January 11, 2008

Pont Neuf

The Pont Neuf, meaning the New Bridge, is actually the oldest remaining bridge in Paris crossing the Seine. It was opened in 1607 by one of the most popular French kings, Henri IV. It was the first Paris bridge made for traffic only; no houses built on it, which until then was the tradition. It was also paved and surprisingly wide, some 28 meters (92 feet). The bridge is still as it was from the beginning, no major alterations, and the traffic on it is still heavy.
I have tried to direct a Google map in the same angle as the “Turgot map” from 1734. We can see that one difference in the landscape is the prolongation of Ile de la Cité, where a natural sandbank developed and later was transformed into a small park or square, which has got the name of Vert Galant (the nickname for Henri IV, meaning the “green” or “lusty” gentleman; he was known for a number of love affairs).
The equestrian statue is also of Henri IV. It was ordered by Henri’s widow, Marie de Médicis, and was erected in 1618. (You can vaguely and with good eyes distinguish the statue also on the “Turgot map”.) It was destroyed during the Revolution in 1792. With the change of regimes and the monarchy being back, it was then rebuilt in 1818, exactly as it was… and, as I mentioned in a previous post, by using the bronze of the Napoleon statue of Place Vendôme (… and then the Napoleon statue had to be remade when the regime changed again).
You can find some of these pictures on my photo blog.

That was all for this week! Have a nice weekend!!

41 comments:

isabella said...

"...it was then rebuilt in 1818, exactly as it was… by using the bronze of the Napoleon statue of Place Vendôme..." The ultimate recycling ;-)

Again, looks like Pont Neuf was significantly "brightened up" since I saw it last...

I think it's time for a revisit ;-)

Sonia said...

I am so glad you are fine!

The Pont Neuf is very beautiful!
Nice post, Peter!

Ex-Shammickite said...

Oh you bring back happy memories with your interesting posts!

Annie said...

All, you say, All! You give us such a wealth of information about the places you visit and live. I am enchanted by your knowledge and presentation of it.

lyliane said...

lES GRANDS ESPRITS SE RENCONTRENT, il a dit vrai (mais qui a dit cela au fait?) hier j'ai préparé mes photos sur les ponts de Prague et acheté une poule pour servir "la poule au pot" dimanche!
Je vais comparer si le pont neuf est plus vieux que le pont Saint Charles et penser à ce bon Henri IV dimanche.
Bon week end peut être pourras tu sortir la semaine prochaine, sans boîter.

Azer Mantessa said...

green is lusty for Henry ... all the while i thought green is innocent ... hehehe

very interesting to know that the bridge was made strictly for traffic which i thot the main function of any bridge ... that bridges those days were with houses sure prove back then people were very innovative ...

oldmanlincoln said...

It is hard for me to imagine anything this old still in use. Why are Americans fascinated with the "wrecking ball?"

Cergie said...

Que d'eau que d'eau qui coule sous les ponts !
Heureusement qu'on en a pas mal à Paris, pas comme à Bordeaux...
Le pont neuf le plus vieux pont de Paris, ça m'a toujours fait rire...

Je suis passée sur la passerelle en face de la Concorde hier, et l'ami avec qui j'étais et me sert de cicérone n'a pas pu me dire le nom de la passerelle aux pieds légers dont je t'ai parlé. Par contre, il m'a confirmé que la tour St Jacques était en train d'être déshabillée.

Marguerite said...

Quel beau ciel dans ta photo du dessus, un vrai tableau !

Ash said...

Pont Neuf is so beautiful!
Very nice images Peter.

Tietie007 said...

Pas mon pont préféré, mais j'ai beaucoup apprécié, cet été, faire les quais de Seine !
http://tietie007.over-blog.com

Mona said...

Peter, your's is the most colorfully interesting blog that I have ever seen. Never has any photoblog interested me so much as yours does because you have such an interesting presentation!!

I hope you are feeling better now and that your injury is healing!

Peter said...

isabella:
"Ultimate"... let's see, maybe there will be new change of regime?
Yes, the bridge has just been cleaned.

sonia:
Thanks!

ex-shammickite:
Happy memories should be refreshed!

Peter said...

annie:
Thanks! (I learn as I write...)

lyliane:
"Les grands ésprits...". Un proverbe, mais cité par Voltaire (source Google). Bon appétit et bon week-end!

azer:
Maybe he was innocently lusty?

