12.11.08

... and even more Seine bridges

Three more bridges today. I guess we have now reached 11 out of 37. (I may not be able to finish this week, sorry.)

Today something about the bridges crossing the Seine fairly close to the Eiffel Tower.

I have recently posted about the Passerelle Debilly.











I made a post about Pont Bir-Hakeim in September last year; just two small photos to remind you... and maybe a few words: This bridge from 1903-05, in two levels to allow the metro to pass, replaced a earlier one from 1878. It got its present name (previously Pont de Passy) from the battle at Bir-Hakeim during WW II.

Then there is the bridge, which is just in front of the Tower, the Pont de Iéna. It was constructed during the reign of Napoleon I and opened in 1814. It got (of course) the name of one of Napoleon’s victories - over the Prussians this time. Later some Prussian invaders wanted to have it destructed, but finally accepted just a name change. It rather soon got its original name back. You cannot see so much of the original bridge as it was completely reconstructed in 1937, becoming almost twice as wide.

Here are some pictures taken from the Eiffel Tower (see posts) a couple of weeks ago, one taken in front of the Tower and the bridge, early evening, just when the blue lights had been turned on (see post about the blue, European, Tower). ... and one from the ground, last week, under a much greyer sky.

On the top picture we have a global view of the Pont de l’Alma. The name is referring to another army victory (each country has theirs – Waterloo etc...), this time a bit later, in 1854, and it refers to a battle where the British, Turkish and French troops together fought against the Russians in the Crimean War. An original bridge from 1856, too narrow, was replaced by the present one in 1974.
The original bridge was decorated by four sculptures representing soldiers who had participated in the Alma battle. Of the four, one is still decorating the bridge (it has changed side) and represents a “zouave”, a name given to certain infantry regiments in the French army, normally serving in French North Africa 1831 – 1962, but they participated also in the Crimean war. This statue has served – and still serves – as a popular way of checking the water level in the Seine River, which can vary considerably. This is why you can find walls all along the river when it passes Paris. The footpaths and streets along the banks of the river have now and then to be closed – when the “zouave” gets wet feet. There has been considerable damage due to floods in previous centuries with a number of bridges destroyed. The latest and most important flooding took place in 1910 and you can here see what the old bridge and the “zouave” then looked like.

The place on the northern – right – side of the bridge, Place de l’Alma is decorated with a copy (real size) of the flame of the Statue of Liberty (see different posts) – a gift by the International Herald Tribune to Paris in 1989 (200 years after the Revolution). Under the place is the tunnel where Princess Diana died in 1997 and this statue has become an unofficial place of pilgrimage. On my photo of the flame you can in the background see the fashionable Avenue Montaigne (fashion houses, hotels, theatres...) with the Sacré Coeur in the far horizon. Another fashionable avenue, George V, leads also to this place and just round the corner you can find one of the best seafood restaurants in Paris and also the cabaret Crazy Horse.

You can find these photos in full and in a slide show on Ipernity or on Flickr.

32 comments:

Dina said...

Your photos are fantastic. Thanks for all the information too. Well done.

hpy said...

Tu es déjà debout?
(Je reviens, + tard)

Peter said...

hpy:
Je dois partir de bonne heure aujourd'hui pour mon baby-sitting!

alice said...

Je suis toujours captivée par tes photos prises de la tour Eiffel.
Après avoir lu le commentaire précédent, je te souhaite une bonne journée avec tes pioupioux. Ils ne sont pas malades au moins?

claude said...

Ah ! Je suis contente de revoir le Zouave du Pont de l'Alma. Encore un souvenir d'enfance. Quand il y avait une crue de la Seine, on allait voir où l'eau lui arrivait.

hpy said...

Combien de fois n'ai-je pas traversé la Seine sur un de ces ponts! A pied ou en bus, voire en voiture! Sans doute surtout en bus pour monter vers l'Etoile et le RER avant d'arriver au boulot avec - comme d'habitude - quelques minutes de retard....

Marguerite-Marie said...

superbe reportage sur les ponts de Paris à défaut d'être sous, lorsque revient le jour avec Julot et Nini.

Adam said...

I like the name Pont de l'Alma just because I spent some time in Hungary, and Alma means apple in Hungarian. For me it no longer commemorates a battle but is instead Apple Bridge!

Matritensis said...

37 bridges!!!

The Pont de Iéna´s area is a beautiful place, i like it.

Cezar and Léia said...

Hello again! This first pic is wonderful! Reminds me 2000 when I have the joy in my lifetime for visiting Paris!It was my first time but now I hope visit there again and again and again!Paris is a place to be in love!Thanks for help my plans.
By the way, certainly this blog will be helping me with my French class as well!
Many thanks, you are very kind!
Greetings from Brazil and Luxembourg!
Léia

Cezar and Léia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruth said...

I can't help but be sad about all the history of wars. But at least the bridges are a beautiful remnant.

Once when my sister and I were walking Avenue Montaigne, we stopped, shocked, to see one of the fashion windows (Oscar de la Renta I think) with two mannequins in American university sweatshirts: one "Notre Dame" and one "Michigan" where my sister attended. Apparently the University of Michigan sells more university memorabilia than any other university worldwide. Watch for people wearing "Michigan" in Paris, I think you'll see some!

