Mid-month theme - subways ... and bridges

Normally I don't post on Saturdays, but the 15th of each month is the day for the mid-month theme “subways”, which I share with bloggers from NYC, Budapest and Stockholm. You can find today’s and some related posts by using the following links:

New York City Daily Blog - Stockholm by pixels - Budapest by Andrea Gerak - Peter's Paris

(You can also find some related posts on my previous blog via this link: PHO.)

As I at the moment am writing something about the 37 bridges which are crossing the Seine in Paris, I will try to combine this with the subway theme.

Most of the Paris metro lines cross the Seine in tunnels. There are a few exceptions; two bridges have an extra level for the metro (Pont de Bir-Hakeim and Pont de Bercy), two are pure metro bridges, the Pont Rouelle and the Viaduc d’Austerlitz.

The Pont Rouelle was built for the 1900 Universal Exhibition to enable a railway link between the “Petite Ceinture” and the Invalides Station. This link is what I put in blue on the below map which shows the Paris railway network around 1900 before the metro started to take over. The “Petite Ceinture” was a circular railway created during the 1850’s with the aim to connect the then existing Paris railway stations of which only a few are still in service – the green / red circles. (One day I may make special post about all this.) On the map I have added, in white, where you can find the Pont Rouelle and the Viaduc d’Austerlitz. The Invalides Station (Gare des Invalides) which was created in 1867 is still there. It served as a railway station until 1935. Since 1948 it’s the Air France terminal for the Orly airport and since 1979 the underground part serves also as a metro station.
The Pont Rouelle (named after a French 18th century chemist) served until the 30’s and then this railway line was abandoned, like the bridge and like most of the “Petite Ceinture”. In 1988, this branch and the bridge were put back into service and are now in use for the express metro network, called RER (line C). As you can see from the below photo, the Pont de Rouelle crosses the Seine over the “Swan Island” (Ile des Cygnes) – as does the Pont de Bir-Hakeim (in the front, see previous post) and the Pont de Grenelle. Just behind the Pont de Grenelle, on the very top of the photo, you can find the Paris copy of the Statue of Liberty (see previous posts).

The Viaduc d’Austerlitz dates from 1905 and is since the beginning solely dedicated to the metro (line 5). It crosses the river in one single metallic span, with arcs above the deck in order to allow a large free space for the navigation. The big stone abutments at each end of the bridge are generously decorated in the style of those days (by J-C Formigé who was responsible for a lot of the Paris metro installations, the parts which are in viaducs, lines 2 and 6).

As with my other "Seine bridge posts", you can see the photos also "in full" and as a slide show on Ipernity.


Anonymous said...

toujours de belles ballades parisiennes chez toi

krystyna said...

What a gorgeous trip I had today with beautiful Fireworks misic. Ipernity is a great idea for your beautiful artworks.

Have a nice weekend!

Virginia said...

Well I am wondering why I am having so much fun perusing your subway photos when I should be "preparing my luggage"! You are right. On the other hand, I saw Ming's great subway shot tonight and decided I might want to jump in on this theme day next month with a Paris Metro photo of my own. I promise not to elbow you out of the way to get the best one! Will you guys let me in???
Back to packing....
P.S. You might like all the steps, moi..... not so much!

stromsjo said...

I bet the tourists appreciate those bridges so much more than tunnels.

Happy subway day!

claude said...

Deux sujets en un !
Les ponts et le métro, Bravo !
Très intéressant cet historique du métropolitain parisien. Bon week-end Peter !

alice said...

Finalement, je ne sais pas si je vais venir jusqu'à Paris: avec tes diaporamas sur Ipernity, c'est tellement moins fatigant!
Et on profite des détails fabuleux, comme ces poissons sur le côté du pont...

Alain said...

Les ponts, les ponts, les ponts ! Il aurait été plus simple de construire Paris d'un seul coté de la Seine.

Ruth said...

