Although in literal translation Pont-Neuf means “New Bridge”, one of the symbols of the city is also the oldest bridge in Paris. The long-standing decoration of the Seine connects the Gauche coast to the Druat coast, best seen from the west side of the island. Ile de la Cite, representing the heart of medieval Paris.
Pont-Neuf is a stone bridge built between 1578 and 1607. years. The construction was approved by the then French King Henry III, who laid the foundation stone on May 31, 1578. The ceremony was attended by King's m, Queen Catherine Medici, as well as his wife, Queen Louise de Loren (Louise de Loraine).
Building construction is nonetheless completed only during the reign of Henry IV, and the breakthrough came as a result of the rebellion against the king (1588-1589). As soon as the complete construction was completed, King Henry IV decreed that Guillaume Marchand and François Petit modify the initial plan.
It was already passed precedent regarding the bridge. Namely, instead of the bridge containing houses or shops, as was customary for all bridges until then, Pont Neuf was the first to plan any of it.
As construction neared its end, the king decided it was the best time to open the square between the Palais de la Cite and the western part, wthe bridge around the middle passes the island of Il du la Site (Ile de la Cite). Today, this royal square – one of the first in Paris with Place des Vosges – is also called Place Dauphine.
The first bridge with rails and sidewalks in Paris
Once completed, Pont-Neuf was the only bridge to exploit the full width of the Seine River. It was also the first bridge to have sidewalk rails to protect passersby from horses and dust.
Immediately after the completion of the construction, crescent-shaped features were erected above the pillars in the recesses in the wall. This one the landmarks marked the places wmerchants could sell their goods. Initially public readings were held on the bridge as well as performances by musicians, which were fun for all passersby. The books were wise displayed on the wall by the sellers, with the help of leather straps that they hung on the railing.
One of the ornaments and recognizable details of the bridge is the decor used for the stone edge of the bridge. It's about 381 Mascaron sculpture (Mascaron – popular décor in the shape of a human face, grotesque in appearance).
A major bridge restoration was done 13 years ago
It's a bridge In 1889 it was added to the list of significant historical monuments for France. Ninety-two years later, Pont-Neuf along the Seine coast becomes part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Pont-Neuf is wise 238 meters long, 20.5 meters wide (11.50 meters for traffic and 4.50 meters for each sidewalk). Interestingly, the bridge has two different parts. The one on the right bank has seven pillars, and the one on the left bank has five.
Learn about the longest suspension bridge in the West, as well as the story behind the famous Kwa Bridge. Also read why one bridge is special in Vietnam.