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The Artificial Beaches of Paris

A section of the pedestrian bank along the river Seine in the centre of Paris, has been designated the "Paris Beach" and has become a summer attraction in the city. Thousands of tons of sand are imported along with full size palm trees, beach chairs and chaise-lounges to create what may be the only artificial "beach" in Europe. It's bizarre, but the French love it.

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Initially there was a single beach on the Rive Droite in 2002. In 2006 a second beach was added on the Rive Gauche. The third beach was added this summer on the River Seine. The scheme has proven a major success -  the number of visitors has grown each year and topped four million in 2007. Every season, new features are added which include a shuttle ferry linking the two riverbanks, a floating swimming pool, and another beach area at La Villette, in the northeast corner of the city.

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