Bir-Hakeim , Paris!!!

Oh yes a memorable stop for many years and hardly notice in my blog. A while back decided to do something about it and now updating the links and text as of today. It is always great uplifting mode to do these older posts again as they bring great memories of my family’s travel and this one does indeed. Let me tell you a bit more on Bir-Hakeim, Paris!!!

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It has become routine for me in these last few years so even if written a blog post on the line 6, figure nice for memories to write a post just on this station/bridge.  My World HQ office at least until this late 2019 was nearby passing the Tour Eiffel every month. It has been very nice indeed my time by here.

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Bir-Hakeim is a station on line 6 of the Paris Metro, located in the 15éme arrondissement. It is an aerial station located on the axis of Boulevard de Grenelle, on the left bank of the Pont de Bir-Hakeim, or bridge above which passes the line. This is the stop before at Dupleix.

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The station has two accesses on the sides at the right of  no 65/68 and no 63/66 of the Boulevard de Grenelle. On the occasion of its renovation of 2008, the station hosted Night and Day, a work by American plastic artist Judy Ledgerwood. It is a double stained glass window positioned on the canopy at each end of the station, above the tracks. The work was offered to the RATP in exchange for a Guimard entrance to the Van Buren Street station in Chicago USA.  The station is in correspondence with the station of the Champs de Mars-Eiffel Tower of the line RER C  via an  underground connection.

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A bit on the history I like

The station was opened on 24 April 1906 under the name of Grenelle. It takes the name Bir-Hakeim on June 18, 1949, with as subtitle Grenelle, when the Bridge of Passy is renamed Pont de Bir-Hakeim.  Previously there was a pedestrian metal walkway, the Passy bridge built for the Universal exhibition in 1878 here. The subtitle is changed to the Eiffel Tower in 1998, as it is the closest metro station to the famous building (only about 650 meters). However, the Grenelle subtitle will remain displayed until the station’s deep renovation in 2008, where the nameplates are finally matched with the mapping.

Its name commemorates the Battle of Bir Hakeim , named after a derelict water point in the middle of the Libyan desert, south of Tobruk, was a battle of  WWII, which took place from 26 May to 11 June 1942 during the Desert War.  During these 16  days, the 1st Free French Brigade (future 1st Free French Division ) of General Koenig resisted the attacks of the more numerous Italian and Nazis motorized armies (the Afrika Korps), commanded by General Rommel. The respite gained by the Free French allowed the British, then in bad posture, to retreat and triumph at El Alamein.

A bit more on the fabulous bridge of which the metro station is name and very near the Eiffel Tower.

The Pont de Bir-Hakeim is 247 meters long for 25 meters wide passing over the Seine river, and  passing  upstream tip of  Swan Island (île aux Cygnes).  For the underground of the bridge perfectly flat at the bottom for cars and pedestrians, in gradual descent of the right bank (rive droite) to the left bank (rive gauche). The lower level comprises two roads 6 meters wide, separated by a walkway of about 9 meters and two sidewalks 2 meters wide. The upper level is reserved for the passage of the Metro line  6 Nation-Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile. This bridge is metallic throughout its length, except for a stone arch at the île aux Cygnes level and the pillars on either side of the shoreline. The bridge crosses the île aux Cygnes  with as the Pont de Rouelle and the Pont de Grenelle. It is located upstream of the Pont de Rouelle and downstream of the Pont d’Iéna.

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The Pont de Bir-Hakeim bridge, bears a plaque in memory of the battle: in Bir-Hakeim from May 27 to June 11, 1942 ;the First brigade of the Free French Forces pushes the furious assaults of two enemy divisions and tells the world that France has never stopped fighting.  Quai Branly: On the quay is installed a monument in homage to General Diego Brosset and to the dead of the 1st Free French Division , whose 1st Brigade fought in Bir-Hakeim in 1942.

The Pont de Bir-Hakeim is richly decorated with statues like on the stone arch: the Science and the Work upstream,  and downstream Electricity and Commerce. The batteries reproduced upstream and downstream, on each passage of the Seine, the Nautes and the Blacksmiths riveters the tip of the island, the France Renaissance (reborn of France) , gift of the Danish in 1930.

Nearby are the  Eiffel Tower: Being the closest station to the tower.  Winter velodrome (Vélodrome d’Hiver), colloquially called “Vel ‘d’ Hiv” and famous for its cycling races, it was also the place of first detention of 13 000 Jews rounded up in the capital in 1942 before their deportation. The velodrome was destroyed in 1960 during the development of the Seine sides. A commemorative monument is erected south of the station, above the RER C  train track.

Some webpages to help your plan visiting in addition to my post on the line 6 above are

The Tour Eiffel access map on Bir-Hakeimhttps://www.toureiffel.paris/en/access-map

The Paris tourist office on the Pont Bir-Hakeimhttps://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73141/Pont-de-Bir-Hakeim

Coming early or very late you can easily find parking along the Port de Suffren next to the Seine as well.Or the Quai Branly-Tour Eiffel at 25 Quai Branly.

There you go, hope it helps you enjoy this corner of magical Paris. The Bir-Hakeim brings back many memories each time I write about it from business trips to family trips.

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

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6 Comments to “Bir-Hakeim , Paris!!!”

  1. what i would give to travel there, it is so beautiful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thanks for sharing the story of this station. I didn’t know its story. I passed by there many times. Nice photos too. Good evening.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The central walkway of the bridge, surmounted by arcades supporting the metro line, is particularly photogenic. Throughout the day, many visitors pose there, with or without the Eiffel Tower in the frame.

    Liked by 1 person

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