The real star of the Paris Olympics is the storied River Seine

The Seine will play a starring role in this summer's Paris Olympics, with the opening ceremony set to take place on the river, which will also host swimming events. Here are things you need to know about the storied waterway.

From wars to revolutions and the Covid-19 pandemic, most of the seismic events in French history have played out along the banks of the Seine.

The Vikings travelled up the river on their longboats in the 9th century, torching Rouen in 841 and later besieging Paris.

In 1944, Allied forces bombed most of the bridges downstream of Nazi-occupied Paris to prepare the ground for the D-Day landings which led to the liberation of western Europe.

A little over a decade later, a young Queen Elizabeth II was treated to a cruise on the Seine for her first state visit to France after taking the throne.

It was also to the Seine that Parisians flocked in 2020 when allowed out for air during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Monet's muse

Hollywood starlet Doris Day, British rock singer Marianne Faithfull and US crooner Dean Martin all sang about it.

Read more on RFI English

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