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The Saône River

The Saône {sohn} River in eastern France is about 300 mi. (480 km) long. It rises in the Monts Faucilles about 40 mi. (65 km) south of Nancy and then flows southwest and south through a fertile valley to Lyon, where it joins the Rhône. Navigable for 233 mi. (375 km), the Saône is linked to other river systems by canals. The first paddle-wheel steamboat was demonstrated on the Saône in 1783.


The Seine at Argenteuil, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The Seine at Argenteuil
by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
30x28 Fine Art Poster


The Seine River

The Seine {sen} is a 482 mi. (776 km)-long river in north central France that flows through the heart of Paris. The river rises in Burgundy and winds northwest through the Ile-de-France. This region — with Paris in its center — is the historical heart of the country. From Paris the Seine flows northwest through a farmland region and past Rouen to the port of Le Havre, where it empties into the English Channel. The drainage area of the Seine is about 30,500 sq. mi. (79,000 sq km). Its main tributaries are the Marne, Aube, Loing, and Oise rivers. Navigable for about 350 mi. (560 km), the Seine has been a great commercial artery since Roman times, and is linked by canals to the Loire, Rhine, and Rhône rivers. Downstream from Paris are industrial plants and petroleum refineries.

Source: Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia v9.0.1., Grolier Interactive Inc., Danbury, CT.

The Somme River

The Somme River is approximately 150 mi. (240 km) long, rising near Saint-Quentin in northern France, and flowing generally northwest past Amiens into the English Channel; it is connected by canal with the Scheldt and Oise rivers. Once an obstacle to east-west movement, the now reclaimed marshlands in the valley are noted for truck farming. During World War I, heavy fighting took place there.

The Vienne River

The Vienne River is 230 mi. (370 km) long, rising in the Massif Central of central France, and flowing west past Limoges (department of Haute-Vienne, Limousin), then north into the Loire near Saumur (department of Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire).

The Yser River

The Yser River is approximately 50 mi. (80 km) long, rising in northern France and flowing generally northeast through NW Belgium and into the North Sea at Nieuwpoort. It connects a network of canals. The area was the scene of heavy fighting in World War I.

Source: Columbia Encyclopedia, Paul Lagasse, Lora Goldman, Archie Hobson (Editors).

Other Rivers

France has a number of other rivers which are notable for their beauty, or popular destinations for leisurely river cruises, but for which little academic documentation exists. These include the: Aisne, Ardèche, Aube, Charente, Loing, Mayenne, Oudon, Sambre, Sarthe, Thérain, and Yonne — among others.

Return to first page >> Canals of Burgundy, Centre & Midi, and the Cher, Doubs, Dordogne, Eure & Loir Rivers


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