There are replicas of the Statue of Liberty all over the world, including a 6-foot model on Alki Beach in West Seattle. But it was the French that gifted the actual Statue of Liberty to the United States in 1886, so it was only fitting the American community in Paris honor the French with a Statue of Liberty right back. That’s right — there’s a Statue of Liberty in Paris, too.
The Statue of Liberty in Paris is located off the beaten path on the Ile aux Cygnes (about a 20 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower). It’s one-fourth the size of the real Statue of Liberty in New York, standing a little more than 72-feet tall (the actual Statue of Liberty stands 305-feet). The replica in Paris was inaugurated on July 4, 1889 (to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution). The statue has stood in Paris for a long time, but it’s not nearly as popular as the one you find in the United States — or possibly even the one in West Seattle.
NOTE: The Statue of Liberty in Paris holds a tablet in its left hand that reads IV. Juillet 1776 = XIV. Juillet 1789. That translates to: July 4, 1776 = July 14, 1789, which honors Independence Day and Bastille Day, respectively. If you’re there and you’re wondering — that’s the answer.
The Statue of Liberty in Paris once looked east toward the Eiffel Tower, but now it faces west toward it’s larger sibling across the Atlantic Ocean. The westward facing position actually makes the Statue of Liberty in Paris a little hard to enjoy. The replica is on the southwestern tip of the Ile aux Cygnes, so there isn’t much room to gather in front of the statue.
It doesn’t seem like many tourists make their way the Statue of Liberty in Paris. My mom and I were two of only four people there when we visited. It was early June, so we were in Paris when tourism was peaking. That doesn’t mean it goes unseen by everyone, though. Many of the Seine River cruises go past the statue, and since it’s located on the tip of the island, it’s easily viewed from the water. In fact, the views of the replica are probably better from the water than on the Ile aux Cygnes. I’ve seen some cool pictures of the Statue of Liberty in Paris from the Seine River.
If you’re short on time, I would pass on the Statue of Liberty in Paris. It’s pretty anticlimactic, especially if you’ve visited the real Statue of Liberty in New York. I don’t think the replica is well maintained, either. The pedestal that it stands on (which might account for much of the statue’s height) looks pretty beat up, and the Google Maps street view even shows graffiti on the base now.
As for the Ile aux Cygnes, it’s a nice tree-lined island with a large walking/running path (that stretches about a half-mile). The island is only accessible by foot, so it’s a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of Paris. It’s worth a visit even if you don’t plan on seeing the Statue of Liberty.
Have you ever seen the Statue of Liberty in Paris? What did you think of it? We would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more awesome places to experience in the Emerald City and around the world!