The Seine has been used as a waterway since prehistory. In the Middle Ages it became the major means of communication in the capital. At the time, Melun supplied Paris with a wide range of goods, and the king of France, St Louis, and his court would take to the river to travel to the city. The castle, which has since disappeared, was situated close to the Médiathèque Astrolabe on the island of Saint-Étienne. Today, Melun has strengthened its strategic location on the Seine through the restoration of the Reine Blanche river port.