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Photographer's Note

The Pont Neuf in sunset lights, Paris

Paradoxically, the Pont Neuf (French for 'New Bridge') is the oldest bridge in Paris.
The Pont Neuf is also Paris's best known bridge and together with the Pont Alexandre III, one of its most beautiful.

History

At the middle of the 16th century, only two bridges crossed the Seine river. Since they were in a bad state and constantly overcrowded, King Henry III decided in 1578 to construct a new bridge.
It wasn't until 1607 before the bridge was officially opened by King Henry IV, who named the bridge 'Pont Neuf'. After the his death, an equestrian statue of the King was erected at the center of the bridge, on the Place du Pont Neuf. The bronze statue was knocked over and melted down during the French Revolution, but is was replaced by an exact replica in 1818.

Progressive Design

For its time, the 232m (761ft) long and 22m (72ft) wide Pont Neuf was a modern bridge with several innovations. The Pont Neuf was the first bridge in Paris without houses built on it. It was also the first bridge with pavements which made it an immediate hit with the Parisians who used the bridge as a meeting place. Especially the semicircular areas near the pavement were ideal for socializing.

Bridge Spans

The Pont Neuf actually consists of two different bridge spans, one on each side of the Île de la Cité, where the Place du Pont Neuf connects the two spans. The bridge has a total of 12 arches, with one span of seven arches joining the right bank and another span of five arches connecting Île de la Cité with the left bank. (Source: aviewoncities/Paris)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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