On a clear summer evening you could do worse than to join the many Parisians and visitors for a stroll along the banks of the Seine at sunset.
I took this first photo in 2007 from the bridge called Pont de la Tournelle, looking towards Notre-Dame Cathedral. By coincidence this is the same view that was described by the nineteenth-century French poet Théophile Gautier (1811-1872) in his poem Soleil couchant — although he had a large flaming cloud in the sky, which I didn’t. (I’ll try again next summer.)
En passant sur le pont de la Tournelle, un soir,
Je me suis arrêté quelques instants pour voir
Le soleil se coucher derrière Notre-Dame.
Un nuage splendide à l’horizon de flamme,
Tel qu’un oiseau géant qui va prendre l’essor,
D’un bout du ciel à l’autre ouvrait ses ailes d’or,
Et moi, je regardais toujours, ne songeant pas
Que la nuit étoilée arrivait à grands pas.
(While crossing the Tournelle Bridge one evening, I stopped for several moments to see the sun setting behind Notre-Dame. A splendid cloud on the flaming horizon, like a giant bird getting ready to fly, opened its golden wings from one end of the sky to the other. […] And me, I kept on looking, not thinking that the starry night was approaching with great strides.)
The bridge in this photo is Pont Louis Philippe, and I took the photo looking downstream from Pont Marie.
Here I was looking upstream from the left bank, not far from Pont Sully.
My photos in this post are from 2007. I revised the text in 2023.
See more posts on Paris bridges.
See also: Dancing by the Seine.
17 thoughts on “Sunset on the Seine”
Je passais, au bord de la Seine, un livre ancien sous le bras
Le fleuve est pareil à ma peine, il s’écoule et ne tarit pas.
(Guillaume Apollinaire, dans son poème “Marie”)
Bonjour et merci. Je ne connaissais pas ce poème, mais j’ai cité un autre poème d’Apolllinare ici : https://operasandcycling.com/mirabeau-bridge-in-paris/
Le poème “Marie” a été mis en musique par Francis Poulenc dans ses “Sept chanson a capella” :
Je l’ai déjà cité sur mon blog, notamment dans l’article consacré à Guillaume Apollinaire :
Bonne journée, Don.
This reminded me of my boat ride on Seine, beautiful.
Those boat rides can be very beautiful, especially at sunset.
I agree with your sentiments and you have some great pics here Don
Thanks, Malc. Glad you liked them.
Merci et bonne journée.
Ah yes, the Seine is beautiful at sunset and in the early evening. When we were in Paris in 2021 we had a drink one evening at one of the boat bars on the Right Bank that have sprung up now that side is pedestrianised – wonderful setting! You’ve reminded me we should go back this year 🙂
Yes, there are some fine viewpoints on the Right Bank, now that the cars are gone.
What a stunning post! The Seine, a sunset, and a French poet combine to transport me back to my very happy memories of Paris. After all, my love affair with France began in the capital!
Beautiful photos, Don! Thank you!!!
Its been 20 years since my Parisian experience. Your post makes me want to return NOW! Beautiful work Don!
Thanks for your visit and comment. I hope you can return to Paris sometime soon.
The view you enjoyed was not less beautiful than Gautier’s. Even without cloud. I am sure. Well shared.
Thanks for your visit and nice comment.