Olivier said...

en ce moment je reecoute les freres jacques, et ils ont une tres belles chansons sur les ponts de Paris
"Viaduc d'Auteuil, il lui fit de l'oeil,
sur le pont Marie, elle lui a souri
Il ne l'accosta que sur le pont de l'Alma
L'avait l'air d'un oeuf jusque sur le Pont-Neuf
L'a dit "c'qu'y fait beau" pont Solferino,
Elle répondit "oui" sur le pont Saint-Louis.
Il la trouva belle pont de la Tournelle,
Elle le trouva beau su' l'pont Mirabeau
Puis il devint tendre su' l'pont Alexandre
Et l'a embrassée pont de l'Archevêché
Elle a dit "je t'aime" su' l'pont d'Bir-Hakeim
Et lui "moi aussi" sur le pont d'Bercy

Tard sur le pont des Arts
Lorsque son mari les vit pont de Sully
Saisit l'rival su' l'pont Royal
Et l'bascula par-d'ssus l'pont d'Iéna
"J'veux suiv' mon amant" dit-elle pont de Conflans
Et son corps fit flac ! sous le pont Tolbiac.
Elle l'a rejoint à Noël sous le pont de Grenelle
A jamais réunis sous les ponts de Paris"

J'aime ces vieux ponts de Paris, quand on s'y ballade, on peut faire de superbes photos.
Bon Weekend

Peter said...

oldmanlincoln:
Haussmann took care of the "wrecking ball" in Paris, but a few things were left.

cergie / marguerite:
La "passerelle" juste en face de la Concorde est le Pont Alexandre III. Tu réfères sans doute à la passerelle Léopold-Sédar Senghor un peu plus en amont.
La tour St. Jacques est actuellement deshabillée jusqu'aux épaules. A quand le reste du strip?

alice said...

On dit "solide comme le Pont neuf"! C'est ce que je souhaite à ton genou!

Peter said...

ash:
Thanks, I appreciate!

tietie007:
Merci de cette première visite sur mon blog!

mona:
That was a compliment!! Wow!! Yes, I feel fine. The doctor will give her verdict next week.

Peter said...

olivier:
Merci pour les Frères Jacques! Je les ai vu sur scène dans ma ville natale (Göteborg) vers 1958-60 ainsi que les Compagnons... + pas mal d'autres artistes français. Mon prof de français était aussi responsable de l'Alliance Française...

alice:
Merci pour ces voeux!

Denton said...

I was once the new bridge. All is relative ... Your effort, on the Google map, is very impressive.

Matritensis said...

The Bridges of Paris are really amazing, very beautiful.
May favourite the Pont Mirabeau

Ming the Merciless said...

I love Pont Neuf. It is absolultey beautiful there.

Nice collection of photos.

ruth said...

For me, Pont Neuf is the center of Paris, my center anyway. It's so beautiful since they cleaned it up. I actually stole a little piece of the crumbled repair work in 2004, and it sits on my desk.

hpy said...

J'aurais pu dire comme plus haut: "Oh you bring back happy memories with your interesting posts!"
car qui n'a pas trainé dans ce quartier un jour?

Kate said...

I wonder how many people worldwide think "Oh, that's my favorite bridge!" when they see this photo? It makes me very nostalgic when I see many of your photos and wish that I had visited Paris sooner and more often! I suppose I must be content with visual cyber images, and your blog definitely fulfills the need, Peter. Great photos! Many thanks!

Chuckeroon said...

,,so psd to learn you are back in circulation. Door knockers were an inspired idea.

(Oh...and we have to be thankful that at least the Pont Neuf was not initiated by Napoleon....Ha,Ha, Ha).

'JoAnn's-Digital-Eyes' said...

Hi peter, have a good weekend to you too, and i love you writing, I forgot all abot the 'man on the horse' you make me see Paris the best way!!!!

Oh and about your question ( an my promise about the lightballs) I could not photograph more lightbaals at night , so insted I showed some glasshouses, also in/near The Hague. (on that evening it was too cold near the sea!) I hope that will satisfie you?

Greetings JoAnn

Peter said...

denton:
The Google Earth is a nice tool. However the Paris satellite photos are rather old.

matritensis:
So, I will try to make a post on Pont de Mirabeau then!

ming:
You can but be impressed by this bridge!