Austerlitz is one of my faves. And I love that photo of Pont Rouelle from above! I didn't know about Swan Island, it's very picturesque.

Starman said...

Thanks for the information on Viaduc d’Austerlitz. I've been looking for the name of that for eight months.

PJ said...

I didn't know about the mid-month theme. You've done anamazing photo essay on both fronts.

Kiwi said...

You're not just doing a "subway day" Peter, you're doing "The complete Paris subway and bridges city guide". I'm overwhelmed!

Happy subway day Peter!

Andrea Gerák said...

Salut Peter, happy Subway Day again!

It is an exhausting post about one station, I can imagine this really took some work. Merci beaucoup!

Ming the Merciless said...

Oh, I remember taking that train many times during my last trip to Paris. I did not notice the Eiffel Tower from the train the first couple of times because it was during the day. But one night when I was on my way back to the hotel, I looked out the window of the train and saw the most beautiful sight -- the Eiffel Tower lit up like a Christmas tree. It was sooo beautiful.

GMG said...

Hi Peter! Sorry for the long delay in coming here, but the last two weeks were too hectic!
This subway post is incredible. You did it perfectly. I'm truly convinced that you should start thinking on finding an editor to publish your Peter's Paris DVD. It will be the best Paris guide available on the market... Mean it!!
Amazing, but I'm not sure I ever noticed crossing the Pont the Rouelle... ;)
The whole Bridges series is superb; and of course you made justice to the Alexandre and the Alma, but my favourite is the Bir-Hakeim; always loved to croos the bridge on the metro with the view of the Eiffel Tower! Not to mention the Pont-Neuf, my first walk in Paris in 1969, staying at that small Hotel at Place Dauphine... ;)
Enjoy a great weekend!

Olivier said...

j'aime bien le metro aerien sur Paris, on a une vue originale et belle de Paris

Unknown said...

It's amazing how those bridges look awesome seen from any angle! Great shots!

PeterParis said...

Paris est une belle ville!!

Yes, with Ipernity you can choose your music - more or less!

No problem, I will with pleasure let you take over the December one! To be published December 15!

PeterParis said...

I'm sure you are right!

Par paresse... ?

Le but c'est le contraire... je veux que les gens viennent! Donc, il faut bien venir!

PeterParis said...

Très bonne idée!!! :-)) Un peu tard ... et j'aurai du chercher d'autres sujets pour mes messages pendant deux ou trois semaines!

So, you never went to see the Statue of Liberty (one of the Paris versions)?

I hope that you have not been doing just that! (Next time send a message with a question and I will try to find an answer.

PeterParis said...

Now you know... But next mont Virginia may take over (see above)! :-)

peter f:
Can't help doing it differently! :-)

Happy to see you back also on the subways!

PeterParis said...

A blogger must always keep the eyes open!! :-)

I'm waiting for the editors to call me! :-)
I remember you told me already about that little hotel. It's still there!

Oui, c'est plus sympa que les tunnels ... et aussi vite! Content de te voir de retour!

PeterParis said...

You are right, I believe it's difficult to make a really lousy shot of a bridge!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your visits, Peter.

I did follow your suggesting and see your slide show which is, by the way, excellent.

I hope you do not overdo it. I don't know how you get around to take all of these photos. I never got farther than my backyard to take most of my pictures and sometimes, like this winter days, I find it hard to take even one picture.

Ruth said...

No, although I think we rode by there on a night boat cruise.

I did get to the Liberty statue in Luxembourg though!

PeterParis said...

With all that you do, you should not talk about me overdoing!

Good that you found the Luxembourg one, the original!

Anonymous said...

Great post as always Peter !. This is probably the best Metro map I've ever seen. I usually like to skip Bir-Hakeim, and get off at the next station, so that I get a chance to descend the steps and cross the lovely bridge. This became a habit sine Bir-Hakeim, was closed for renovation for such a long time.