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Regards sur la culture: La Seine au cœur de Paris
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The Seine divides Paris and provides a striking centerpiece to the city. The boats seen behind Camille and Mado in this episode are probably houseboats (péniches) … there are many in Paris, including ones that have been turned into restaurants. The bateaux-mouches are a familiar site on the Seine: once working ferryboats, they now carry tourists.

Bordered by parks and spectacular public buildings, the Seine is crossed by 32 bridges. The pont des Arts, which traverses the Seine from the Louvre to the Institut de France, is one of the most beautiful spots in Paris to sit at sunset and watch the river sweep in a curve, dividing around the end of the île de la Cité. The Institut de France houses the Académie française, founded in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu as a place for intellectuals to gather for literary discussion. On the quais to each side of the Seine can be found the bookstalls called bouquinistes, which sell, among other things, old books, maps, engravings, and sheet music.

In the center of the Seine are the two islands, the famous île de la Cité (home to Notre Dame), and the smaller île Saint-Louis. Less well-known, île Saint Louis has the feel of a small town (in fact, when its residents leave the island, they speak of “going to Paris”!). The small streets of the island are lined with lovely townhouses, antique shops, small restaurants, and stylish shops. The quai d’Anjou was once inhabited by artists Honoré Daumier and Eugène Delacroix, and writers Charles Baudelaire and John Dos Passos.

One of the most famous shops on the island is Berthillon, an elegant ice cream parlor serving some unusual flavors (parfums).



Est-ce qu’il y a une étendue d’eau près de chez vous (un fleuve, la mer, un lac)? Décrivez-le.

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