Archive for June 17th, 2020

June 17, 2020

Pont d’Arcole, Paris!

Ok so here I am inspire again on writing about the different spots around my eternal Paris. The whole world comes to Paris , yes it is nice, I just wish they see my belle France. As said, Hemingway wrote the Movable Feast printed posthume, if he had traveled more he would have written a second volume, France is a movable feast!

Having said that, let me tell you about some of the bridges of Paris, sublime, beautiful, architecturally stunning and full of wonderful history. And why not start with the Pont d’Arcole!

Pont d’Arcole: The first permanent bridge connecting the City Hall of Paris (Hôtel de Ville) and the Île de la Cité was built in 1828. This small pedestrian bridge with a central pillar was replaced by a wider and stronger bridge in 1854. The for its time advanced bridge with no central pillar still stands today.

The Pont d’Arcole crosses the great arm of the Seine, at the Ile de la Cité. This site is served by the Hôtel de Ville metro station lines 1 and 11. It links the City/Town Hall on the right bank to the Hôtel-Dieu on the Ile de la Cité. The Pont d’Arcole is the first iron bridge in Paris; 20 meters wide and comprising a metal structure in the form of a single arch with a range of 80 meters located between two abutments in cut stone, it was completed in 1856. Its construction lasted less than three months. The name comes from the battle of the Pont d’Arcole won by Napoleon Bonaparte over the Austrians in 1796.

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It was only in 1827 that a royal ordinance authorized the construction of the Pont d’Arcole bridge between the Place de l’Hotel de Ville and the Île de la Cité. Built in 1828, a footbridge was opened to traffic on December 21 of that same year. This suspension bridge is made up of two spans of around 40 meters. It is only 3.50 meters wide between the railings and is reserved for pedestrians. The footbridge was first called “Pont de la Grève” during its first two years. It then takes its current name.

In 1854, it was replaced by a metal structure, more solid and allowing the passage of vehicles. The Pont d’Arcole is therefore innovative: it is the first bridge without support on the Seine entirely made of iron and no longer of cast iron. However, on February 16, 1888 the bridge suddenly collapsed by 20 cm, and must then be consolidated.

It was by the Pont d’Arcole that the first tanks of the 2nd Armored Division of General Leclerc arrived during the liberation of Paris in August 1944, on the place de l’Hôtel de Ville. It was only between 1994 and 1995 that the City of Paris had the deck repaired completely, reviewing the waterproofing and painting of the bridge at the same time. In 2012, the City of Paris renovated the illuminations on the Pont d’Arcole to reduce the energy consumption of the structure by 90%!

And there you go folks, another dandy in my beautiful Paris, once bitten, the virus of love stays with you. Hope you enjoy the post on the Pont d’Arcole of Paris!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 17, 2020

Pont de la Concorde, Paris!

Ok so here I am inspire again on writing about the different spots around my eternal Paris. The whole world comes to Paris , yes it is nice, I just wish they see my belle France. As said, Hemingway wrote the Movable Feast printed posthume, if he had traveled more he would have written a second volume, France is a movable feast!

Having said that, let me tell you about some of the bridges of Paris, sublime, beautiful, architecturally stunning and full of wonderful history. And why not start with the Pont de la Concorde!

The Pont de la Concorde leads from the Place de la Concorde to the Palais Bourbon, home of the French Parliament’s lower house or Assamblée Nationale. Already planned in 1725, the bridge was built after much delay, between 1787 and 1791. The width of the bridge was doubled in 1932 to 34m (112ft) to accommodate the increasing traffic. It is serve by the metro line 12 of station Assamblée Nationale and lines 1 8 and 12 at Concorde.

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The Pont de la Concorde crosses the Seine between the Quai des Tuileries at Place de la Concorde and the Quai d’Orsay. During its history, it bore the names of “Pont Louis-XVI”, “Pont de la Révolution”, “Pont de la Concorde”, again “Pont Louis-XVI” during the Restoration of 1814, and definitively ” pont de la Concorde ”since 1830.

In 1722, King Louis XV authorized the provost of the merchants of Paris and the aldermen of the city to build a bridge at this location, in order to serve the district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The works must begin in 1725 but, for lack of money, are postponed and do not start until the end of the century. When the events of July 14, 1789 , the construction was completed in 1791. Thereafter changing names as above.

In 1810, Napoleon Bonaparte had statues placed there in honor of eight generals who died on the field of honor during the campaigns of the First Empire. At the Restoration, they were replaced by a set of twelve monumental statues in white marble. These statues commissioned by king Louis XVIII in 1816 and posed before 1829 represent four great ministers such as Colbert, Richelieu, Suger, and Sully, and four soldiers such as Bayard, Grand Condé, Du Guesclin, and Turenne as well as four sailors such as Duguay-Trouin, Duquesne, Suffren , and Tourville. But this set is too heavy for the bridge, and Louis-Philippe Ier removed these statues to transfer them to Versailles. At present, the statues are located Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan: statue of Du Guesclin, Bayard, Condé (destroyed in 1944) , Turenne; Naval school of Brest: statue of Colbert, Duquesne (destroyed in 1944), Suffren, Duguay-Trouin (went through Saint-Malo then Poulmic); Rosny-sur-Seine: statue of Sully; Saint-Omer: statue of Suger; Richelieu: statue of Richelieu; and Tourville-sur-Sienne: statue of Tourville.

