Going with the Flow – Navigating Paris with help from the Seine

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I have just received a fascinating email from Alban Cambe, a natural navigation instructor and writer in France,

I learned a new trick to navigate in Paris. It is written in the law 
that in Paris, from February the 4th, 1805, the number attached to a 
building should obey the following rule :

Article 7 : Le premier numéro de la série, soit pair, soit impair, 
commencera, dans les rues perpendiculaires ou obliques, au cours de la 
Seine, à l’entrée de la rue prise au point le plus rapproché de la 
rivière, et, dans les rues parallèles, à l’entrée prise en remontant le 
cours de la rivière; de manière que, dans les premières, les nombres 
croissent en s’éloignant de la rivière, et dans les secondes, en la 
descendant.”

Article 5. Le côté droit sera déterminé, dans les rues perpendiculaires ou obliques au cours de la Seine, par la droite du passant se dirigeant vers la rivière, et dans le sens du cours de la rivière.

Sloppy translation coming :

Article 7 : The first number in the series, whether it is even or odd
should start, in the perpendicular streets or oblique ones in regards of 
the Seine, at the very beginning of the street taken the closest to the 
river. In the parallel streets, taken at the highest point of the 
current. So as the numbers will grow in the first ones by getting away 
from the river and in the second ones by following the current…

Article 5 : In the streets perpendicular to the Seine, when a walker is going towards the river the even numbers will be on the right side of the street. And in the same direction as the current.

From Alban’s email

So, if I understand correctly, the building numbers ascend as you walk away from the river. And then, if you turn to walk parallel to the river, they will keep ascending if you are walking with the current.

Thanks Alban. Can anyone confirm this or shed any new light on it? Please get in touch if you can.

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