September 13, 2007

Pont de Bir-Hakeim


The Bir-Hakeim Bridge crosses the Seine River, just south of the Eiffel Tower. Tourists may often not have the time to go so far, but it’s actually one of the best places to watch the Tower and it’s also a beautiful piece of art by itself.

The bridge was built (actually rebuilt) in 1905 in two levels, allowing the passage of the then new metro, plus cars, pedestrians, bikers… It was originally called the Passy Bridge, named after the area Passy on the right bank. It got its new name in 1948 to commemorate the battle of Bir Hakeim (Libya 1942-43).
The two Scottish guys you can see on one of the pictures are probably here for the soccer game France – Scotland, played last night (0-1) or maybe on their way to the rugby match in Toulouse, where France also meets Scotland (World Championships) next weekend.

The bridge crosses the Ile des Cygnes (the Swan Island). You can use some stairs and then take a walk all along the narrow island to its extreme south, where you can find the smaller version of the Statue of Liberty.

The statue you see is a gift from the Danish colony in France (1930) and the decorations on the side of the bridge date from its creation; symbols of the French nation are fixed to the bridge.

The bridge has "co-starred" in several films, the most famous one perhaps being the Last Tango in Paris by Bertolucci with Marlon Brando; the apartment was situated in the last corner building, just at the starting point of the bridge.

Some of the original photos can be seen on my other blog , "Peter-photos".

27 comments:

Annie said...

The bridge will be the place I'll stop and look when I come to Paris.

I remember the shock I felt as a young woman when I watched the movie, Last Tango in Paris. I wonder if I'd feel that shock now, so many years later? I should rent the movie just to see.

Keshi said...

wow wut a bridge!

I dun think I hv seen Last Tango In Paris...now I wanna :)

Keshi.

Seda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seda said...

Hey Peter. You are right about that I should do some publicity but my office condition is much more strict rigth now and I can hardly post some pictures and when I get back home I do my freelance jobs and generally there is no time left for me to visit other blogs. I miss, acutally, to visit other daily photo blogs but I can't find time. I generally post some picture, check out your blog and head back to my work. What a pity!!! I would like to earn my money by taking pictures, writing for blogs but it doesn't seem possible for now.

Great photos by the way. Especially the first one. You know I love bridges...

Seda

Olivier said...

j'ai decide de ne plus jamais parler à un ecossais de ma vie ;o)). Les sculptures du pont sont magnifiques. A Paris, il y a vraiment de superbes ponts, j'adore le tout nouveau la passerelle Simone de Beauvoire qui mene à la grande bibliotheque, surtout de nuit

Chuckeroon said...

Good bridges..all with stable horizons. (I enjoyed them for other resons too) Amused that you tweaked Richard's beard on horizons/verticals today: I have done the same on R u T DP.

hpy said...

Tu t'appproches de mes anciens quartiers! Ca me fait plaisir de les revoir.

oldmanlincoln said...

So many bridges and none with the structural weaknesses found on almost all of our bridges. I don't know what the difference is except construction.

Peter said...

annie:
Same as you, I haven't seen the movie since it came out in the 70's. I don't think you would be shocked any more!

keshi:
I guess it's one of the "must-films", but maybe you will be disappointed. What was a "sensation" then, may not be it today.

Peter said...

seda:
I understand. Anyhow do your best with the time you may have available! ... and I'm so happy to see you back, at least to some extent!

olivier:
Oui, ce pont moderne est aussi une réusiite. Je l'ai sur mon post sur le Parc de Bercy, mais mes photos sont prises dans la journée. Il faudrait que j'achète un tripied!

Peter said...

chukeroon:
Please say something more about the other reasons!

hpy:
Oui, un de ces jours je vais peut-être arriver dans le 7é!

oldmanlincoln:
Yes, of course the major thing is that the bridge stands. If it's also decorative it's of course even better and I believe that's mostly the case, whether the bridge is ancient or modern.

Olivier said...

Attention à la loi parisienne, il est formellement interdit sans autorisation de prendre des photos dans Paris avec un trepied. bon souvent les flics sont tres coulant.

April said...

A wonderful two storey-bridge with a great view on Eiffel tower. Maybe I should start a notebook, noting down allt ehw onderful places you show us and that I would like to see next time.

And you have illustrated the bridge's functions well. I think you have done it on purpose and waited for a ship, a car and a métro train, passing at the same time. Great photos.

hpy said...

Le 15° me convient très bien!

Peter said...

olivier:
Merci de m'avoir averti!

april:
Actually I did wait for the moment with the metro and the boat - and the car. Thanks for noticing! I did not have to wait for long!

hpy:
J'étais persuadé que ton arrondissement était le 7è.

JoAnn - NL "My digital eyes" :) said...

Hi Peter,
This pic's makes me( hus and me) wanna goooooo to Paris! ( I was in Paris this year in May but with a friend,

We will (I Hope) this year because we ( my hus and me) went to Paris 20 years ago , there we started ur realtionship (!) and this year we celebrate our 20th anniversary, Soooo we shoul go to Paris, we would like to... but first have to find a dog-sitter...

But if si I'll let you know and ak fro some goo hotels OK?

JoAnn :)
BTW thanx 4 visiting my blog, come back anytime I'll like that.

ruth said...

I agree, I only saw "Last Tango" for the first time in the last year or so, and it was not shocking, although I thought it would be. I didn't know the movie took place on this bridge. I haven't been down that far, but I can see I need to go there next visit.

Glenn Standish said...

Love the top picture! Have just replied to your comment...

Peter said...

joann:
Happy it brought some nice memories!
Please advise me when you plan your Paris trip!
Btw: Dogs are allowed in Paris. Paris is even full of dogs!

ruth:
The basic action in the film takes place in a flat overlooking the bridge.

glenn:
Thanks! And once more, happy to see you back from your long vaction!

Sonia said...

I think I've never have seen before the Bir-Hakeim Bridge. Beautiful photo and perspective!

I saw "Last Tango in Paris" many years ago and I can't remember that bridge.

Azer Mantessa said...

viva france 1-0 :-)

Peter said...

sonia:
As I said above, the action of the film takes place in a flat, overlooking the bridge.

azer:
Thanks, but unfortunately it was the other way around: 0-1.

Neva said...

You have some wonderful pictures and I love your commentary...awesome...

Drama Div@ said...

haven’t heard of the movie before... hmmm, you mean Marlon Brando the The Godfather actor...

Kate said...

Wonderful collection of photos. Remarkable bridge and remarkable snaps, Peter.

Cergie said...

Et au bout de la ligne souvent, pour moi du moins, la gare Montparnasse
A l'autre bout, l'Etoile.

Belle photo avec le train, le bâteau, la voiture. Good timing comme on dit.

Per Stromsjo said...

The Stockholm subway also uses a two-level bridge. Interestingly enough it was built decades before our subway became a reality. Someone planned ahead, wisely. Not much of that these days.