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!!