What Is Paris's Oldest Bridge?

The oldest bridge in Paris was opened in 1607. It is the Pont Neuf which ironically means "new bridge".

Pont Neuf was initially planned by King Henry III but eventually built by King Henry IV. The other bridges existing at the time were either damaged or too narrow for the growing traffic of Paris. Upon completion, Pont Neuf became an important Paris landmark, not unlike the significance of the Eiffel Tower today.

King Henry IV was assassinated three years after Pont Neuf opened. His wife commissioned his statue which was placed on the pedestal of the bridge in 1618 but the statue was destroyed during the French Revolution. The statue of King Henry IV on Pont Neuf today is an exact duplicate of the original and was made in 1818.

More about Pont Neuf:

  • The construction of Pont Neuf was funded by tax levied on wine, so essentially wine consuming Parisians paid for the bridge.

  • Sidewalks of Pont Neuf were completely new for Paris at the time and eventually led to use of the term "piĆ©ton" meaning pedestrian.

  • Soon after opening, Pont Neuf became a prime location for street sellers, and even open air theatrical performances.

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Post 1

There are even fried potatoes called 'pont neuf' due to the shape which resembles the bridge.

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