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Paris: Birthplace of bikini reopens after 25 years
The newly revamped Molitor baths where it will cost at least €180 for a plunge. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

Paris: Birthplace of bikini reopens after 25 years

Ben McPartland · 19 May 2014, 15:38

Published: 19 May 2014 15:38 GMT+02:00

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Swimmers can once again take a plunge in the famous Molitor baths, the French capital’s most iconic swimming pool, after it reopened on Monday after 25 years.

Piscine Molitor, that was built almost a century ago, and dubbed the birthplace of the bikini finally reopened its doors in the capital’s plush 16th arrondissement, after being given a multi-million euro makeover.

However all but the wealthiest residents in the capital can only dream of taking a plunge in the emblematic pool, and will have to make do with the city’s many municipal baths.

The private pool is not open to the public but anyone who really wants to take a dip in the iconic waters can shell out €180 for a day pass, that allows access to the 50 metre lido and 33 metre indoor pool as well as the onsite gyms, staff told The Local on Monday.

(Take a look inside the pool, thanks to this video from Parisian News TV)

Other than that, a punter will have to splash out €1,200 joining fee to become a member along with a €3,300 annual membership fee.

According to Le Figaro the pool will also be open three times a week to welcome local school kids from the area. 

Molitor closed in 1989 and quickly fell into ruin after which it was only frequented by the capital’s graffiti artists, but locals continued to fight to have the baths reopened.

In 2008 Paris Town Hall chiefs finally gave the green light for its renovation.

The pool has been revamped by the Accor hotels group and turned into luxury hotel and spa, complete with 124 rooms, a spa, a gym and a restaurant. The lobby also contains a Rolls Royce, formerly owned by French football legend Eric Cantona, that was famously tagged by graffiti artist Jon One, before being auctioned off.

Story continues below…

Between the two World Wars, Molitor was the place to be seen in Paris. In 1946 it was at Molitor Casino de Paris dancer Micheline Bernardini, revealed the first ever bikini.

“It’s a legendary place for Parisians,” designer Jean-Philippe Nuel told the Guardian.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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