The Pont Alexandre III – or Alexander the III’s bridge – is by far the most visited and famous bridge in Paris. Like all things Parisian, the Pont Alexandre III is beautiful and ornate, with gold touches and sculptures throughout. But have you ever wondered what the story is behind this ornate bridge?
Well, we have all the top tips and facts about Alexander’s bridge in Paris so when you visit you can impress your friends and family with some history and facts.
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History of Pont Alexandre III
The Pont Alexandre III has a fascinating history. The bridge was a gift from Russia in preparation for the World’s Fair in 1900. Nicolas the II laid the first stone to build the bridge. The bridge is named after his father, Tsar Alexander III.
When was Pont Alexandre III built?
The Pont Alexandre III was built between 1896 and 1900. The last time it was renovated was in 1997. The bridge is still in use today, both cars and people can cross the bridge (bikes too, of course). The bridge is made primarily of steel, as shown underneath its more ornate façade.
The facade consists of gold statutes and ornate lampposts every few feet. Large gold sculptures sit on each side of the Pont Alexandre III, staring across Paris in a gorgeous, intimidating way.
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Pont Alexandre III in pop culture
The Pont Alexandre III is popular for tourists and film makers alike. You can see the Pont Alexandre III in many films including:
- James Bond, A View to Kill
- Midnight in Paris
- Emily in Paris
- Funny Face
- Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald
Fun fact, Anastasia was the granddaughter of Tsar Alexandre III, who the bridge is named after.
Sculptures on Pont Alexandre III
One of the traits that make the Pont Alexandre III so memorable is its ornate sculptures. On each of the four points of the bridge, there are bronze statutes of “Fames” restraining Pegasus. Each one is different and represents a different Fame.
On the Invalides side, there are two Fames, one for commerce and one for the industry. On the Grand Palais side there are two more Fames, one for sciences and one for the arts. If you look closely you will see different etchings that represent their Fames.
Meanwhile, in the middle of the Pont Alexandre III there are memorials called the “Nymphs of the Seine” that depict the Russian-Franco alliance. These sculptures are made out of copper. Fun fact, the Trinity Bridge in St. Petersburg has a matching sculpture.
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Things to do near Pont Alexandre III
The Pont Alexandre III is beautiful, and in an excellent location for seeing the sights of Paris! The Invalides, the army museum, is a short walk straight ahead from the bridge. On the other side is the Grand Palais museum, perfect for a rainy (or sunny) day.
There are also several boats that have turned into bars on the Seine nearby the bridge. And a nightclub located right underneath its steel frames.
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What arrondissement is Pont Alexandre III in?
The Pont Alexandre III connects the 8th and 7th arrondissements. It links the Petit and Grand Palais with the Invalides. Walking across the Pont Alexandre III takes you over the Seine River and has a breathtaking view at any time of day or night. On one side, the Grand Palais sparkles and omits lights from its glass ceiling.
On the other side, a long park leads the way to the Invalides army museum. The Invalides look intimidating from afar, and even more spectacular from the bridge.