Stunning Paris pool immortalised in film ‘Amélie’ about to reopen

The Piscine des Amiraux, the stunning art deco swimming pool immortalised in the classic Paris film "Amélie", is to reopen to the public this month after a two-year, 10-million-euro makeover.

Stunning Paris pool immortalised in film 'Amélie' about to reopen
Remi Mathis/WikiCommons
The municipal pool, situated in a backstreet in a very untouristy part of the 18th arrondissement of the capital, was built by the architect Henri Sauvage and first opened its doors in 1930.
It lies in the bowels of an eight-storey apartment building that features stepped balcony terraces and facades covered in the same white tiles used in the Paris metro.
Sauvage, who also designed the La Samaritaine department store building on rue de Rivoli, initially wanted a cinema to be built where the pool is but was overruled by the city hall, which had commissioned the building for social housing.
Piscine Amiraux. AFP. 
The pool has featured in several movies, most notably in the 2001 film “Amélie,” by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, a whimsical tale of a young Parisian woman, played by Audrey Tautou, who sets out to improve the lives of those around her.
But in recent years the ageing pool, officially listed as an historic monument since 1991, had fallen into disrepair and needed major renovation and modernising.
The 33-metre pool has now been demolished and rebuilt exactly as its architect had originally conceived it.
The exact date that the Piscine des Amiraux will throw open its doors to the public has not yet been announced, but it is set to happen before the end of the month.


Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

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