Jul 16, 2009

I always have Pont Alexandre III in my heart. The bridge is lavishly decorated with lampposts and sculptures of cherubs and nymphs. On each end of the Pont Alexandre III are large gilded statues on 17 meters (56 ft) high granite pillars. Each of the ornaments on the bridge was created by a different artist.It's lovely! I used to find many brides and grooms take a picture at this bridge. What a romantic picture!

The bridge was built at the end of the 19th century as part of a series of projects undertaken for the Universal Exposition of 1900. The exposition took place on either side of the Seine river and the new bridge would enable the millions of visitors to more easily cross the river.

Construction of the bridge, designed by the architects Résal and Alby, took almost 3 years. The structure was first prefabricated in a factory and later transported and assembled by a large crane. One of the requirements for the bridge was that it should not obstruct the view on the Invalides and Champs-Elysées. This resulted in a very low 40 meters (132 ft) wide bridge with a single 107.5 meters (353 ft) long span and a height of only 6 meters (20 ft). Built in May 1897, the first stone was already laid by the Russian Tsar Nicolas II in October 1896. The bridge which was to symbolize Russian-French friendship, named after his father, Tsar Alexander III.

The Pont Alexandre III opened just in time for the Universal Exposition of 1900 together with several structures that still stand today like the Gare d'Orsay, the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais. The exposition would attract an impressive 50 million visitors.

What an amazing, lovely, romantic bridge !