Pont de Bir-Hakeim, Paris

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The Bir-Hakeim bridge 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.


 

The Bir-Hakeim bridge was built between 1903 and 1905 to replace 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 for the metro line 6. Metal colonnades with a line of art-deco street lights support the railway viaduct in all of its length 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).

In the middle part of the bridge, on the uptream 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 and inaugurated in its present location in 1958. From there, there is a magnificent viewpoint to the Eiffel Tower.

Formally known as Pont de Passy, the bridge was renamed in 1948 to commemorate the Battle of Bir-Hakeim (1942), where the Free French forces fought against the German Africa Korps during World War II.

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:

Other photos of the Bir-Hakeim bridge:


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About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

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