Bièvre (river)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Apse of the chapel of the Manufacture des Gobelins.jpg
Back of the Gobelins Manufactory, adjoining the Bièvre River, in 1830.
Bièvre (rivière).png
Physical characteristics
 • locationÎle-de-France
 • location
 • coordinates
48°50′37″N 2°21′57″E / 48.84361°N 2.36583°E / 48.84361; 2.36583 (Seine-Bièvre)Coordinates: 48°50′37″N 2°21′57″E / 48.84361°N 2.36583°E / 48.84361; 2.36583 (Seine-Bièvre)
Length34.6 km (21.5 mi)
Basin size201 km2 (78 sq mi)
 • average0.2 m3/s (7.1 cu ft/s)
Basin features
ProgressionSeineEnglish Channel
Bievre at Fresnes

The Bièvre is a 34.6-kilometre (21.5 mi) long river of the Île-de-France région that flows into the Seine (left bank) in Paris.[1] The name may refer to the archaic French word bièvre meaning "beaver".


The source of the Bièvre is in Guyancourt, département Yvelines.[2] From there, it flows through the following départements and towns:

The river enters Paris near Stade Charléty (close to the border between the 13th and 14th arrondissements), and reaches the Seine River in the Latin Quarter (5th arrondissement) close to Île de la Cité.

Tanneries along the Bièvre, late 19th-century

The Bièvre was diverted from its original course in 1148 by the monks of the abbey of Saint-Victor.[3] This diversion is reflected in maps of Paris dating from the 13th century.[citation needed] Historically the river was heavily industrialized with mills, which led to the straightening of the river. Tanneries, butcher shops and dye-makers were built along its banks, leading to serious pollution concerns.

Starting in the 18th century, the river was gradually culverted. Eleven km are canalised under slabs and 5 km have disappeared under rubble and urbanisation in Paris. In modern times the Bièvre forms a rainwater system.[2]

Restoration project[edit]

In 2003, 200m of the Bièvre was re-opened in the Parc des Près in Fresnes.[4] At the same time, over twenty direct wastewater connections to the Bièvre were eliminated. When the river is completely disconnected from the wastewater system, the stormwater from the river will no longer flow into a wastewater treatment plant but will instead flow directly into the River Seine, which is expected to lead to significant savings in wastewater treatment costs.[2]

Bievre at Massy

Another section of the Bièvre between Massy and Verrières was re-opened in 2006.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sandre. "Fiche cours d'eau - La Bievre (F70-0400)".
  2. ^ a b c "Reopening of a section of the River Bièvre in an urban environment", Communauté d’agglomération du val de Bièvre
  3. ^ 1947-, Jones, Colin (2005). Paris : biography of a city (1st American ed.). New York: Viking. pp. 108–109. ISBN 0670033936. OCLC 56526397.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ pdf about the Fresnes reopening of the Bievre, at Archived 2016-04-06 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ The Syndicat intercommunal d’assainissement de la vallée de la Bièvre (Bièvre Valley Intermunicipal Sewerage Association),

External links[edit]