Paris counts no fewer than 37 bridges within the city. Crossing these bridges allows to discover viewpoints of the French capital invisible from the bank but also to know more about the History of Paris.
Discover now the 22 Parisian bridges of our selection. Beautiful, historic, surprising… There’s something for everyone. Beautiful walks ahead!
The Pont Alexandre III
The Pont Alexandre III is one of the most beautiful and legendary bridges in Paris. Inaugurated on the occasion of the World Fair in 1900, the Pont Alexandre III has been designed as a symbol of the French-Russian alliance. Engineers Jean Résal and Amédée Alby and architects Cassien-Bernard and Gaston Cousin have been entrusted with the building of the Pont Alexandre III. They built a remarkable bridge with cast steel, covering 160-m (524.93 ft) long. as the bill of specifications required it, the Pont Alexandre III is richly decorated.
The Pont de Bir-Hakeim
If you’ve 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. In 1902, the footbridge is rebuilt after an architecture contest has been organized and won by engineer Louis Biette and architect Jean-Camille Formigé. Together, they 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.
You surely know that: despite its name, the Pont-Neuf is Paris oldest standing bridge. But do you know its story? It’s Henri IV, entrusted with the inauguration, who gives this name to Pont-Neuf by opposition to Paris old bridges. In addition to be the first stone bridge to overlap the Seine entirely, the Pont-Neuf is also the first bridge featuring sidewalks to protect Parisians from the mud and the carriages. The Pont-Neuf is remarkable with its 12 arches and its many contorted masks engraved in stone, that is to say 384 mascarons!
The Pont de l’Alma
You can’t walk the Pont de l’Alma without thinking about the tragic car crash that cost Princess Diana’s life in the tunnel of the Pont de l’Alma back in 1997. But let’s return on the story of this infamous road bridge. The inauguration of the Pont de l’Alma should have been held on the 1855 World Fair, but since the bridge wasn’t done on due date, it’s been inaugurated a year later, in 1856 by Napoleon III. The latter had four big statues of warriors set on its peers. Now remains the Zouave only to measure the level of the water during the floods.
The Pont Mirabeau
It’s the contemporary President of the Republic, Sadi Carnot, who makes the call to build the Pont Mirabeau in 1893. Engineers Jean Résal, Paul Rabel and Amédée Alby are entrusted with the task of thinking about this new Parisian bridge. They create a beautiful work covering 173 meters (567.58 ft), entirely made of metal. The Pont Mirabeau is the first metal bridge made of two symmetrical frameworks, that buttressing gives the structure its balance. A small architectural wonder. Listed a historical monument in 1975, is lovingly adorned at the foot of each pillars with four allegories riding vessels.
The Pont des Arts
The whole world knows the Pont des Arts for its countless “love locks” that lovers come (despite the prohibition from Paris authorities) to lock on the railings. The story of this legendary Parisian bridge spans two centuries. In the beginning, the Pont des Arts was a pedestrian bridge built between 1801 and 1804: the first metal pedestrian bridge in Paris. After the bombings of the First and Second World War, the Pont des Arts is weakened and ends up by collapsing in 1979. Luckily, the bridge was closed to traffic for already two years! It has been entirely rebuilt between 1981 and 1984 according to the original blueprints
The Pont d’Iena
The Pont d’Iéna joining the Eiffel Tower to the Trocadéro has been built at the instigation of Napoleon Bonaparte between 1808 and 1814. The Emperor – who’s just won two years earlier the Battle of Jena over Prussia – wishes to mark the event in stone and Parisian memories. Engineer Corneille Lamandé comes up with this five-arch bridge covering 140 meters (459.31 feet) and decorated with imperial eagles. Under Louis Philippe, it’s adorned with four statues still visible today: a Gallic warrior, a Roman warrior, a Greek warrior and an Arab warrior.
The Pont Notre-Dame
The origination of this bridge dates back to the Antiquity since it’s in this very spot we used to find one of the first Parisian bridges in history: the Grand Pont! In 1421, Charles VI inaugurates a new and solid wooden bridge: the Pont Notre-Dame but the latter collapses. In 1512, a new work sees the light of the day and thanks to stores put there, it becomes the perfect place for business. For the record, the houses of the Pont Notre-Dame were the first ones in Paris to be numbered! Renamed Pont de la Raison during the French Revolution, the Pont Notre-Dame is renamed again the Devil’s Bridge at the end of the 19th century because of the too many river accidents between the five arches. To solve these river accidents, the bridge is partially destroyed and rebuilt in 1919.
The Pont Royal
Its construction goes way back to the 17th century. At that time, only the Tuileries ferryboat, a simple boat, enables to cross from the Right bank to the Left. Called Pont Rouge [Red Bridge] because of its color, this bridge doesn’t last a long time since it will caught fire in 1654 and destroyed by a flood two years later. A new wooden bridge is built in 1660, but also destroyed by the water. In 1685, Louis XIV chooses to build a third bridge but in stone: the Pont Royal that will see the light of the day in 1689. Built by famous architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the Pont Royal quickly becomes a popular bridge where Parisians hold parties and large popular gatherings.
The Pont de la Concorde
The project of a bridge at this place has stayed for 50 years in the pipes before coming to life in 1775. The reason being the lack of means to finance its construction. But a happy event will be game-changer and allow the bridge to be built quickly: the French Revolution! Indeed, you may not know it but the Pont de la Concorde, called Pont Louis XVI, has been built with dimension stones from the ruins of the famous Bastille after its storming in 1789! This beautiful neo-classic five-arch bridge supported by 3-m wide columns is inaugurated in 1791.
The Pont d’Arcole – the first bridge made of iron built without any support in the Seine.
The Pont de Bercy and its masonry viaduct built for the metro line 6.
The Pont Charles de Gaulle – the most futuristic bridges in Paris built like a plane wing.
The Pont au Double, its beautiful arch made of cast iron and its copper-covered cast iron railings.
The Pont Marie – one of the oldest bridges in Paris which first stone has been laid by Louis XIII and Marie de Medici.
The Pont Sully – a wonderful double bridge made of cast iron crossing the Seine by relying on the end of the Île Saint-Louis.
The Pont de la Tournelle and its impressive statue of Sainte Geneviève entirely made of reinforced concrete.
The Pont Levant de la rue de Crimée and its impressive mechanism allowing boats to go by.
Bridges and walkways of the Canal Saint-Martin – legendary, to enjoy the beautiful view of the canal. Also note the presence of two turning bridges allowing barges and boats to come and go!
The Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir and its iron structure made of two curves crossing one another.
The Passerelle de Debilly – a beautiful metal work that should have disappeared, like the Eiffel Tower. Still standing today, luckily.
The Passerelle Leopold Sedar-Senghor and its unique 106-m (347.76 ft) long arch.
Have a lovely walk above the Seine!