Paris - Ile De France

Pont des Arts – metal footbridge – Paris

This page was updated on: Thursday, January 9, 2020 at: 7:59 pm

Passerelle des Arts

The Pont des Arts connects the Louvre Museum on Quai François Mitterand (Rive Droite) to the Institut de France on Quai de Conti (Rive Gauche).

The first Pont des Arts was built in the early 19th century.

It was known as Passerelle des Arts, because it was (still is) a pedestrian footbridge (passerelle).

It led to the Palais du Louvre.

The palace had been converted in a museum during the French Revolution.

It was also renamed Palais des Arts (hence the footbridge's name!)

Interestingly, this nine-arch footbridge was also the first metal bridge ever constructed in Paris.

The engineers Louis Alexandre de Cessart and Jacques Vincent Lacroix Dillon designed it to make it look like a hanging garden.

They therefore landscaped it with bushes, shrubs and flower beds.

A single arch replaced the two arches linking to the Rive Gauche during the widening of the Quai Conti in 1852.

This footbridge was in use for 125 years.

However, it was closed to the public in 1977.

Indeed, the devastation endured during the two world wars had seriously weakened the structure.

Additionally, several barges collisions (that occurred in the 1960s) contributed to further weakening!

As a result, a large section of the Pont des Arts eventually collapsed in 1979 when another barge hit the arches.

The bridge was disassembled the following year.

The city of Nogent-sur-Marne (to the east of Paris) purchased the sections that were intact shortly after.

It rebuilt the bridge by its marina in 1992.

Pont des Arts

The current Pont des Arts dates from the early 1980s and is a faithful replica of the original footbridge.

However, the architect Louis Arretche reduced the number of arches from eight to seven, in order to align them with those of the Pont-Neuf upstream.

Jacques Chirac - who was then the Mayor of Paris - inaugurated the 'new' Pont des Arts on June 27, 1984.

The Pont des Arts is one of the most popular bridges in Paris.

Not only it is pedestrian, but it also boasts spectacular views of the Ile de la Cité, the Pont-Neuf and the Louvre.

It was also very popular with tourist and lovers, who started the tradition of tying love padlocks or cadenas d'amour on the parapets.

However, these padlocks were removed in 2015.

Indeed, their ever increasing weight started to weaken the structure and posed serious safety issues.

The Pont des Arts is back to its original appearance, and often serves as a venue for art exhibitions.

It was listed Historical Monument in 1975.

Metro: Pont-Neuf (on Rive Droite) on Line 7
Coordinates: Lat 48.858449 - Long 2.337557

Richelieu mausoleum in front of high altar in Sorbonne Chapel

June 5 2020

Sorbonne Chapel and Cardinal de Richelieu tomb

Sorbonne chapel, the college’s private chapel, is a masterpiece of French classical architecture that houses Cardinal Richelieu’s mausoleum
Villa Seurat - Maison Quillet at No.8 by Lurçat

May 14 2020

Villa Seurat, a showcase of Modernist architecture

Villa Seurat, a showcase of the Roaring Twenties’ Modernist architecture and a Cité d’Artistes where Arthur Miller wrote Tropic of Cancer
Theatre de La Comedie Italienne in Rue de la Gaite

April 29 2020

Rue de la Gaite in Montparnasse

Rue de la Gaite in Montparnasse district, a street nicknamed Theater St. as it’s been essentially lined with entertainment halls since the 1780s
Pont de la Concorde seen from Rive Gauche

April 14 2020

Pont de la Concorde in Paris

The Pont de la Concorde links Place de la Concorde to the National Assembly and was built at the French Revolution with stones from the Bastille Fortress

Sign up to our newsletter

Travel France Online will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates via our newsletter. By selecting the boxes on the form you confirm your acceptance to receive our newsletter.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by Contacting Us

We will treat your information with respect. For more information please visit our privacy policy page