6 facts you didm’t know about Paris bridges

Symbols of Parisian romanticism, the 37 bridges along the Seine are more than just gateways to connect the two sides of the capital. Real hyphens between centuries of history, they tell their architecture how the city has developed over time.

Bridges also had a turbulent history, and for some strange, to remember the next time you walk the!

Pont Alexandre-III

Launched at the 1900 World Exposition, architecture vanguard, its baroque decoration and its location make it one of the most emblematic of the capital. Built in honor of the renewed friendship between France and Russia, found in the middle of its structure the nymphs of the Seine, with the arms of Paris, but the nymphs of the Neva, which are, themselves, the weapons from Russia. A strong symbol in the heart of Paris!

nymphes pont alexandre III

At the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in 1925, the Alexander III bridge was also closed to traffic for several months, converted to the event in street lined with shops occupied by luxury industries.

pont alexandre III arts decoratifs

Pont de la Concorde

Set project from 1727, when the construction of the Concorde Square (formerly Place Louis XV), this bridge was not completed until 1790 due to financial and materials. It is thanks to the French Revolution as the Concorde Bridge could be built thanks to stones taken to the Bastille fortress.

pont de la concorde paris

Between the old Revolution Square and the National Assembly, this bridge built so largely with stones taken to the Bastille, then allowed the Parisian to trample the royal symbol in the crossing!

Le Pont de l’Alma

zouave pont de lalma

Everyone (almost) knows the famous Zouave Pont de l’Alma, which in the Parisian tradition, used to gauge the Seine during floods. But what is less known is that this Zouave, sculpted by Georges Diebolt, was originally accompanied by three camardes when the first point of Alma was built in honor of the Crimean War and inaugurated by Napoleon III . A pomegranate, a hunter on foot and a gunner in fact honored the memory of the soldiers who fought during the war, until the bridge was completely rebuilt between 1970 and 1974.

The hunter is now walking in the Bois de Vincennes (against the south wall of the redoubt of Gravelle), the pomegranate is in Dijon, birthplace of its sculptor, and the gunner was transferred to La Fere (Aisne) , former headquarters of the Royal School of Artillery. The Zouave remains the only, today, have your feet in the water!

Pont Neuf

As its name does not indicate it, the Pont Neuf (New Bridge) is the oldest one in Paris. A bridge at the time of its construction (late 16th to 17th early), was the first bridge to cross the Seine entirely, and the first to be built with stone, and the first street to propose a sidewalk for pedestrians!

pont neuf paris

Another revolution for the time, it was also the first bridge without habitation. It only housed shops, which disappeared in 1855.

boutiques pont neuf

Pont de la Tournelle

Connecting the left bank in Saint-Louis, Pont de la Tournelle is topped by one of the most important emblems of the capital: the statue of St. Genevieve, patroness of Paris.

pont de la tourelle paris

A statue is the work of Paul Landowski (to whom we owe, including the Corcovado), which was not agreed with the city of Paris on the direction given to Genevieve. He wanted to turn to Our Lady, while the city wanted to see the look east, where Attila and the Huns had bypassed Paris. It will be finally decided Sainte Geneviève turn his back to Notre Dame, the pus despair of the sculptor, who will boycott the inauguration.

Scheduled July 9, 1928, it will be postponed to 27 August. Landowski, he will not attend the ceremony.

Pont des Arts

First metal bridge in Paris, the Pont des Arts was commissioned by Napoleon to build the capital of a new technology: the cast. Called Pont des Arts, it takes actually its name from the Palace of Arts, the name given at the time in the Louvre, a museum during the Revolution.

pont des arts paris

Included in the inventory of historical monuments in 1975, an expertise demonstrated the fragility of the building, and the bridge will be denied access in 1977. A very wise decision, since in 1979 a collision with a barge will make the bridge collapsed !

effondrement pont des arts 1979 

Useful Informations

Symbols of Parisian romanticism, the bridges of Paris have had a turbulent, and unusual, history !

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