Île des Cygnes (English: Isle of the Swans) is a small island in the Seine in Paris, France, located in the 15th and 16th arrondissement. It is an artificially-created island, formed in 1827 to protect the port of Grenelle. It derives its name from an earlier Île des Cygnes which was attached to the Champ de Mars in the late 18th century.
The narrow island is 850 meters (2,789 ft) long and 11 meters (36 ft) at its widest point. A tree-lined walkway, named « l’Allée des Cygnes », runs the length of the island.
The island is served by the Passy and Bir-Hakeim Métro stations. It is crossed by three bridges: the Pont de Grenelle, the Pont Rouelle and the Pont de Bir-Hakeim.
A notable feature is a small replica of the Statue of Liberty, 22 meters high and facing west in the direction of its larger sibling in New York City. This statue, which was inaugurated at its site on 15 November 1889 (three years after its counterpart), was given by the French community living in the United States to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution. It initially faced east, toward the Eiffel Tower, but it was turned west in 1937, for the exposition universelle hosted by Paris that year. Its base carries a commemorative plate, and the booklet it holds in its left hand carries the inscription IV Juillet 1776 = XIV Juillet 1789, recognizing the American Independence Day and Bastille Day, respectively. Another statue is sited in Jardin du Luxembourg.
Pont Alexandre III is an arch bridge that spans the Seine, connecting the Champs-Élysées quarter and the Invalides and Eiffel Tower quarter, widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in Paris .
The bridge, with its exuberant Art Nouveau lamps, cherubs, nymphs and winged horses at either end, was built between 1896 and 1900. It is named after Tsar Alexander III, who had concluded the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892. His son Nicholas II laid the foundation stone in October 1896. The style of the bridge reflects that of the Grand Palais, to which it leads on the right bank.
The construction of the bridge is a marvel of 19th century engineering, consisting of a six-metre high single span steel arch. The design, by the architects Joseph Cassien-Bernard and Gaston Cousin, was subject to strict controls that prevented the bridge from obscuring the view of the Champs-Élysées or the Invalides.
Pont Alexandre III; the Grand Palais can be seen in the background.
The bridge was built by the engineers Jean Résal and Amédée d’Alby and inaugurated in 1900 for the Universal Exhibition (as were the nearby Grand Palais and Petit Palais). The Pont Alexandre III is classified as a historical monument.
Numerous sculptors provided the sculpture that features prominently in the bridge. Four gilt-bronze statues of Fames watch over the bridge, supported on massive 17-meter socles, that provide stabilizing counterweight for the arch, without interfering with monumental views. The socles are crowned by Fames restraining Pegasus : on the Right Bank, Renommée des Sciences (« Fame of the Sciences ») and the Renommée des Arts (« Fame of the Arts ») both by Emmanuel Frémiet; at their bases, La France Contemporaine (« Contemporary France ») by Gustave Michel and France de Charlemagne (« France of Charlemagne ») by Alfred Lenoir. The lions groups are by Georges Gardet.
Detail of gilded sculpture and one of the masonry counterweights
On the Left Bank, the Renommée du Commerce (« Fame of Commerce ») by Pierre Granet and the Renommée de l’Industrie (« Fame of Industry ») by Clément Steiner; at their bases France de la Renaissance (« France of the Renaissance ») by Jules Coutan and La France de Louis XIV (« France of Louis XIV ») by Laurent Honoré Marqueste. The lions groups are by Jules Dalou.
At the centres of the arches, Nymphs of the Seine with the arms of France correspond with Nymphs of the Neva with the arms of Imperial Russia on the other face; both are executed in hammered copper over forms by Georges Récipon.
A little boy on Luxembourg Gardens’ playground, watching a basketball game but being a part of it as soon as possible….
An old picture from 2007 that I found when I was cleaning my NAS.
The Prize of the President of the Republic is a race horse trotting up that takes place in June on the Hippodrome de Vincennes in Paris.
It is a Group I race reserved for 4-years-old horses, Geldings excluded, having won at least 38 000 € (in 2009 terms).
It runs on the distance of 2 850 meters (great track). The 2009 allocation is € 240 000, 120 000 € for the winner. (Source Wikipedia)