Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pont Neuf


These images are of the oldest standing bridge in Paris, also known as Pont Neuf.   Here is what Wikipedia has to say about it...

"As early as 1550, Henry II was asked to build a bridge here because the existing Pont Notre-Dame was overloaded, but the expense was too much at the time.[1]

In 1577,[1] the decision to build the bridge was made by King Henry III who laid its first stone in 1578, during which year the foundations of four piers and one abutment were completed.[1] A major design change was made in 1579 requiring the widening of the bridge to allow houses to be built (though they never were) made the piers on the long arm longer. These piers were built over the next nine years.[1] After a long delay beginning in 1588, due in part to the Wars of Religion, construction was resumed in 1599.[1] The bridge was completed under the reign of Henry IV, who inaugurated it in 1607.
Like most bridges of its time, The Pont Neuf is constructed as a series of many short arch bridges, following Roman precedents. It was the first stone bridge in Paris not to support houses in addition to a thoroughfare, and was also fitted with pavements protecting pedestrians from mud and horses; pedestrians could also step aside into its bastions to let a bulky carriage pass. The decision not to include houses on the bridge can be traced back directly to Henry IV, who decided against their inclusion on the grounds that houses would impede a clear view of the Louvre, which he extended substantially during his reign.[3]

The bridge had heavy traffic from the beginning;[1] it was for a long time the widest bridge in Paris. The bridge has undergone much repair and renovation work, including rebuilding of seven spans in the long arm and lowering of the roadway by changing the arches from an almost semi-circular to elliptical form (1848–1855), lowering of sidewalks and faces of the piers, spandrels, cornices and replacing crumbled corbels as closely to the originals as possible.[1] In 1885, one of the piers of the short arm was undermined, removing the two adjacent arches, requiring them to be rebuilt and all the foundations strengthened.[1]

A major restoration of the Pont Neuf was begun in 1994 and was completed in 2007, the year of its 400th anniversary."



And here it is illuminated at night with the Eiffel Tower peeking out below one of its many arches.  Can you imagine how many people have crossed this bridge over that span of time, and how many proposals, fights, hugs, and kisses have occurred on it?!  

It's mind boggling really when you think about it, and I'm just happy to have walked on it, floated underneath it, and been able to capture it through my lens!

10 comments:

  1. One of my favorite bridges. It try to review the bridge names in my head from time to time so I won't forget all the names. I love this shot with the Eiffel Tower off in the distance. I guess your were cruising down the Seine as you captured this shot. It is very nice.

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  2. It really is amazing when you think of how long it has been there and all of the history...your image is beautiful, Kat!

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  3. Such an iconic view - beautifully photographed!

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  4. Fascinating, and beautiful! I love seeing any part of Paris through your eyes.

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  5. It truly is a beautiful romantic place. It's been years since we have been there. Time to go back.

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  6. I love that first image; your artwork is enchanting. And you captured a fabulous point of view in the second photo. You are truly very talented.

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  7. What a lovely blog! Why haven't I found you before? I see some of my good blogging friends here like Pondside so surely should have done!

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  8. Yep, we kissed on it. It was a beautiful evening when we strolled across it and I loved looking down the Seine to the Eiffel Tower and the lights of the city. Great photos.

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  9. Oh I look forward to visiting here and I too am fascinated with imagining the stories this place could tell. This is such a romantic shot with a glimpse of the Eifel Tower and you have captured it so beautifully all lit up like that. xo

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