Jeter un pont – To build a bridge
The pont Alexandre III, inaugurated for the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris, was to symbolize the Franco-Russian friendship and alliance, under the leadership of the French president Sadi Carnot and the tsar Alexandre III of Russia.
Creating a large avenue access to the Petit Palais and to the Grand Palais, the bridge also created a grand perspective upon the Invalides monument where before there was not much to look at.
Sculptures were created by quite a few different artists of the time. Georges Récipon is the author of the two sculpture groups on either side of the bridge in the center : on one side two figure representing the nymphs of the Neva river with the coat of arms of Russia and on the other side two figures representing the nymphs of the Seine with the coat of arms of Paris.
I personally like the detail work seen in the various sculptures on the bridge, it’s a clear indication of the art movement of that period; one that was classic yet charged with floral and nature detailing everywhere.
The rooster is a symbol of France
The ship is the symbole of Paris
Maybe at every turn of the century France feels an urge to invite their Siberian pals over for a fancy dinner or festival. 2010 was named the year of France and Russia. I thought it would be interesting to talk about this bridge because recently there was an effort for another friendly back-patting between Russia and France, garnished with the invitation of a couple of Russian dance troupes to perform in Paris, and a grand exhibition of artwork at the Louvre as well as festivals in other French cities, Chanel even had very Russian inspired designs over the past winter in the display windows. These manifestations are all frosting on the diplomatic/military/business cake that the two are often baking together over the past 100 years.
Hi, and thanks for the history lesson. I’m always delighted to learn more about my favourite city! 🙂
And the history of the bridges is amongst the most fascinating – are you planning on doing any others?
Well I suppose I should since it seems to be in demand!
One of my favorite places, right in the middle of everything. We are all clamoring for a history of the bridges…pleeease! You caught Paris on such a fresh, windswept, blue sky day! Divine!
It was a much needed diversion last week when I took these pics.
What a nice write-up of probably the prettiest bridge in Paris! You also captures the pretty sheep’s wool clouds so well.
Hope you are well, Melissa! Hope I can catch up with you at another event soon. 🙂
And in the photos, I meant. 🙂 They are lovely.
Aw thank you Karin. I enjoy that bridge also for the space on it. It has such a large avenue and it’s nice to ‘feel’ the open sky…you know. 😀
This is one of my favorite spots in Paris! The bridge itself is gorgeous and it’s in a great location- LOVED the Petit Palais! Beautiful pictures 🙂 thanks for the history lesson!