Infobox_River | river_name = Seine
caption = The Seine as seen from the
Pont Royal. The Musée d'Orsayis visible in the left foreground and the Grand Palaisis in the right background.
mouth = The
Bay of the Seineat Le Havre) coord|49|26|5|N|0|7|3|E|name=English Channel-Seine|display=inline,title
length = 776 km (482 mi)
elevation = 471 m (1,545 ft)
discharge = 500 m³/s (17,660 ft³/s)
watershed = 78,650 km² (30,367 mi²)
The Seine (pronounced|sɛn in French) is a slow flowing major
riverand commercial waterway within the regions of Île-de-France and Haute-Normandiein Franceand famous as a romantic backdrop in photographs of Paris, France. It is also a tourist attraction, with excursion boats offering sightseeing tours of the " Rive Droite" and " Rive Gauche" within the city of Paris. It terminates in the Bay of the Seineregion of the English Channel and is navigable by oceanic transports about ten percent of its length to Rouen, 120 km (75 miles) from the sea, whereas over sixty percent of its length from Burgundynear the Swiss Alps is negotiable by commercial riverboats and nearly it's whole length is available for recreational boating.
There are over three dozen
bridges over the River Seinejust within Paris and dozens more spanning the river outside of the city. Examples in Paris include the Pont Louis-Philippeand Pont Neuf, the latter which dates back to 1607. Outside of the city, examples include the Pont de Normandie, one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the world, which links Le Havreto Honfleur.
Origin of the name
The name "Seine" comes from the
Latin" Sequana". This is turn has been said to come from Gaulish(Celtic) "Sicauna", which is argued to mean "sacred river". Some have argued that "Sicauna" is cognate to the names of Saône Riverand the River Shannon. Another proposal has it that "Sequana" is the Latin version of Gaulish "Isicauna", which would be the diminutive of "Icauna", which was the Gaulish name of the Yonne River. The ancient Gaulsconsidered the Seine to be a tributary of the Yonne, which indeed presents a greater average discharge than the Seine (the river flowing through Paris would be called Yonne if the standard rules of geography were applied).
Some identify the river Sikanos, place of original (according to
Thucydides) of the Sicanoi of Sikelia ( Sicily), with the river Sequana (Seine). ["THE SCOTTISH REVIEW", vol XIX (Jan-Apr 1892), p. 33]
Further downstream in what is now
Normandy, the Seine was known as "Rodo", or "Roto", which is a traditional Celtic name for rivers, and is also the original name of the Rhône River(see Rhône article for further explanations). This is proved by the name of Rouen, which was "Rotomagos" in Gaulish, meaning "field, plain (" magos" in Gaulish, whose meaning evolved into "market") of the Roto".
The Seine is dredged and oceangoing vessels can dock at
Rouen, 120 km (75 miles) from the sea. Commercial riverboats can use the river from Bar-sur-Seine, 560 km (350 miles) from its mouth. At Paris, the river is only 24 metres (80 feet) above sea level, 446 km (277 miles) from its mouth, making it slow flowing and thus easily navigable. It is 776 km (486 miles) long and flows into the Atlantic Oceanfrom the continent.
The tidal section of the river, from
Le Havreto well beyond Rouen, is followed by a canalized section with four large multiple locks until the mouth of the Oiseriver at Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. Then two more multiple locks at Bougival/ Chatouand at Suresneslift the vessels to the level of the river in Paris, where the mouth of the Marne Riveris located. Upstream from Paris seven more locks ensure navigation to Saint Mammès(where the Loingmouth is situated). Through an eighth lock the river Yonneis reached at Montereau-Fault-Yonne. From the mouth of the Yonne, larger ships can continue upstream the Seine till Nogent-sur-Seine. From there on, the river is only navigable for small craft. All navigation ends abruptly at Marcilly-sur-Seine, where the ancient Canal de la Haute Seineused to allow vessels to continue all the way to Troyes. This canal has been abandoned for many years now. [cite web|url=http://www.noordersoft.com/indexen.html|title=NoorderSoft Waterways Database]
The average depth of the Seine today at Paris is about eight metres.Fact|date=June 2008 Until locks were installed to artificially raise the level in the 1800s, however, the river was much shallower within the city most of the time, and consisted only of a small channel of continuous flow bordered by sandy banks (depicted in many illustrations of the period). Today 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 secondFact|date=March 2008, 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 or may not occur.
