Aug 17, 2009

Pont Neuf

The equestrian statue of Henri IV

The Pont Neuf(new bridge) is the oldest bridge in Paris now, inaugurated it in 1607 by Henri IV. The bronze equestrian statue of Henri IV was commissioned from Giambologna under the orders of Marie de Medici, Henri’s widow and Regent of France, in 1614. After his death, Giambologna's assistant Pietro Tacca completed the statue, which was erected on its pedestal by Pietro Francavilla in 1618. The sculpture originally rose from the river on its own foundations, the natural sandbar building of a mid-river island, aided by stone-faced embankments called quais, has extended the island, which is planted as the teardrop-shaped Parc Vert Galant in honour of Henri IV, the "Green Gallant" King.

At Square du Vert Galant, there is the Bateaux Les Vedettes du Pont-Neuf for sightseeing cruise. It's better try it in the summer that you can enjoy the cruise calmly under the sun.

If you find the steps behind the statue and follow them down to the vaulted arches of the bridge, you will find yourself facing a small green park on the western tip of the island. This tiny sanctuary is the best place to go in Paris if you don't own a boat. By sitting on the stone embankments, surrounded by water, you can almost pretend you are sailing down the river.