KLM Travel Guide

Bridges on the Seine

The Seine runs through the heart of Paris. A walk along the river leads you past typically Parisian book stalls, busy artists and romantic parks, and its banks have served as the backdrop for countless movies. But it’s only from the many bridges that you truly experience the essence of this elegant river, the lifeblood of the city.

The Pont Neuf links Île de la Cité with both banks

The Pont Neuf links Île de la Cité with both banks

Pont Neuf

Despite its name, the Pont Neuf (‘New Bridge’) is the oldest bridge in Paris. King Henry III laid the first stone in 1578 and its elegant arches have linked the Île de la Cité with both banks of the Seine ever since 1607. The Pont Neuf was the first bridge in Paris made of stone as well as the first to feature no houses: as such, it offered an open view over the Seine and was quickly loved for this. The broad pavements, which segregated pedestrians from the horse and carts, also contributed to its popularity.

The Pont des Arts is the most romantic bridge in Paris

The Pont des Arts is the most romantic bridge in Paris

Pont des Arts

Framed by the stunning Île de la Cité and the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower, the Pont des Arts is an unbeatable spot from which to watch the sunrise. There are benches along the entire length of the bridge, which are occupied every day by people enjoying the magnificent view over the Seine and the Parisian life passing them by. The Pont des Arts is also known as the bridge of lovers: they say that if two lovers kiss here, they’ll stay together forever. Completed in 1804, the innovative design was an idea by Napoleon Bonaparte. He wanted a metal bridge over the river to link the Institut de France with the Palais des Arts (as the Louvre was then known), which is where its name originated. Unsurprisingly, the bridge has served as a source of inspiration for countless artists.

The spectacular Pont Alexandre III

The spectacular Pont Alexandre III

Pont Alexandre III

Old lanterns, nymphs and winged golden horses – according to many, the Pont Alexandre III is the most beautiful bridge in Paris. The bridge was opened for the Universal Exposition in 1900. It is named after the Russian Emperor Alexander III as a symbol of the renewed friendship between France and Russia. The style of the bridge reflects that of the Grand Palais on the right side of the bridge. Once the lights are turned on in the evening, the bridge takes on a fairy-tale appearance.

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