The Seine River passes right through the middle of Paris, meaning that there are numerous bridges that you will have to cross as you move from one point to another. There are 37 bridges within the limits of the city. Out of these, many have attained importance by virtue of different reasons. Bridges like the Pont des Arts is famous for the locks left here by couples and the splendid view it offers. There are several more such bridges in the city that you can visit after your Paris private tours. Below is a discussion of some of the most attractive bridges, you can visit in the city.
The History of Paris’ Bridges
Paris city did not always have bridges across the Seine River. The efforts to do this started in 864 A.D. During this period, the Edict of Pistres made it necessary to build bridges across the river as a response of the city by Vikings. This also helped the city defend itself in later invasions.
Famous Paris Bridges
There are 37 bridges across the river in Paris today. Out of them, 5 are just pedestrian bridges. Below are some of the most popular bridges in Paris:
Pont des Arts (The Love Lock Bridge)
The Pont des Arts offers a connection between The Louvre and Institut de France. The bridge was built during the reign of Napoleon in 1804. The earlier Pont des Arts underwent two bombings during World War I and II. Further, there were several collisions of boats on the bridge. Finally, it collapsed in 1979 after a ship slammed into it.
The bridge you see now is a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Seine Riverfront beside it. The Pont des Arts is a popular location for open-air art workshops and picnics. The bridge’s strategic location over the Seine River and across the Louvre makes it a popular destination for photographers too.
The bridge became famous as the Lock Bridge where visiting couples would write their names on the locks, lock it, and throw the key to the Seine river. Although the government removed many of the locks in 2015, more than a million have been added since then.
The Passerelle Simone-de-Beauvoir is a bridge named after the renowned French activist and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. This is the most recently built bridge in Paris. Its construction was finished in 2006. The bridge is currently used only by pedestrians and bicyclists. The bridge leads you to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France which is the French national library. The bridge is designed in a modern method and this ensures that it does not make contact with water in any section. The bridge is supported only on both banks of the Seine river.
Pont de Bir-Hakeim
Previously known as Pont de Passy, the Pont de Bir-Hakeim is named after the Battle of Bir-Hakeim that happened in World War II. It involved the French forces and the German forces in Africa back in 1942. This two-level bridge has one level dedicated to the pedestrians and motor vehicles and the second one for the railway viaduct. The steel bridge has its parts in the artificial island, Île aux Cygnes. Travelers can see a replica of the Statue of Liberty here. You can see the bridge making an appearance in movies like National Treasure: Book of Secrets and Inception.
This is the oldest remaining bridge in Paris situated over the Seine River. It is located close to the westernmost point of the Île de la Cité. This is one of the two natural islands of the Seine River. Its construction was completed by Henry IV and it was opened in 1607. The specialties include attractive sculptures, stone masks, and mascarons located along the side of the bridge. You will also find a bronze statue depicting Henry IV on a horseback along the crossing of Île de la Cité.
Pont Alexandre III
The Pont Alexandre III is a famous bridge in Paris made in Beaux-Arts style. It has been named after Tsar Alexander III and was constructed back in 1900. The bridge is adorned with beautiful sculptures containing nymphs and fames of the Greek and Roman mythology. It was introduced at the Exposition Universelle which took place in 1900 alongside Petit Palais and Grand Palais. The Pont Alexandre III is aligned with Les Invalides. It offers a connection between the latter and the Eiffel Tower with Champs-Élysées. The bridge is highly popular for its attractive looks and it has featured in films like Midnight in Paris, Ronin, and Anastasia.
With more than 37 bridges along the Seine River, the city is well-connected on either side and these bridges are worth visiting for their different attractive features. Make sure you visit the above bridges while on your Paris private tours.