Le Pont Alexandre III: A History


Art Nouveau in a Bridge

Right next to one of my favorite buildings in Paris, Les Invalides, stands a bridge that rivals its beauty. Le Pont Alexandre III. France clearly must have a thing for gold, because as you walk from the golden dome of Les Invalides, you won't have to travel long before you see more of it on the bridge. And since I can remember, this has been my favorite bridge in Paris. Maybe it's the gold, maybe it's the Art Nouveau style. But whatever it is, I find it beautiful.

Extension of the Grand Palais

The bridge was built in the same Art Nouveau style of the Grand Palais because it was intended to be an extension of the building. So the gold adorned statues and the beautiful lamps were all built with the purpose to match those of the adjacent building.

The Bridge with the Grand Palais in the Background

It Couldn't be too Big

The bridge was not allowed to be too big so that people could see across the river to the over side. This meant that you could be able to see the Champs Elysées from Les Invalides and vise versa.

Another World's Fair Construction

The opening of the bridge was timed with the 1900 World's Fair. Much of Paris' monuments have been made for the World's Fair exhibitions, and the Pont Alexandre III is no different. And since Paris has hosted many World's Fair exhibitions, there are a lot of monuments made because of them.

Lamp Post on the Bridge

Symbol of the Franco-Russian Alliance

The bridge was named after the Russian Tzar Alexander III. The foundation stone was laid by Tzar Nicholas II, his son. The Nymphs on the center of the bridge are supposed to represent the the alliance between France and Russia as similar Nymphs were built on Trinity Bridge in St. Petersburg. I guess that's why I love this bridge so much, it's got a little bit of Russian in it!

Focus Point for Many Films

Many films have used this bridge as a backdrop for Parisian scenes. Movies like Midnight in Paris, A Very Long Engagement, and A View to Kill have all been filmed on the bridge. It even made its way into animation when the bridge was destroyed during an epic battle between Anastasia and Rasputin in the animated film Anastasia.

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