About Pont Des Arts
Crossing the river Seine, Pont des Arts is one of the most photogenic pedestrian bridges in Paris. It has earned international acclamation as the bridge for romance. Constructed between 1802 and 1804, Pont des Arts is the first metal bridge in Paris. Also known as Passerelle des Arts, it connects the Institut de France with the Louvre museum.
The bridge is a favourite spot for photographers where they can click magnificent photos of the illuminating building lights reflecting on the river waters. It is popular among artists, painters, and photographers for organizing art and photography exhibitions, drawing a large number of crowds. You can also witness the panoramic view of the majestic Eiffel Tower glowing as the sun sets on the horizon.
In 1991, Pont des Arts was listed in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. The bridge also serves as a picnic spot for many locals from the city. Its unique beauty and historical significance have been alluring thousands of visitors every year from all around the world.
How to Reach Pont Des Arts
1. By Metro: The nearest metro stations to Pont des Arts are
- Pont des Arts – Quai De Conti, situated 80 meters from the bridge and walking time of 2 min
- Pont des Arts, situated 158 meters from the bridge and walking time of 3 min
- Pont du Carrousel – Quai Voltaire, 326 meters from the bridge and walking time of 5 min
- Pont Neuf – Quai Du Louvre, 351 meters from the bridge and walking time of 5 min
2. By Bus: The bus routes that have stops near Pont des Arts are 72, 95, and 75.
3. From Paris Charles De Gaulle airport
You can avail train, cab, shuttle, bus or Towncar from the airport to Pont des Arts. The train takes 49 minutes to reach the nearest station Chatelet Les Halles, 10 min walking distance to the bridge. Buses and cars normally take approximately 30 minutes to reach the bridge.
What Not to Miss at Pont Des Arts
1. Institut de France: The institute, grouping 5 academies, is a French society housing museums and chateaux amongst 1000 foundations placed inside the building. Created in 1975, the building is an example of French neoclassical architecture.
The 5 academies are mainly the Académie française, the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres, the Académie des Sciences, the Académie des Beaux-arts and the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques.
2. Musee d’Orsay: Musee d’Orsay is an iconic museum in Paris hosting several phenomenal paintings, photographs, sculptures and furniture dating back between 1848 and 1914. It is considered to be one of the largest museums in Europe, built adjacent to the banks of the River Seine.
The museum is significant in preserving the fabulous masterpieces of world-famous artists like Van Gogh, Monet, Sisley, Gauguin and many more.
3. Pont Neuf: Pont Neuf is the third-longest and the oldest standing bridge in Paris. Situated on the banks of the river Seine, the historical bridge is ornate with 381 stone sculptures of mascarons, magnificent arches and the remarkable bronze statue of Henry IV. The bridge is phenomenal in hosting several Hollywood films.
It is also considered as one of the most luxurious and romantic locations in Paris. Due to its historical significance and artistic beauty, Pont Neuf is a photographer’s delight.
4. Sainte-Chapelle: It is a Gothic-style royal chapel situated on Ile de la Cite in River Seine. Built in the 13th century, the historic chapel contains the most extensive glass collections of the world. It houses relics of Jesus Christ, a collection by King Louis IX of France.
The architectural style of the chapel is exemplary with artistic pinnacles, vast windows, decorative facades, and rich textile creations. The main attraction of Sainte-Chapelle is 15 majestic windows intricately made with glass pieces, adorning the western wall of the chapel.
5. Square du Vert-Galant: Created in 1607, Square du Vert-Galant is a small public garden at the west side of the Pont Neuf. The garden derived its name from Le Vert Galant, a nickname of King Henry IV. In 1884 the garden was taken over by the City of Paris and was renovated into an oasis of panoramic beauty with trees and shrubs.
Situated at a 1-minute walking distance from Pont Neuf, the garden offers a relaxing environment amid the shimmering river waters and the lush greenery around. Embellished with its charming flora and fauna, the garden serves as one of the most renowned tourist destinations in France.
