Urban Beaches: Paris Plages | In about 2 months from now, the right bank of the Seine from the Louvre to the Pont de Sully will be converted into one of the best urban beaches in all of Europe again. Sand gets imported into the area, beach chairs are set up, grass is laid down and boardwalk-style cafes and ice-cream sellers set up shop. When the temperature really soars sprinklers are put out as you wouldn’t want to swim in the Seine (too polluted). Free summertime concerts take place; sporting events are in full swing and Parisians who can’t go on vacation flock to this area to enjoy some sand, sun and relaxation. Entrance to the beach is free and the only thing you will have to worry about is scoring one of the oversized umbrellas to curl up underneath.
The first urban beach in Paris was opened on the banks of the Seine River in 2002 by Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë. He wanted to give Parisians who were unable to go on a holiday to the seaside the opportunity to experience the beach right in their own city. The event proved so successful that another urban Paris beach was opened north east of the city center at Bassin de la Vilette in 2007.
Urban Beaches. From today until next Tuesday we introduce you to seven unique urban beaches located in Australia, Northern America and Europe. We touch down in Montreal, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Lisbon and Barcelona. But let’s start with the Original: Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach …
Urban Beaches: Bondi Beach | This urban beach was the first one to be recognized as such. Sydney is actually blessed with beaches: Bronte, Coogee, Maroubra, Malabar, Yarra Bay, Manly … Still until today its most popular one remains Bondi Beach.
In 1809 the Australian road builder William Roberts received a grant of land in the Bondi area. In 1851 Edward Smith Hall and Francis O’Brien purchased 200 acres of that Bondi area. It included most of the beach frontage, which was then named the “The Bondi Estate.” Edward Smith Hall was O’Brien’s father-in-law. Between 1855 and 1877 O’Brien purchased his father-in-law’s share of the land, renamed the land the “O’Brien Estate,” and made the beach accessible to the public as a picnic ground and amusement resort. As the beach became increasingly popular, O’Brien threatened to stop public beach access. However, Sydney’s Municipal Council believed that the Government needed to intervene to make the beach a public reserve. And hooray!, on 9 June 1882, Bondi Beach became a public beach :)