The best way to discover Paris bridges is by walking along the banks of the River Seine. There are about 32 bridges on the river in Paris; Impressionnant! One of the bridge that attract my sight is the Pont Alexandre III, the city’s most opulently decorated bridge.
It is constructed from steel and stone in the Art Nouveau style. The bridge was named after Tsar Alexandre III to commemorate the Franco-Russian Alliance signed in 1892. Even though construction of the bridge only started in May 1897, the first stone was laid by Czar Nicholas II in October 1896, who followed Alexander III to the throne in 1894. The bridge was officially opened to mark the occasion of the Universal Exposition in 1900, although construction had been completed some time before.
The bridge is lavishly decorated with lampposts and sculptures of cherubs and nymphs.
Approximately 1.8 kilograms of gold were needed to decorate the bridge. It is a symbol of what of “Belle Epoque”, between 1890 and 1914.
While the copper statues at the arch of the bridge are beautiful, the main feature of Pont Alexandre III is without a doubt the four 17 meters-high pillars with its shining gilded statues. Each has a specific name and stands for a specific period of history. These pillars does not only serve as decorations but for a purpose. The pillars actually play an important role in making sure that the bridge stays intact as counterweights for the bridge which provides balance to the structure.
The Pont Alexandre is by far one of the most spectacular sights of I have ever seen and by far the most impressive bridge on the River Seine. You can get a different perspective of the Eiffel tower from the bridge.
Pont Alexandra III
Pont Alexander III joins the Champs Elysées and the Grand Palais on the right bank with Napoleon’s resting place, Les Invalides, on the Left.
Just like the Eiffel Tower, Petit Palais and Pont Alexander, the Grand Palais was built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900 too! The most remarkable decorations on Grand Palais is probably the two Quadrigas; the four-horse-drawn chariots that visitors can see at the top of the façade. These are known as the Récipon Quadrigas, after their creator, George Récipon. The statue standing right infront of Grand Palais is none other than Charles de Gaulle.
The following is inscribed on the base of the statue:
Paris outragé / Dishonored
Paris brisé/ Shattered
Paris martyrisé/ Martyred
mais Paris libéré/ Freed
The Grand Palais.
The Petit Palais. To get to the Pont Alexandra III, Alight at station Invalides Line 13 or 8.
Paris is one of the places you should visit once in a lifetime. Like any other city, Paris is no stranger to pickpocketing and scams. Below are 3 popular scams practiced you should be aware of before travelling to Paris. There are variations of scenarios. This is based on distraction and the hope that the victim will fall for just about anything.
- Gold Ring Scam
The suspect “found” a gold ring (made of brass) on the ground. Suspect pick it up, and ask if it is yours. Even if you say no, they insisted with the excuse that it is “against their religion to wear jewellery.” As you leave with the ring, they mention that it would be nice to be compensated for the ring they just gave you, perhaps a few euros.
- Sign a Petition Scam
It doesn’t pay to be nice. They usually work in groups for this scam. Suspect will ask if you are able to speak English, shoved a clipboard petition form for you to sign for a good cause. While you are busy reading and signing the form, it is a distraction technique guaranteed to draw your eyes and your attention, off your wallet.
- String Scam
Suspect will ask if you want them to make you a friendship bracelet. If you agree, suspect will slide the string over your wrist or finger and tie it so tight that it is impossible to escape from. Remember to sound out a loud “NO” if these hopeful approach you.
This would be the Finale of my Paris Travel Series. I end this series with snippets of my Paris trip.
Paris Travel Series: Eiffel Tower | Montmartre District | Paris Mosque | Musée du Louvre | Arc de Triomphe & Champs-Élysées | Palace of Versailles | Cruising Along River Seine | Notre-Dame Cathedral & Centre Georges Pompidou | Tour Montparnasse