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25/07/2008

Paris Plage (Paris Beach)


The annual summertime event has started last week in Paris : Paris Plage (Paris beach). The operation (see Paris Plage on Paris.fr) sets up beaches along the river Seine. Every July and August, roadways on the right bank of the Seine are blocked off and host various activities, including sandy beaches and palm trees. Instigated in 2002 , Paris-Plage has proven a major success, by providing a summer hangout for Parisians unable to head to the beach for their holiday. The number of visitors has grown each year and topped 4 million in 2007.
Every season, new features are added. Some are practical, like a shuttle linking the two riverbanks, a floating pand a second beach area at La Villette, at the northeast corner of the city. In 2006, a floating swimming pool was even set up on the river (swimming in the Seine is also not permitted !... and unlike many beaches in France, topless sunbathing is not permitted either).

More images on Offical Website. Many other towns in France (Saint Quentin was actually the first town to organise such an event back in 1996) and in the world have followed, like Berlin, Brussels, Budapest or Prague.

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