A very severe period of high water in January 1910 produced extensive flooding throughout the city. The Seine again rose to threatening levels in 1924, 1955, 1982 and 1999-2000. [ [http://www.grid.unep.ch/product/publication/freshwater_europe/seine.php Seine River Basin] ,
United Nations Environment ProgrammeDepartment of Early Warning and Assessment (accessed 5 June 2007] 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 be flooded. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C07E5DF163DF93AA25751C0A9659C8B63&sec=travel "Fearing a Big Flood, Paris Moves Art"] by Alan Riding, " The New York Times", February 19, 2003] A 2002 report by the French government stated the worst-case Seine flood scenario would cost 10 billion Euros, cut telephone service for a million Parisians, leave 200,000 without electricity and 100,000 without gas. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1782691.stm "Paris flood warning"] by Rory Mulholland, " BBC News", 25 January 2002]
Periodically the sewerage systems of Paris experience a failure known as
sanitary sewer overflow, often in periods of high rainfall. Under these conditions untreated sewagehas been discharged into the Seine. [Martin Seidl, "The fate of organic matter in river Seine after a combined sewer overflow", ENPC - University Paris Val de Marne Paris XII (France), 1997, 181 pp.] The resulting oxygendeficit is principally caused by allochthonous bacterialarger than one micrometer in size. The specific activity of these sewage bacteria is typically three to four times greater than that of the autochthonous (background) bacterial population. The pH level of the Seine at Pont Neufhas been measured to be 8.46 [Hogan, C Michael, Water quality of fresh water bodies in France, Lumina Press, Aberdeen 2006]
Legend has it that after
Joan of Arcwas burned at the stake in 1431, her ashes were thrown into the Seine, though counter-claims persist into the present-day. [In February 2006 a team of forensic scientists announced the beginning of a six-month study to assess relics from a museum at Chinonand reputed to be the remains of Jeanne d'Arc. In an [http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v446/n7136/full/446593a.html April 4, 2007 article] from "Nature", the investigators reported their conclusion that the relics from Chinon came from an Egyptian mummy and a cat.]
According to his will,
Napoleon, who died in 1821, wished to be buried on the banks of the Seine, a request that was not granted.
Until the 1930s, a towing system using a chain on the bed of the river existed to facilitate movement of barges upriver.Fact|date=June 2008
The Seine River was one of the original objectives of
Operation Overlordin 1944. The Allies' intention was to reach the Seine by D+90 (ie 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 Armydid encounter resistance immediately west of the Seine and fighting occurred in the Forêt de la Londe as Allied troopsattempted 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 1961drowned in the Seine after being thrown off from the Pont Saint-Micheland other locations in Paris. Dredgingin the 1960s mostly eliminated tidal bores on the river, known as "“le mascaret.”"
In 1991, the banks of the Seine in Paris—the "
Rive Gauche" and " Rive Droite"—were added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in Europe. [ [http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/600 Paris, Banks of the Seine] , the World Heritage Siteentry from the UNESCOwebsite]
The river is popular site for suicides and the disposal of bodies of murder victims. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/29/wmodel129.xml Supermodel Katoucha Niane found dead] from "
The Daily Telegraph"] In 2007, 55 bodies were retrieved from its waters; in February 2008, the body of supermodel-turned-activist Katoucha Nianewas found there.