Peter said...

ruth:
You are really a fan!

hpy:
Tu as bien raison.

kate:
If being nostalgic means just to think "how nice it was...", then it's OK!

Peter said...

chuckeroon:
Well, at least I managed to have Napoleon mentioned...!

joann:
There are so many "men on a horse"... not only in Paris.

Mathilde said...

Tes photos me font souvenir du film « Les Amants du Pont-Neuf »

« La solitude qui enveloppe les oeuvres d'art est infinie, et il n'est rien qui permette de moins les atteindre que la critique. Seul l'amour peut les appréhender, les saisir et faire preuve de justesse à leur endroit. »

Rainer Maria Rilke, Lettres à un jeune poète


Le sentiment amoureux à vif.
Pour aimer les Amants, il faut juste oublier la pesanteur, son propre poids, et se laisser emporter par le tourbillon âpre et enivrant de la passion d'Alex. Les images violentes de mouvement et de couleurs nocturnes, le rythme de l'archet du violoncelle. Accepter de se laisser brûler par le feu d'Alex. Risquer se noyer aussi. Alors le film explosera de lumière devant nos sens étourdis. Le réveil sera dur. Mais qu'importe, puisqu'on aura vécu un film comme jamais..

Peter said...

mathilde:
Je n'ai jamais vu le film (honte)!Après tout ce que tu dis ici, il faudrait absolument que je le vois!
(Il semble que Leo Carax travaille sur un nouveau film?)

April said...

Great that you have juxtaposed those two maps. This wonderful old bridge! I hope you are spending a nice wekend.

Mathilde said...

J’ai trouvé Paris au cœur de mon village, une maison voisine.. (décoration géante de Noël) Première rue à droite… Il y a une série de photos sur mon blog pour présenter mon village, tu comprendras pourquoi.

Les 8000 ? Passion, rêve ? Je ne sais plus, grimper est aussi obsessionnel chez moi que la lumière. J’ai fait l’ascension du Mont Blanc. J’aurai aimé imaginer faire le camp de base de l’Everest qui ne présente aucune difficulté, nonobstant les procédures administratives pour arriver à Katmandou. Et puis, un problème «de cœur» m’interdit désormais l’altitude et tous efforts violents. A défaut.. Je lis, je marche dans les pas de ceux qui vivent enfin leur rêve.

J’ai à peu près tous les livres touchant l’ascension d’un 8OOO.

SusuPetal said...

Peter, you have been awarded in my Finnish blog, pick up your flowers from there!

http://susupetal.vuodatus.net/blog/1051562

Noushy Syah said...

Pont Neuf is definitely beautiful....your simple but informative explanation make it more interesting.Well I guess I wouldn't want to keep saying that your pics are gr8!

Glad to know that you're fine following the surgery.

Have a gr8 week Peter.

GMG said...

Glad to read that your surgery was OK. Hopefully the recovery will be easy…
The Pont Neuf has a particular sentimental value for me; actually, the first time I was in Paris (1969), I was hitch-hiking back from Stockholm and got a lift of a Danish driver from the Rödby Havn-Puttgarten ferry straight to Paris. When we got to Paris, I looked for a hotel and the one I found was named Henry IV at the Place Dauphine, just in the middle of Pont Neuf. For a 20 year old Portuguese under the influence of May 68 that was quite an experience… The building is still there, but I couldn’t find the hotel the last time I went through… Many years later, a friend was living in an apartment just opposite the Hotel, and from his bed there was a fabulous view to the Seine and the Samaritaine…
Have a great week Peter!
Gil

Nathalie said...

Connais-tu le film "les amants du pont neuf"? J'en ai suivi le tournage lorsqu'ils en avaient recréé le décor dans la campagne camarguaise non loin de Montpellier. Extraordinaire reconstitution, avec la statue volontairement déformée pour la perspective. J'en ai des photos quelque part...

Richard said...

Nice work with the maps. I always like these books such a "XXX in old photographs as it was" etc -the fun being to walk around and see if you can spot anything remaining that vaguely resembles what used to be there. Google has given us a nice armchair alternative. I wonder how long before we can see real street level detail?

Drama Div@ said...

Marie de Médicis?? i think i heard you talked abt that name before.. let me recall, it was highlighted when you post abt Luxembourg something something.. hahahaha.. i know.. im not your "A" student... not paying attention sometimes..

Jessy said...

Nice pictures!
I'm taking a course called French language and culture and this is helpful. :)