Nathalie said...

Obsession, obsession, comment passer du pont de l'Alma (ton sujet) au Crazy Horse (ta dernière photo).... c'et le génie humain ! LOL

Je connaissais l'histoire du zouave du pont de l'alma bien sûr, c'est vraiment amusant comme référence.

Bises

delphinium said...

et tu vas souvent au crazy horse? :-))
Ta photo avec le zouave me fait penser aux deux statues qui sont dans le film "le Seigneur des Anneaux" le premier volet. Je ne sais pas si tu l'as vu. A la fin du film, lorsque la compagnie descend la rivière sur un bateau pour rejoindre le Mordor, deux gigantesques statues se dressent sur les deux côtés de la rivière pour rappeler la puissance du pays du Gondor. Mais il n'y avait pas de pont, juste des statues. Bon, bon, si tu n'as pas vu le film, ce que je raconte n'est pas forcément intéressant. Si tu as vu le film, tu peux visualiser les choses mais ce que je raconte n'est peut-être pas plus intéressant que si tu n'as pas vu le film. Et si tu n'as pas vu le film, c'est mieux d'aller au cinéma qu'au crazy horse. :-) voilà

Marie-Noyale said...

Cette premiere photo est magnifique..
Une tres bonne idee de se servir de la Tour Eiffel pour un petit plus sur les ponts.
Tu as aussi rectifié un point j'etais persuadée que la Flamme de l'Alma etait la, depuis la mort de la princesse a cet endroit, mais cela n'a rien a voir..

HZDP said...

Peter,
The first photo looks great, where were you?

HZDP said...

AH, after reading some words of this post, you were on the Eiffel tower, right?

HZDP said...

wait a minute...why's the upper part of this photo looks as if the buildings were in shade and what's that?

Virginia said...

Beautiful view from la tour! You are going to be very busy if you are going to photograph 16 more bridges this week! Bonne chance!
V

Abraham Lincoln said...

If I have been here before I apologize for showing up again on the same post, but I have seen a lot of bridges here and did not realize there were this many bridges anywhere else in the world.

You asked about seeing the inside of the Draw magazine I published in the 1980sw. Well I took you advise and began photographing some of them to show the contents to you and others who have asked to see.

I will be publishing a story tomorrow that will knock your socks off, but then on Friday it will be the wildest cakes you ever laid your eyes on. Honest to Pete.

It is a group of ladies seated in straight back chairs, all reading their Bibles.

You need to tell you friends. Those pictures made that issue of my Draw magazine the most read issue we ever published.

I even got Wanda linked up tomorrow.

Virginia said...

When Abe speaks.... I listen ( and you too Peter!) I am tuning in Abe! I am not familiar with Draw Magazine but I will check it out on your blog ASAP! Go ahead and knock our socks off!
V

Tash said...

Cette premiere photo est tres, tres magnifique.
The views of the city like that send me back down memory lane (& to look at old photos). Our favorite view was from Tour Montparnasse & we stayed near Luxembourg Gardens the 2 times we visited Paris.

Peter said...

dina:
Thank YOU!

alice:
Non, ils ne sont pas malades... just du baby-sitting normal!

claude:
Toujours nostalgique!! :-)

Peter said...

hpy:
En retard? Ca ne me dit rien! :-)

marguerite-marie:
On est bien sous les ponts... sauf si on est obligé d'y rester jour et nuit comme certains.

adam:
I will remember... the Apple bridge!

Peter said...

matritensis:
When I decided to make them all I did not yet realize that there were so many!

cezar & léia:
When you come back to Paris I hope to hear from you!

ruth:
Thanks for the warning! :-))

Peter said...

nathalie:
Tout simplement parce que Crazy Horse est là, rien d'autre! :-)

nathalie:
Jevais au cinéma... mais j'avoue que je ne pas regardé les Anneaux. D'aller au moins une fois à Crazy Horse est une sorte d'obligation, comme Moulin Rouge, Lido... ! (... mais je crois qu'une fois suffit.)

marie-noyale:
Non, en effet ça n'a rien à voir, suaf que c'était là!

Peter said...

hzdp:
A mixture of sun and clouds, nothing else! :-)

virginia:
Yes, the "bridges" became a bigger subject than I had first thought!

abraham:
I understand, with all these bridge posts, they may all look alike! I will watch "Draw" pictures on your blog, don't worry!

Peter said...

virginia:
For the Draw, you must go to Abraham's blogs!

tash:
Preparing for a third time?

sonia a. mascaro said...

Fantastic reportage, Peter! Great photos, too. You did a good job here!

Therese said...

C'est quand même extra Paris vu par Peter. Surtout avec, à chaque fois un plan discret qui nous situe bien l'endroit. Il faut dire que je ne n'ai aucun sens des directions...

Peter said...

sonia:
Thanks for your always kind words!

therese:
L'essnetiel, c'est de ne pas perdre le nord!

jill said...

Thank you again Peter. The bridges of Paris are so interesting with different architecture and history. I really appreciate your photos from all angles.