More bridges of Paris


Linking the Institut de France with the central square of the Palais du Louvre, the pedestrian-only Pont des Arts (Gallery I) is popular with strollers, people-watchers, artists and photographers. The original bridge, built in 1804, collapsed in 1979 after a barge slammed into it.  It was rebuilt almost identically, with the same lace-like metal arches.  Although it sometimes looks and feels like an outdoor art studio, the span’s name dates back to when the Palais du Louvre was known as the Palais des Arts.  The neighboring Pont Neuf (Gallery III and seen beyond the boats) is actually the oldest standing bridge in Paris, dating back to the early 1600’s.  But because it was new when it was built it was called the “New Bridge,” and the name has stuck for four centuries!