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Paris to allow swimming in Seine River after 100 years of ban | Destination-of-the-week News


Flowing through the heart of Paris, the Seine River stands as one of the city’s most cherished and frequented tourist destinations. Visitors delight in strolling alongside the riverbanks, exploring the charming bouquinistes’ stalls, or simply relishing the scenic vistas from the enchanting bridges.

However, intriguingly, the Seine has played an even more intimate role in the past, as Parisians once used it as a bathing spot. Furthermore, in the historic Parisian Olympics of 1900, the river hosted thrilling swimming competitions.

However, the same was banned in 1923 due to pollution. But now the clean-up efforts, initiated in 2018 as part of the ‘Swimming Plan’, have finally borne fruit. Local authorities say that residents will once again be able to enjoy the river as the Olympics is returning to the French capital after a century. City swimming, prohibited for a century due to the polluted waters, is set to become a significant legacy of the Games, all thanks to a highly successful €1.4bn regeneration project universally praised for its achievements.

In addition to three Olympic and Paralympic events – triathlon, marathon swimming and Para-triathlon, which are scheduled to take place in the Seine in central Paris, three open-air swimming areas will be accessible from the quayside by 2025.

“When people see athletes swimming in the Seine with no health problems, they’ll be confident themselves to start going back in the Seine,” Pierre Rabadan, deputy Paris mayor in charge of the Olympics, was quoted as saying by BBC. “It’s our contribution for the future.”

Further, the opening ceremony — which is usually held inside the host city’s Olympic stadium — will take place on the river, with at least 600,000 people expected to watch from the bank. “At the Paris 2024 Games, the athletes will inaugurate swimming in the river with the Olympic events. A revival that will pave the way for aquatic leisure,” reads a statement from Paris city hall.

According to CNN, the Paris region public sanitation service is set to have two disinfection units at wastewater treatment plants operational starting this summer. Additionally, construction is underway for various water quality improvement structures, including a rainwater storage basin.

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