La Seine

Next to the Loire, the Seine is the premier river in France, much loved by French people because it flows through the capital city, Paris and at about 778 miles long it is a major commercial waterway.

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It first rises near to Dijon (best known perhaps for mustard!) connecting major cities such as Rouen and Paris; the latter has several dozen bridges spanning this mighty river and it is a popular recreational asset for the city. It finally emties into the English Channel, between the pretty town of Honfleur and the busy harbour of Le Havre; ocean-going vessels can reach as far as Rouen, some 70 miles from the sea, although smaller river boats can reach much further.

It's effect on French history has been immense, by permitting water-borne navigation and subsequent commerce right into the heart of France. It provided, and still provides, water for irrigation over a vast area and without it France would now be a much different country than it is today. It's importance in early history can be judged by the remains of a Roman temple by it's source near to Dijon, dedicated to a Romanised local goddess Sequana, or "Goddess of the Seine".