During the 19th and the 20th centuries, the Seine has inspired many painters including:
Richard Parkes Bonington
Carl Fredrik Hill
Johan Barthold Jongkind
Luis F. Pinzón
Emilio Grau Sala
Joseph Mallord William Turner
In arts and popular culture
Victor Hugo's novel " Les Misérables", Jean Valjean escapes from the sewers on the banks of the Seine. Waiting there is Inspector Javert, who regretfully allows him to escape. Javert, contemplating what he had just done, decides to throw himself to his death in the river.
*According to legend, the
death maskof a young woman's body pulled from the Seine has inspired several 20th century artists, including Vladimir Nabokovand Rainer Maria Rilke.
David Lanzwrote a piano solo piece entitled "Leaves on the Seine" in his album, "Nightfall".
Down In The Seine" is a song from The Style Council's album " Our Favourite Shop"
*This river appears in
Call of Duty 3as a multiplayer map, named Seine river.
The Decemberistshave a song on their " Castaways and Cutouts" album titled, "The Legionnaire's Lament", which entails a legionnaire longing to return to France and the "sweetly sleeping sweeping of the Seine".
of Montrealhave a song called "Sink the Seine".
Down and Out in Paris and London, novellist George Orwell in his semi-autobiography was down on his luck with no money to buy food and becomes desperately hungry. He and his Boris tried to fish dace in river Seine but was unsuccessful. He commented many years later that the fish became very cunning after the Siege of Paris, which why it was futile exercise to try to catch them.
Seine (département), abolished in 1968
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Look at other dictionaries:
seine — seine … Dictionnaire des rimes
Seine — Verlauf und Einzugsgebiet der SeineVorlage:Infobox Fluss/KARTE fehlt Daten … Deutsch Wikipedia
SEINE — Bien que le bassin de Paris ne présente pas d’unité hydrographique, le réseau de la Seine forme le collecteur principal d’un ensemble qui, des confins de la Lorraine au Morvan et de la Somme à la Risle, s’étend sur environ 90 000 kilomètres… … Encyclopédie Universelle
Seine — (spr. Sähn), 1) Fluß in Nordostfrankreich, entspringt im Departement Côte d or, unweit St. Seine u. Chanceaux, 1338 Fuß hoch, am Fuße des Berges Tasselot, durchfließt die Departements Aube, Seine Marne, Seine Oise, Seine, Eure u. Nieder Seine,… … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Seine  — Seine (spr. ßän[e], bei den Alten Sequana), einer der Hauptströme Frankreichs, entspringt 471 m ü. M. im Depart. Côte d Or auf dem Südwestabhang des Plateau von Langres bei Chanceaux, durchströmt in nordwestlicher Hauptrichtung die Departements… … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
Seine — Seine, n. [F. seine, or AS. segene, b?th fr. L. sagena, Gr. ????.] (Fishing.) A large net, one edge of which is provided with sinkers, and the other with floats. It hangs vertically in the water, and when its ends are brought together or drawn… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
Seine  — Seine (spr. ßǟn[e]), Departement im nördlichen Frankreich, aus einem Teil der ehemaligen Provinz Ile de France gebildet, wird von dem Depart. Seine et Oise ganz eingeschlossen, ist das kleinste Departement Frankreichs, mit einem Areal von 479 qkm … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
Seine — • Seine, né à Maymont au IVème siècle, moine à Réomé, fonda un monastère près des sources de la Seine. Fête le 19 septembre. • Seine, abbé en Bourgogne, au VIème siècle. Nom gaulias Sequanus … Dictionnaire des saints
Seine — Seine: I.Seine,das:⇨Besitz(1) II.dieSeinen:⇨Verwandtschaft(1) … Das Wörterbuch der Synonyme
Seine — the Seine a river in northern France which flows through Paris and Rouen, and flows into the English Channel near Le Havre … Dictionary of contemporary English
seine — (n.) O.E. segne drag net, from W.Gmc. *sagina (Cf. O.S., O.H.G. segina), a West Germanic borrowing of L. sagena (source of Fr. seine), from Gk. sagene a fishing net, also a hunting net, of unknown origin … Etymology dictionary