One of our favourite bridges of Paris, Pont Alexandre III was built in 1900 for the World Exhibition. It connects the Grand Palais and Petit Palais to the Hôtel des Invalides.
The Pont Alexandre III was built in the same period as the Grand and Petit Palais for the 1900 World Exhibition. Its first stone was laid by Nicholas II on the 7th October 1896, celebrating Franco-Russian friendship and was dedicated to the Tsar’s father, Alexander III. Engineers Resal and Alby designed the proposed bridge according to the technical requirements of the day: to not interrupt river traffic passing along the Seine, by building several arches and to avoid masking the beautiful perspective leading to the Invalides. Technically, the Pont Alexandre III was an engineering success, with a 6m high single-span steel arch across the Seine.
This bridge is often called the most beautiful one in Paris because of its extravagant features: candelabras, cherubs and nymphs. The composition of the nymphs in the centre of the bridge symbolises the River Seine on the downstream side and the River Neva on the upstream side. Amongst the 32 bronze candelabras positioned across the bridge, those towards the end of the bridge are much bigger in size and feature cherubs and sea monsters. The decoration along the bridge deck has been richly executed with an aquatic fauna and flora.
At each extremity of the bridge are two monumental pillars surmounted by winged horses in bronze. The Pegasus on the South bank symbolise War and those on the North Bank depict Peace. At the feet of the pillars are groups of genies with fish and shells.