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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Paris - Pont Alexandre III

Date of visit: 16th April 2014

What more to ask? Anne captured my moment with beautiful view on Seine River and Eiffel Tower from Alexandre III bridge (known as Pont Alexandre III in french) 

It was Anne who suggested that we visit Pont Alexandre III apart from a must visit Lover’s bridge (Pont des Art). The lover's bridge was (is) the most visited place by Malaysian apart from Eiffel Tower. Strangely that I did not see any of the Pont Alexandre III photo that was shared in my friends social media. Since we could not locate the lover’s bridge that day, we were mostly happy to settle with this 1 as it equally brought lovers to photo-shoot their wedding albums in this area. Everyone knows Paris as ‘the romance capital’ and the ‘city for lovers’. Apparently the chain link fence of the Pont des Arts, where lovers locking the love padlock onto the fence and toss the keys into the Seine river as a sign of their eternal devotion actually crosses from the left bank to the Louvre museum.



The city of Paris has 37 bridges across the Seine river, of which 3 are for pedestrian only and 2 are rail bridges. 3 link Ile Saint-Louis to the rest of Paris whilst 8 others link the same for Ile de la Cite and 1 links the 2 islands to each other, from downstream to upstream. Pont Alexandre III is 1 out of 3 pedestrian bridge which offers the best overlooking view towards Eiffel Tower. The couple in the above photo was there quite early in preparation for a right timing in getting natural lighting to have their wedding photo with Eiffel Tower and the sunset.




The Pont Alexandre III is a deck arch bridge that spans the Seine in Paris. It connects the Champs-Elysees quarter and the Invalides and Eiffel Tower quarter. It is widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in the city, been classified as a French Monument historic. It was built in "Beaux-Arts" (neoclassical architectural style) style bridge, with its exuberant Art Nouveau lamps, cherubs, nymphs and winged horses at either end. The bridge was built between 1896 and 1900, named after Tsar Alexander III, who had concluded the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892. His son Nicholas II laid the foundation stone in October 1896. The style of the bridge reflects that of the Grand Palais, to which it leads on the right bank.

I was enjoying a silly moment with Nymphs of Nova statues
Grand Palais visible from this angle where my sister stood, it was close to 8pm at night

The construction of the bridge is a marvel of 19th century engineering, consisting of a 6 metres high single span steel arch. The design, by the architects Joseph Cassien-Bernard and Gaston Cousin, was subject to strict controls that prevented the bridge from obscuring the view of the Champs-Elysees or the Invalides.
A closer view of Art Nouveau lamps, the Fames and the Grand Palais 

The bridge was built by 2 engineers, Jean Resal and Amedee d'Alby. It was inaugurated in 1900 for the Exposition Universelle (universal exhibition) World's Fair, as were the nearby Grand Palais and Petit Palais. Numerous sculptors provided the sculptures that feature prominently on the bridge. 4 gilt-bronze statues of "Fames" watch over the bridge, supported on massive 17 metres masonry socles which acted as counterweight for the arch, without interfering with monumental views. The socles are crowned by Fames restraining Pegasus.


On the Right Bank, Renommee des Sciences ("Fame of the Sciences") and the Renommee des Arts ("Fame of the Arts") are arts both by Emmanuel Fremiet. At their bases, La France Contemporaine ("Contemporary France") was by Gustave Michel and France de Charlemagne ("France of Charlemagne") by Alfred Lenoir. The lions groups are by Georges Gardet. On the Left Bank, the Renommee du Commerce ("Fame of Commerce") by Pierre Granet and the Renommee de l'Industrie ("Fame of Industry") by Clement Steiner; at their bases France de la Renaissance ("France of the Renaissance") by Jules Coutan and La France de Louis XIV ("France of Louis XIV") by Laurent Marqueste. The lions groups are by Jules Dalou, Georges Gardet.


Anne with 1 of the Fame

The Nymph reliefs are at the centres of the arches over the Seine, memorials to the Franco-Russian Alliance. The "Nymphs of the Seine" has a relief of the arms of France, and faces the "Nymphs of the Neva" with the arms of Imperial Russia. They are both are executed in hammered copper over forms by Georges Recipon. In the same political spirit, the Trinity Bridge in Saint Petersburg was conceived as a memorial to the Franco-Russian Alliance. It was designed by Gustave Eiffel, and the first stone laid in August 1897 by French president Felix Faur. The last photo is Anne with the Nymphs of Seine. I'm so thankful that she has a good camera able to support any lacking of good quality photo from my Nikon.





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