Zouave Statue


Zouave statue seen from the Right Bank

The Zouave statue is the most famous features of the Pont de l’Alma.

The Pont de l’Alma spans the Seine halfway between the Eiffel Tower and the Invalides.

The engineer Gariel built the 142m long x 42m wide bridge in the 1850s.

Napoleon III inaugurated it in 1856.

The Pont de l’Alma and the statue of a Zouave soldier that stands on its single pier are among the most photographed sites of Paris!

The Zouaves Regiment participated to the Battle of the Alma (20/09/1854) during the Crimean War.

The battle ended in the victory of France, England, Piedmont and the Ottoman Empire over Russia.

Each of the four piers of the Pont de l’Alma was adorned with a statue representing a regiment that fought during the Crimean War.

Arnaud sculpted the statues of Infantry soldier and Artilleryman.

Diebolt sculpted the Grenadier and the famous Zouave.

The Alma Bridge was rebuilt in 1974 as it had become too narrow and unstable.

The statues were transferred to other locations with the exception of the Zouave, which was placed on the bridge’s single pier.

André-Louis Gody served as model for the Zouave statue

This statue represents André-Louis Gody (1828-1896), a veteran of the Napoleonic wars who was born in Gravelines in Northern France.

The Zouave statue traditionally serves as an unofficial standard to indicate the rise in the water level of the Seine.


Zouave statue on the bridge’s single pier

The Parisians knew that the river was dangerously rising when the water reached the foot of the Zouave statue!

The year 1910 is known as the year of the ‘Flood of the Century’.

Waters indeed rose by 8.62 m and reached the shoulders of the Zouave statue!

The second historical flood occurred in 1955 when the Seine rose by 7.12 m and immersed the statue up to the waist.

In 2001 the Zouave statue had water up to knee level (a 5m rise).

On 27th December 2010 the river overflowed its bed once more (3.78 m).

It reached the feet of the statue, causing major chaos in Paris, as the river banks and the Metro (underground) were closed to traffic.

The latest flood dates from 3rd and 4th June 2016 when the Seine reached its peak on June 4th at 6,10m at 2am.

Photo of the Zouave statue on newspaper articlenewspaper article

Directions: 8th district 
Metro station: Alma-Marceau on Line 9

Coordinates: Lat 48.863816 – Long 2.302013