Oasis on the Sunny Seine

Heat and politics may scorch their lovely capital, but Parisians have an escape right in the heart of town—the Deligny swimming pool
July 13, 1958

You are standing, in the photograph above, on the Pont de la Concorde in Paris. The famous Place of the same name is a stone's throw away on the left; to the right, beyond the trees along the Left Bank, is the Chamber of Deputies, where a month ago the Fourth Republic died in stormy agony and General de Gaulle came back to power. It is summer in Paris, the eve of the great holiday of July 14, celebrating the storming of the Bastille and the birth of the First Republic. Heat waves dance on the pavements; all around the teeming traffic of the capital swirls in endless confusion. Whistles shrill as the flics wave their white batons; red-faced cab drivers hurl a cacophony of curses at the heat and the cops and the sweltering world in general. But here before you, serenely floating on the brown expanse of the patient Seine, is an oasis of coolness, a man-made isle of calm moored to the ancient stones of the embankment—the swimming-pool-in-a-barge known as the Bains Deligny. You have but to descend and pay a modest 250 francs (60¢) for a ticket and you are transported in an instant from the heat-struck capital to the C√¥te d'Azur. Deligny, located right in the heart of Paris, has everything—a filtered pool, a solarium, a restaurant, a bar; but most of all, acres and acres of browning, bikini-clad skin.

Relaxed in favorite swimming place, Parisians enjoy pool, sun and each other. Attendance runs up to 1,200 daily

This is the Seine's own Côte d'Azur, a Riviera in the heart of Paris beside the Left Bank, whose green trees loom above

This face of France the world will remember when crises are forgotten: a golden-haired bikini girl