Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Waters of the Seine

Historical novelist Catherine Delors has an article on the Seine River in eighteenth century Paris.
The Seine River was everything to Paris. Barges brought essential merchandises from distant provinces. Often they went no further than in Paris, to be dismantled in the spot and sold as wood. One embankment specialized in the commerce of wheat, another was dedicated to the wine trade. The embankments were not the paved, clean ones we see now. At the time, they were muddy or sandy, depending on the location. Indeed the Roman name of the city, Lutetia, is said to be derived from the Latin lutum, “mud.”


Alexandra said...

I love rivers with history, especially the Seine. I always have to do the touristy thing and ride the Bateau Mouche when I visit Paris. I really want to take the children there someday. I think(hope)they'd love it as much as I did when I was little...and as an adult(giggle).

Richmond, Va. now has a nice historical boat trip down the restored river front. Much the same as the Seine, it was an important barge throughway. I found some old civil war pictures of an area(Library of Congress online) where we had stood that was so different than today. No nice concrete embankments, just mud...and the burned our city of Richmond in the background.

elena maria vidal said...

Very interesting, Alexandra! Thanks for the background.