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During the 18th century, the Bièvre was of great economic importance, with numerous tanneries and workshops built alongside its banks. The river was used as a dumping ground and became severely polluted as a result.
Nowadays, the Bièvre is virtually out of sight, concealed by the urban landscape.
- The origins of the river's name have been interpreted as the Celtic beber, meaning "beaver", and the Latin verb bibere, "to drink".