Pont Neuf – or New Bridge, en français – is ironically named given that it’s actually the oldest of the 37 bridges that span the Seine River in Paris.
For most of my visits to Paris, it’s been my bridge. The one I cross most frequently. A comforting landmark as I’ve made my way back to my temporary Parisian home at the end of each day.
It was back in 1578 that the first stones were laid, though Pont Neuf had a scandalous reputation even before construction was completed in 1607; resident gangs, robbers and murders, hustlers, pickpockets, prostitutes and even tooth pullers. Oh my! It even apparently had its own gallows for a time.
See those funny faces? They’re called mascarons and are replicas of the original stone masks that originally adorned the Pont Neuf.
I can’t find the source now but if memory serves correct, the below is a door that offered access to control the fuel for the once-upon-a-time gas lamps that lit the bridge. Anyone?
Minus the bird poop, I really like the ornate bases of the bridge’s lamp posts.
The Pont Neuf also has built-in benches which offer a place to give your tired feet a break while taking in the views.
Not much longer! Really looking forward to revisiting Pont Neuf.