One of the most amazing things you can do in the city of Paris is to take a boat ride on the River Seine. Numerous boats are lined up in the area near the Eiffel Tower (to name just one of the many embarkment points) which allows you to explore the city from a different perspective.
A boat ride like this also allows you to discover some of the most famous Bridges in Paris as well. In this article, we have compiled a list of some of the most impressive ones that you simply have to see while visiting this amazing place!
Related: Check out some of the most amazing bridges all across the world!
1. Pont Alexandre III
The Pont Alexandre III is without question one of the most famous bridges in Paris, mainly because of its elaborate ornamentation. This bridge was constructed in the late 19th century and was named after Russian Tsar Alexander III in honor of the Franco-Russian alliance of 1892.
It connects the quarter featuring the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides to the south with that of the Champs-Élysées and the Grand Palais to the north. The gilded sculptures of the bridge in combination with the gilded dome of Les Invalides make it one of the most picturesque locations in all of Paris, and that means something.
2. Pont de Bir-Hakeim
The Pont de Bir-Hakeim was originally known as the “Pont de Passy” is a bridge that connects the 15th and 16th arrondissements of Paris. It passes by the small Île aux Cygnes which features a small replica of the Statue of Liberty in New York City, an 1889 gift from the French community in the United States.
This steel bridge replaced an older version on this location and was constructed between 1903 and 1905. It’s a remarkable structure because it’s one of the few in the city that features two levels. The top-level is a viaduct while the lower level is reserved for pedestrians and motor vehicles. It was named after the Battle of Bir Hakeim during World War II.
3. Pont des Arts
The Pont des Arts is also referred to as the “Passerelle des Arts” because of the fact that it’s a pedestrian bridge. The original 9-arched bridge on this location was built during the reign of Napoleon between 1802 and 1804 and was replaced with an identical bridge that was built between 1981 and 1984.
The bridge connects the Institut de France on the south side with the Louvre Museum on the north. This is one of the most famous bridges in Paris because of the so-called “lovelocks” being attached to it, a trend that emerged in 2008. Over a million of these have been systematically removed since 2015 out of fear of damage to the bridge from these locks’ weight.
4. Pont Neuf
The Pont Neuf literally translates to “The New Bridge” and holds the fascinating record of being the oldest standing bridge in Paris. It’s situated on the western end of the Île de la Cité, the island in the River Seine where Paris was born as “Lutetia” during Roman times in the 3rd century B.C.
This fascinating bridge consists of 2 sections and was built between 1578 and 1607. Despite its name, which was given to distinguish it from the much older bridges that crossed the River Seine back then, it’s the only one that has survived into modern times. This pretty much means that it has seen a lot of the history of Paris, right in the heart of the city!
5. Pont de la Concorde
The Pont de la Concorde is another bridge in the heart of Paris with a remarkable history, this for the fact that it was constructed right at the start of the French Revolution between 1787-1791. Therefore, it has gone by a number of different names, including “Pont Louis XVI”, “Pont de la Révolution”, “Pont de la Concorde”, “Pont Louis XVI” again, only to receive its current name in 1830.
The bridge was constructed with stones from the demolished Bastille, a crucial event at the beginning of the revolution. As its name suggests, it connects the Place de la Concorde and the Western edge of the Tuileries Garden on the north, with the Quai d’Orsay and the Palais Bourbon to the south.
6. Pont d’Iéna
The Pont d’Iéna is another famous bridge in Paris that was commissioned by Napoleon himself. It was built in order to have a perfect spot to overlook the military school opposite the Eiffel Tower. The bridge was completed between 1807 and 1814 and it directly links the Eiffel Tower with the district of Trocadéro which features this iconic military complex.
The bridge was named after an important victory of Napoleon in the Battle of Jena in 1806 in today’s Germany. Napoleon really wanted to honor this victory because he disregarded other proposed names of the bridge such as the “Pont du Champ-de-Mars” and the “Pont de l’École Militaire.” After all, Prussia was occupied by France following this battle.
7. Pont Notre-Dame
The Pont Notre-Dame isn’t the oldest standing bridge in Paris as that honor is reserved for the Pont Neuf, it’s the oldest location in Paris where a bridge was located. The original bridge on this location was built in antiquity, even pre-dating Roman times, which means it was built by local tribes.
The current stone arched bridge was completed between 1910 and 1914 and is decorated with reliefs of various kings, saints, and even a Greek god named Dionysus (the god of grape harvest). During the Middle Ages and beyond, the bridge was lined with at least 60 houses, the reason why a devastating collapse occurred in the year 1499, followed by one of the countless rebuilding projects.
8. Pont du Carrousel
The Pont du Carrousel is another bridge in the historical heart of Paris which connects the Quai de Voltaire in the south to the Louvre Museum in the north. It literally ends at the Place du Carrousel which features the inverted glass pyramid at the exit of the Louvre, a reference to the Louvre Pyramid which is the entrance.
The bridge was constructed between 1831 and its official inauguration in the year 1834. It’s an arch bridge which is in line with the various other famous bridges in Paris so it doesn’t block the sight of all the amazing landmarks in the city. Each of the bridge’s 4 corners is decorated with allegorical sculptures representing Industry, Abundance, The City of Paris, and The Seine.
9. Pont Royal
The Pont Royal is the third-oldest still standing bridge in Paris after being completed between 1685 and 1689, about a century before the start of the French Revolution. It’s located just to the west of the Pont du Carrousel and just to the east of the Musée d’Orsay, a popular museum in Paris built in a monumental former railway station.
The original bridge on this location was even older and was a wooden toll bridge that was built here in 1631. This wasn’t a big success as it was both burned and washed away by floods multiple times before King Louis XIV finally financed the construction of a stone bridge. During the revolution, the bridge was briefly renamed “Pont National” as well.
10. Pont Marie
The Pont Marie is the second-oldest bridge in Paris and was constructed between 1614 and 1635. It connects the Île Saint-Louis with the Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville, just east of the historical center of Paris. The bridge was named after the engineer who originally proposed a bridge to be constructed here in 1605 named Christophe Marie.
The Pont Marie is one of the most famous bridges in Paris because it’s assumed that it’s the so-called “Lovers Bridge.” This means that if you pass beneath it and you kiss the person next to you, you can make a wish. There is no real tradition with a historical background to this story, but it’s definitely worth trying out, don’t you think?