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.
The Bois de Vincennes is a park in the English landscape manner to the east of Paris. The park is named after the nearby town of Vincennes.
The Bois de Vincennes, like the Bois de Boulogne, is often not thought to be part of Paris proper, as it consists only of unpopulated public land. However, for administrative purposes, it is part of the 12th arrondissement of Paris.
It has an area of 9.947 km² (3.841 sq. miles, or 2,458 acres), which is almost 0.5 times larger than Central Park in New York, and four times larger than Hyde Park in London.
At the north end of the Bois de Vincennes stands the Château de Vincennes, which used to be a favorite second home for many 14th century kings. Now in renovation, it is still open to the public. In the southwest of the park stands the Redoute de Gravelle, a military redoubt constructed under the reign of Louis-Philippe in the 19th century.
The Bois de Vincennes is home to several sports venues. In the eastern part lies a hippodrome specialising in trotting races. There is also a velodrome, and the French national institute of sports and physical education.
In the west is a 14.5ha zoo, permanently established in 1934 in place of a smaller, temporary zoo constructed for the 1931 Exposition coloniale internationale. The zoo breeds Asian elephants, and its most notable feature is a 65m high monolith, home to a herd of mouflons.
The Arboretum de l’École du Breuil, in the park’s southeast corner, is a municipal arboretum established on this location in 1936.
(Source : Wikipedia)