Things to do at Pont des Arts
1. Enjoy a dusky picnic on the Bridge: Summer is the ideal time for enjoying a picnic with family and friends at a quiet corner on the bridge. With the incredible view of the golden rays of the setting sun after dusk and the gleaming crystal waters of the river, the environment casts a magical spell around.
Stock up your bags with some delicious French bread, fruits, cheese, and wine to spend a delightful evening on the bridge. It is advisable to come early and secure a corner spot for a relaxed and pleasant experience. Ensure to carry a blanket and proper picnic cutleries to spend cozy and comfortable time with your near and dear ones.
2. Take a romantic stroll at sunrise or sunset: Pont des Arts is a perfect place for couples to enjoy a romantic walk amid a scintillating landscape. The place had been a favourite among couples for tying lovelocks, expressing love and bond with each other. The serenity and tranquillity of the atmosphere prevailing around it creates a feeling of closeness and intimacy.
The splendid views of the shimmering lights on the river waters and the beautifully illuminated Eiffel Tower uplift the romantic feeling inside the human mind and soul. Couples can come in the early hours to spend a pleasant stroll while enjoying a delicious bite of the pastries from the nearby bakeries.
3. Admire views of the Louvre and the Institut de France: The superb views of the Louvre palace and the Institut de France entice photographers to click picture-perfect shots from the vicinity of the bridge. Sunrise and sunset are the perfect time to visit the bridge and capture magnificent shots of the sun rays glowing over the buildings.
In the evening, the building lights are amazing to watch, especially their reflection on the river waters. You can clearly observe the central courtyard of the Louvre palace from the riverside. Institut de France is significant in hosting the headquarters of several scholarly societies of France. It is the amalgamation of 5 French art and science academies with the objective of preserving the richness of the French language.
4. Attach padlocks at Pont des Arts: Padlocks or Love Locks have been quite famous among romantic couples since late 2008. The padlocks would have the names of the couples engraved in them which will, in turn, be attached to the bridge rails. The custom is to throw the key into the river as part of the romantic gesture.
It symbolizes an immortal love between two individuals. In 2014 a record 700,000 locks were tied on the bridge which became a safety concern. The locks had to be removed to prevent the panels from collapsing. France Health and Safety officials have advised to cut down the locks as it may impose danger to the visitors walking over the bridge.
Other Essential Information About Pont Des Arts
History of Pont Des ArtsIn the 19th century Napoleon Bonaparte asked his architects and engineers to design and construct a bridge in similar lines as that of the world's first cast iron bridge in England. His vision was to resemble a garden through the creation of the bridge over the river Seine, ornate with beautiful flowers and benches. Pont des Arts is the first lightweight metal bridge in Paris and is one of the architectural marvels in the country.
During the World Wars in the 20th century, the bridge faced several bomb attacks which made it unsafe for the pedestrians. The bridge was finally closed for pedestrians. Further in 1979, the bridge further collapsed and then a decision was taken to dismantle the bridge completely.
Between the years 1981 and 1984, a new bridge was constructed at the same place over the River Seine. The metal used for the new construction was steel, and the design was exactly similar to that of the original Pont des Arts. A small difference however was made, the original nine arches were reduced to seven. This was intentionally done to align the bridge with the neighbouring bridge of Pont Neuf.
Love Locks at Pont Des Arts
Love Locks or PadLocks are one of the famous customs or traditions followed by any romantic couples in Pont des Arts. The couples engrave their names on the locks and attach them to the bridge railings. The keys are then thrown into the River waters to permanently lock their love for each other. It is a belief that love stays immortal forever between couples. The tradition has been followed in Paris in Pont des Arts since 2008.
By February 2014 there has been an estimated 700,000 locks attached to the bridge which turned out to be a safety concern for pedestrians and tourists visiting the bridge. Later in the year it was observed the parapet of the bridge was damaged with the weight of the padlocks. The Mayor's office in Paris is now encouraging people to click selfies instead of tying lovelocks as part of the "Love without locks" campaign.
