Photo of the Week – August 3, 2012

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Photo of the Week – August 3, 2012
The tradition of finding ways to enjoy sunny summer days in Paris has not changed. The bathers in this week’s photo, which dates from 1934, did just that at la piscine Deligny, a floating pool built upon barges and moored along the banks of the Seine near l’Assemblée National. La Deligny first appeared in 1785 with original baths being supported by stilts. The site grew to become a swimming school soon after, and in 1840, the complex was renovated using the boat that had transported Napoleon Bonaparte’s remains from Saint Helena to France. In addition to the pool, the bathhouse also had a solarium and bar. In the 1970s, the pool’s sun deck became a hot spot for topless tanning. Due to it’s proximity to l’Assemblée National, this provoked protest from certain deputies. To quell complaints, the pool’s manager kept a section reserved for topless sunbathers and prohibited to children. Sadly, la piscine Deligny sunk in July of 1993, but you can go for a swim at Paris’ most recent pool, la piscine Joséphine-Baker, which floats on the Seine at the foot of bibliothèque François Mitterrand in the 13th arrondissement! This work (Piscine Deligny : bain de soleil), via Gallica.bnf.fr) is free of known copyright restrictions.  
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