Wednesday, December 27, 2017


On the left side of the image is the Ile de la Cité in Paris, with the spire of the Sainte Chappelle and the bell towers of Notre Dame de Paris clearly identifiable. On the right side is the Left Bank (ha!) where you see the dome of the Institut de France, home of the famed Academie Française.

Cité is the center of Paris. Tour boats carry thousands of visitors each day. Photo from September 2011.

The Left and Right Banks of the Seine are so-called because, when you face downstream (behind me in the photo), the Left Bank is on your left and the Right Bank is, well, on your right. Cité is one of two islands in this section of the river, an agglomeration of several small islands and the location of the first settlements that became the city of Paris. When the Romans took over the settlement in the first century BC, they built their new town on the Left Bank just opposite the islands. Vestiges of the Roman city, called Lutetia or Lutèce, are still visible today.


  1. The Seine rather twists and turns and I've always had trouble working out which is the right bank and which is the left. If it just ran north south, it would be so easy. Just looking at a map, the 1st and 11th Arrondissements are on the right bank? The saying that the right bank makes the money and the left bank spends it, has always amused me. It is just so loaded.

  2. We had a little local tour on the Left on one visit and she showed us a bit of the Roman wall that still exists in a parking garage.

  3. andrew, yes, only six of the 20 arrondissements are on the left bank. I'd not heard that expression before... LOL!

    sillygirl, cool!

    judy, thanks!


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