Their website and social media campaigns are trying their level best to motivate people in expressing their love without the lovelocks. From June 2015 city council workers started cutting down the locks so as to prevent the Historical heritage structure from collapsing which was posing danger to the locals and the tourists. Alternate materials like glass are also being used to replace the metal panels of the bridge so as to prevent the couples from tying the lovelocks.
Places to Eat near Pont des Arts
1. Calife: Calife restaurant is located in 3 Quai Malaquais in Paris, at a 2 min walking distance from Pont des Arts. It has French cuisine serving starters, appetizers, main course and gourmet food for lunch and dinner. The restaurant is hosted inside a replica of a cruise offering a spectacular view of the river Seine.
2. Relais du Pont Neuf: The restaurant has French cuisine and special vegetarian dishes. It is situated in 18 Quai du Louvre in Paris. It serves 4 meal courses - lunch, brunch, breakfast, and dinner. The dishes are delicious with good quality and taste. The prices of the delicacies are reasonable and the staff is also quite friendly and helpful.
3. Guy Savoy: Guy Savoy is located in Monnaie de Paris, 11 Quai de Conti in Paris at a 3 min walking distance from the bridge. It has French, European and special Vegetarian and Vegan cuisines. It is one of the best restaurants offering incredible views of the river Seine, Louvre museum, Pont Neuf bridge, and the Institut de France.
The ambience of the restaurant is excellent and the food quality is incredible.
4. Ze Kitchen Galerie: Ze Kitchen Galerie is situated in 4 Rue des Grands Augustins in Paris, a 3 min walking distance from the bridge. It has French, European, Contemporary, Vegetarian and Vegan cuisines, serving lunch and dinner. The food is amazing with good quality and taste.
The kitchen has large windows from where you can watch the chefs preparing the creative and innovative delicacies for the guests.
Places to Stay near Pont des Arts
1. HÙtel d'Aubusson: It is a boutique hotel, housed inside an authentic historical mansion. Situated at 33 Rue Dauphine, it is one of the prominent luxurious hotels in Paris. It offers a buffet breakfast from 7:00 AM till 11:30 AM at its wonderful patio. The rooms are extremely cozy and comfortable and the staff is extremely friendly and professional.
2. HÙtel Bel Ami: It is a 5-star hotel with all the modern amenities. Situated at 7 rue Saint Benoit 6th Arr in Paris, you will witness an artistically designed Parisian apartment. The rooms and suites possess elegant designs and décor. The staff is friendly and professional and speaks almost 13 languages.
3. Citadines Saint-Germain-des-PrÉs Paris: The hotel is located in 53 ter Quai des Grands Augustins in Paris, a 3 min walking distance from the bridge. The rooms are designed with classic furnishings and all basic amenities. There are studios with kitchenettes, rooms with river views and one-bedroom apartment inside the hotel.
4. Best Western Premier Ducs de Bourgogne: It is a 4-star hotel, situated in 19 rue du Pont Neuf 1st Arr in Paris. The staff is extremely friendly and professional and speaks English, French, and Spanish. All the rooms are non-smoking and soundproof. The hotel also hosts a nightclub and a DJ for entertaining the guests.
Interesting Facts about Pont des Arts
1. Pont des Arts was the first metal bridge in Paris designed by engineers Louis-Alexandre de Cessart and Jacques Dillon. It was the brainchild of Napoleon Bonaparte who wanted to construct a bridge that resembled a suspended garden over the river Seine with beautiful flowers and benches to sit and relax.
2. The bridge was designated as a historic monument by the Cultural Ministry of the French government in 1975.
3. Due to its structural beauty and historical significance, the bridge has been featured in many television shows and films.
4. The original bridge, made out of cast iron, was dismantled due to damages and was rebuilt with steel. To align with its neighbouring bridge Pont Neuf, the nine arches of the Pont des Arts were reduced to seven.
5. You can enter Pont des Arts anytime in the day with no entry fee.
6. The bridge is famous for the sidewalk cafes selling croissants, bread, pastries, and many other bakery products.