Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Paris Cruise: Bridges & More

We got caught in the rain on the day we decided to take a cruise down the Seine. In Paris, there are 37 bridges over the Seine. Each is unique and we enjoyed seeing a handful of them.

But, before we get to the bridges, here's a view of the Eiffel Tower on this rainy day.
And this is Pont Alexandre. (Pont is French for 'bridge'.) It was built between 1896 and 1900 for a world's fair. It is named for Tsar Alexander III of Russia and his son, Nicholas II, laid the first stone. It features art nouveau lamps and Nymphs of the Neva with the arms of Imperial Russia (double- headed eagle). On the other side would be Nymphs of the Seine with the arms of France.
The golden winged horse is also part of Pont Alexandre. The building with the glass roof is known as the Grand Palais (which we did not visit). This was also built for the Universal Exposition, or world's fair, of 1900. Today, it often hosts art exhibitions.
This building was also finished in 1900. It was originally a terminis for the Paris-Orleans Railway. It now houses the Musee d'Orsay which we visited on a different day.
A couple on the bridge of "love locks" which we walked across on another day.
I think this image looks so Parisian! Maybe they were putting on their own lock?

This is Pont Neuf, which means "new bridge". However, it is actually the oldest bridge crossing the Seine in Paris! King Henry III laid its first stone in 1578 and it was completed in 1607 under Henry IV! There are almost 400 of these faces on the bridge. Each of them unique! They are called "mascarons" which is Italian for "mask."
More mascarons on Pont Neuf.
This bridge is the Pont Saint Michel which was built by the request of Napoleon III.
A view of Notre Dame from the 'back' showcasing the flying buttresses.
This bridge is the Pont de Bir - Hakeim which has two levels - a lower one for vehicles and pedestrians and an upper one for the Metro. I believe this statue is called "Labor"
by Jules-Felix Coutan.
This is the same bridge with the Eiffel Tower in the background.
And, after we got off the boat, we came across this... the "Flamme de la Liberte"! It is an exact replica of the flame held by the Statue of Liberty which was, of course, a gift to the United States from France!

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