The bridges of Paris: what's in a name?


Where did the bridges of Paris get their names?  The Pont de Bir-Hakeim (Gallery II), for example. This ornamental double-decked bridge was originally called the Pont de Passy when it was built in the early 1900’s.  But its name was changed in 1948 to memorialize a battle fought by Free French forces against Rommel’s Afrika Korps in Libya in 1942.  And the opulent Pont Alexandre III (Gallery IV), built for the Universal Exposition of 1900, was named after a Russian Tsar to celebrate the Franco-Russian alliance of 1892.  Alexander’s son, Nicolas II, actually laid the first stone for the bridge.