers-sur-Oise, famous in French painting, the first museum in the world to propose such a "show route." Explore this romantic destination, famous for lunches on the grass, retro cafes and chic strolls on the beaches of Normandy. Right bank, left bank ... each stop adds a touch of colour to the board. Conflans-Sainte-Honorine is the capital of the boatsmen. Vernon, home of Claude Monet's legendary residence in Giverny, which inspired him with the series of "Nymphéas". The Andelys and its castle Gaillard awaken the memory of Richard Lionheart, Duke of Normandy and King of England in the seventh century. Next Rouen, city of art, known for the martyrdom of Jeanne d’Arc burned alive at the stake. The sea is not far, and here begins the route of the abbeys which leads to Jumièges, pearl of Caudebec-en-Caux, with its museum of the Seine marine and its church of the fifteenth century.
While the captains manouver with dexterity, let your eyes rise to admire three famous bridges:
- the Brotonne Bridge (1977) at Caudebec-en-Caux, which holds the world record for the span of concrete structures.
- the Suspension bridge of Tancarville (1959) which presents the largest span of Europe. Built in 1959, it was renovated in 1996-98 because the cables broke. It is the key element of the economic activity in Le Havre and its region.
- the Normandy Bridge (1995) nicknamed "l'enfance des ordinateur" because it was a computer that calculated its central span data. It held the world record of 856 meters, but Japan dethroned it in 1999, with 34 meters more.
These remarkable constructions have eclipsed the folklore of the past: crossing of the Seine by steamers, and the cafes which have bloomed on the banks for the awaiting users. In Honfleur, the Impressionists take center stage. The famous Saint Simeon farm, frequented by Boudin, Monet, Bazilli and Jongkind, is only equalled by the beautiful Alabaster Coast - classified natural heritage of the Pays de Caux - on the right, and Côte Fleurie on the left with its sandy beaches and its low cliffs. The Seine, spoilt by its generous nature and the talent of its artists, has made our customers happy since 1998. It's up to us to preserve this magical river!