Passerelle de Grève

The Pont d’Arcole connects the Ile de la Cité to the Quai de Gesvres and Quai de l’Hôtel-de-Ville on the Right Bank.

Pont d'Arcole with Hotel-de-Ville in the background
Pont d’Arcole with Hotel-de-Ville in the background

It replaces a 6m wide cast iron suspension footbridge.

This footbridge had been built by a royal decree of December 6, 1827.

It linked the busy Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville to the equally active Ile de la Cité.

The Passerelle de Grève was originally named after the Place de Grève (the original name of the Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville).

It was opened to pedestrian traffic on December 21, 1828.

Pont d’Arcole, the first wrought iron bridge

Many mistakenly think that it was renamed to commemorate the Battle of Arcole.

It was in fact renamed to honour the memory of a young man named Arcole.

Arcole died while planting a tricolour flag on the bridge during the Revolution of July 1830.

Pont d'Arcole seen from upstream
Pont d’Arcole seen from upstream

Witnesses reported that as he was shot by the soldiers he cried:

“Rappelez-vous que je m’appelle Arcole”- ‘Remember my name is Arcole’.

The Pont d’Arcole was demolished and rebuilt following an imperial decree of 31 August 1854 to relieve the excess traffic that resulted from the opening of Rue de Rivoli.

It was rebuilt within a period of three months from the drawings of the engineers Alphonse Oudry and Nicolas Cadiat.

Two stone abutments frame the 80m long by 20m wide single-arch bridge.

The Pont d’Arcole was indeed the first bridge to be built without a support pile.

It was also the first to be entirely built with wrought iron rather than cast iron. The bridge was fully restored, repaired and repainted between 1994 and 95.

Metro: Hôtel-de-Ville on Lines 1 and 11
Coordinates: Lat 48.855099 – Long 2.350441

Photos Wikimedia Commons: Bridge and Hotel de Ville

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