The traffic was very dense (even then!!) , and the Pont de la Concorde had to be widened on each side between 1930 and 1932, to reach double its initial width. It was last renovated in 1983.

Built at the end of the 18C with a pavement of 8.75 meters in width and two sidewalks of 3 meters, it quickly proved insufficient to ensure adequate circulation in this part of the city, between the two banks of the Seine. The final width of the structure will be 35 meters with a pavement of 21 meters and two sidewalks of 7 meters. The Pont de la Concorde, and its surroundings, was the site of confrontations during the crisis of February 6, 1934. The date of February 6, 1934 refers to an anti-parliamentary demonstration organized in Paris in front of the Chamber of Deputies by right-wing groups , veterans associations and far-right leagues to protest the dismissal of police prefect Jean Chiappe following the Stavisky affair (this scandal symbolized the crisis of an unstable regime suspected of corruption).

I had done a post on several bridges of Paris together, and there is info on the city of Paris page, unfortunately the Paris tourist office does not have the Pont de la Concorde! Here is the city of Paris page in French: City of Paris on its bridges see Pont de la Concorde

And there you go folks, another dandy in my beautiful Paris, once bitten, the virus of love stays with you. Hope you enjoy the post on the Pont de la Concorde of Paris!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 17, 2020

pont de l’Alma ,Paris!

Ok so here I am inspire again on writing about the different spots around my eternal Paris. The whole world comes to Paris , yes it is nice, I just wish they see my belle France. As said, Hemingway wrote the Movable Feast printed posthume, if he had traveled more he would have written a second volume, France is a movable feast!

Having said that, let me tell you about some of the bridges of Paris, sublime, beautiful, architecturally stunning and full of wonderful history. And why not start with the Pont de l’Alma!

The pont de l’Alma bridge   crosses the Seine. This bridge connects Quai Branly in the 7éme arrondissement, on the left bank to Avenue de New York in the 8éme arrondissement and the 16éme arrondissements, on the right bank. On the right bank, it separates the ports of Conference and Debilly, and on the left bank, those of Gros-Caillou and La Bourdonnais. The north end of the bridge is served by the Alma – Marceau metro line 9 station, and the south end, by the Pont de l’Alma RER C station. Its name commemorates the Battle of Alma ,1854 during the Crimean War. The bridge was built from 1854 to 1856 It was inaugurated by Napoleon III on April 2, 1856.

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For the 1900 Universal Exhibition, the bridge was doubled upstream by a footbridge, known as the Passarelle de l’Alma footbridge. From 1970 to 1974, the bridge was completely replaced, due to its narrowness and settlement. The Pont de l’Alma bridge is located near the tunnel where the Princess of Wales, Lady Diana was fatally injured on August 31, 1997. This tunnel, often called the tunnel de pont de l’Alma, is actually between the Place de l’Alma square and bridge. Overhanging this tunnel stands the Flame of Liberty, (see post) a life-size replica of the flame of the Statue of Liberty. It was diverted from its initial function and spontaneously became a place of contemplation for the admirers of the deceased princess. The right-of-way on which the monument is located is called Place Diana.(see post)

On the old bridge, each of the two piers was decorated, upstream side and downstream side, by a statue representing one of the four regiments having valiantly fought during the Crimean War: a zouave and a grenadier and a hunter on foot and an artilleryman. The Pont de l’Alma was rebuilt between 1970 and 1974 having only one pier, only the zouave has been preserved , and the other three statues have been moved. The statue of the zouave (see post) serves as a popular instrument for measuring the floods of the Seine. When the level of the Seine reaches the feet of this zouave, the paths on the banks are generally closed. When the water rises to the thighs of the zouave, the Seine is no longer navigable. During the historic flood of 1910, the water rose to the shoulders. Following the replacement of the bridge in 1970-1974, the zouave is now lower than originally. With equal reference, the floods it reports are therefore less significant. Nowdays, the administration measures the level of floods at the Pont de la Tournelle.

Some of the films I like on it are the 2010: Les Petits Mouchoirs, by Guillaume Canet . Music wise I like the 1968: Merry Christmas by Barbara; album: Le Soleil noir, and 2009: Lady Diana of Fatals Picards; album: The Sense of Gravity.

The Paris tourist office on the Pont de l’Alma in English: Paris tourist office on the Pont de l’Alma

And there you go folks, another dandy in my beautiful Paris, once bitten, the virus of love stays with you. Hope you enjoy the post on the Pont de l’Alma of Paris!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

Tags: , ,
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