Looking for a romantic stroll or places to see near the Eiffel tower? Today we'd like to introduce you to a little Parisian gem, nestling in the heart of the 15th arrondissement, that's sure to seduce and invigorate you. L'île aux cygnes, a hidden treasure far from the tourist attractions of Paris, is one of the 3 islands of Paris. This man-made island combines history, nature and a peaceful, relaxing setting in the middle of the Seine.
Located between the Grenelle and Javel districts, discover a unique and little-known site. This island, linking the two banks of the Seine, is 850 metres long and 11 metres wide, and has not always existed. In fact, it was created in the 19th century as part of a major project to modernise Paris under Napoleon II and the then Prefect of the Seine, Georges Eugène Haussmann. This project is also known as the "Haussmannian works", in which neighbourhoods were transformed. The aim of the project was to make Paris a more modern and urban city, by transforming its infrastructure and building new parks, boulevards and squares.
Ile aux Cygnes initially had a very specific function. It was created to enable the construction of a railway line across the Seine, linking the Right Bank station to the Left Bank station. It was this island that supported the rails of this railway line.
In 1937, its function changed, and it became the site of the French "colonies centre" for the 1937 Universal Exhibition in Paris. To this end, pilings were added to the basic structure to extend over 32,000 m².
A little piece of the United States
At the western end of Ile aux Cygnes, a small artificial island stretching into the Seine, stands a magnificent replica of the Statue of Liberty, measuring around 11 metres in height. This replica was donated by Americans living in France in 1889 to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution.
The statue sits majestically on a platform with an uninterrupted view of the Seine, and over the years it has become much more than just a sculpture. It embodies the friendship between France and the United States.
Beyond its historical and symbolic importance, this replica of the Statue of Liberty has become a veritable landmark of Paris. It attracts the attention of tourists from all over the world, seeking to immortalise their stay in the City of Light by taking photos with this American icon against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower. It embodies the beauty of international friendship and the richness of shared culture between two nations that have played a major role in world history.
A walk cut off from the world
Leave the stressful pace of the city behind for a stroll, and find yourself surrounded by trees in the most relaxing of surroundings. During your stroll, you can admire the splendid Iron Lady, standing on the other side of the river.
Sheltered from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is the perfect place for a romantic stroll, a jog or simply to recharge your batteries and let yourself be inspired.
The island's swans
The name "Ile aux Cygnes" (Swan Island) has been aptly chosen, as the island is home to many elegant swans. These majestic specimens are a truly precious sight on this island, adding an undeniable dimension of grace and beauty to its soothing natural atmosphere. The tranquillity of the area is blessed by the presence of these graceful creatures, which move with exquisite ease over the calm waters of the Seine. At times, they can even be seen lounging gracefully by the island's banks. The swans, with their long necks and immaculate plumage, have a way of captivating the attention of visitors, fascinating not only adults, but also awakening the wonder of the youngest, who are often in awe of the majesty of these emblematic creatures of the island.
Two historic bridges
The Bir-Hakeim bridge is renowned for its distinctive architecture, divided into two sections. The upper part is reserved for the number 6 metro line, while the lower part is dedicated to cars, pedestrians and cyclists. As well as its functionality, the bridge is also renowned for its aesthetic appeal, thanks in large part to the finely-worked steel columns that support it. These columns give the bridge a unique appearance and contribute to its distinctive charm. From the bridge, you can admire the Eiffel Tower from an exceptional vantage point. Built between 1903 and 1905, the bridge was inaugurated for the Paris Universal Exhibition and was later renamed Bir-Hakeim in honour of the battle bearing that name in 1942 during the Second World War.
Also known as the Grenelle - Cadet-de-Saumur bridge, it takes the form of a steel arch and spans the Seine. It is recognisable by the bronze horse statues at either end of the bridge, created by sculptor Georges Gardet. The bridge also offers a panoramic view of the Eiffel Tower, and has done so since it was completed in 1968.
If you are looking for places to see near the Eiffel tower or a romantic stroll in Paris, the Ile aux Cygnes is the ideal place for you.