The pont de Bir-Hakeim spans River Seine in Paris, linking the 15th and 16th arrondissements. It is one of the most beautiful bridges of Paris and is popular for the great views it offers on the river and to the Eiffel Tower.
Pont de Bir-Hakeim
The Bir-Hakeim bridge was built between 1903 and 1905. It replaced an earlier steel footbridge that had been constructed in 1878 for the World Exhibition. Made of steel, it forms an arch bridge 237 metres long and 24.7 metres wide.
The particularity of the bridge lies in the fact that it has two levels:
- the lower part is for car traffic and pedestrians, and
- the viaduct above is dedicated to métro line 6.
Metal colonnades with a line of art-deco street lights support the railway viaduct in all of its lengths except when crossing the Île aux Cygnes.
The bridge is decorated with monumental iron sculptures and statues.
In the central arch of the bridge are featured four high-relief statues:
- figures of Science and Labor by Jules-Felix Coutan (upstream), and
- Electricity and Commerce by Jean Antoine Injalbert (downstream).
La France Renaissante
In the middle part of the bridge, on the upstream tip of Île aux Cygnes stands an equestrian statue known as “La France Renaissante“.
Sculpted by Holger Wederkinch in 1930, it was offered to the City of Paris by the Danish community. The inauguration in its present location took place in 1958.
From there, there is a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower.
The Battle of Bir-Hakeim
Formally known as Pont de Passy, the bridge was renamed in 1948 to commemorate the Battle of Bir-Hakeim (1942). There the Free French forces fought against the German Africa Korps during World War II.
The Île aux Cygnes
The bridge crosses the Île aux Cygnes to which it gives access to pedestrians.
On the downstream tip of the island stands the Statue of Liberty, a smaller replica of the NYC monument sculpted by Bartholdi.
The Bir Hakeim bridge was listed as a historic monument by the French authorities in 1986.
To better enjoy the view from the bridge, take line 6 of the métro between the stations of Bir-Hakeim and Passy:
More photos of the Bir-Hakeim bridge:
- Find out more about the 15th and 16th arrondissements.
- The Statue of Liberty on the Île aux Cygnes.
- The Wikipedia page on the bridge.