The Pont de Bir-Hakeim in Paris gets a makeover

Published by Manon C. · Photos by Manon C. · Published on 31 August 2020 at 17h48 · Updated on 1 September 2020 at 10h11
You cannot miss it: at least half the movies shot in Paris show lovely views of the Pont de Bir-Hakeim! Do you see which bridge we are talking about? This summer, the Pont de Bir-Hakeim gets a makeover. Let’s discover its story!

If you have already seen movies which action takes places in Paris, which is highly likely, it’s very likely that you didn’t escape shots on the Pont de Bir-Hakeim. Inception for example… we must say its central part, under the viaduct, plays along for photographs and shootings.

This summer, the Pont de Bir-Hakeim gets a makeover, with new brick-layings and a nice coat of paint to give its all its past splendor back. Like other bridges in Paris such as the Pont de l’Alma or the Pont Alexandre III, the Pont de Bir-Hakeim has been built on the occasion of a World Fair: the 1878 World Faire. The first version of the bridge, at least: a metallic and pedestrian footbridge, the Passerelle de Passy.

In 1902, the footbridge is rebuilt after an architecture contest has been organized and won by engineer Louis Biette and architect Jean-Camille Formigé. The idea is to allow pedestrians as well as cars and metro to go on the new bridge. Indeed, since the late 19th century, the metro is developed in Paris and a viaduct is built on the new bridge to have the metro line 6 go above it.

Histoire du Pont de Bir-Hakeim Histoire du Pont de Bir-Hakeim Histoire du Pont de Bir-Hakeim Histoire du Pont de Bir-Hakeim

The architect and the engineer come up with one of the most beautiful bridges in Paris. The Pont de Bir-Hakeim is a two-story work: one for pedestrians, bicycles and cars, the other for the metro. Cast iron statues by Gustave Michel (Nautes and Forgerons) adorn the stone pillars while four allegories (Science, Labor, Electricity, Commerce) embellish the main arch made of masonry. The curved columns supporting the metro rails are inspired by Art Nouveau.

In June 1942, the bridge is known as the Viaduc de Passy and renamed Pont de Bir-Hakeim in tribute to the Free French Forces in Libya in 1942.

Please note that a stroll on the Île aux Cygnes, along the Seine, is possible from the middle of the bridge via the flight of stairs that go down. Don’t forget either that the Pont de Bir-Hakeim offers an unobstructed view on the Eiffel Tower: the perfect place to admire the major Parisian events, such as the Bastille Day fireworks on July 14!

Practical information

Location

Pont de Bir-Hakeim
75015 Paris 15

Prices
Free

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