Pont des Arts, Paris

4 out of 5 stars 14 Reviews

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  • Pont des Arts
    by Martman
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    by Martman
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    by Maryimelda
  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Pont des Arts

    by Nemorino Updated Aug 12, 2014

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This "Bridge of the Arts" is one of only five (or six) bridges in Paris that are reserved for "circulations douces", a nice French expression meaning soft or mild traffic, i.e. non-motorized.

    The others are the Léopold-Sédar-Senghor footbridge, formerly Passerelle Solférino, connecting the Tuilerie Gardens with the Musèe d'Orsay; the Passerelle Debilly which leads to the Musée du quai Branly; the Pont au Double, connecting the left bank with the Cathedral Notre-Dame; and the new Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir, a footbridge that was built from 2004-2006 to connect the National Library François Mitterrand with the Parc du Bercy.

    Also you might want to count the car-free Pont Saint Louis, which connects the Île Saint Louis with the Île de la Cité, but does not go all the way across the Seine.

    The original Pont des Arts was built here from 1802 to 1804, and it lasted until 1979 when it collapsed after being hit by a barge. The present bridge, which is quite similar to the old one, was built between 1981 and 1984.

    Second photo: Looking up the Seine from the Pont des Arts towards Pont Neuf, with the Ile de la Cité (Square du Vert Galant) on the right and Paris Plages on the left.

    Third photo: Paris Plages 2008 as seen from the Pont des Arts.

    Fourth photo: Pont des Arts from below, 2013.

    Fifth photo: Tour boat approaching Pont des Arts, 2013.

    Update 2014: According to French press reports, a 2.4 meter section of the wire mesh fence on the footbridge Pont des Arts collapsed under the weight of the love locks on Sunday afternoon, 8 June 2014 at 5:50 pm. Police said there were no casualties, but the footbridge was immediately evacuated and closed.

    Related tips/reviews:
    Les cadenas d'amour (love locks), with further updates
    Léopold-Sédar-Senghor footbridge, formerly Passerelle Solférino
    Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir

    Pont des Arts and Institut de France, 2008 Looking upstream from Pont des Arts, 2008 Paris Plages as seen from Pont des Arts, 2008 Pont des Arts, 2013 Tour boat and Pont des Arts, 2013

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    "Pont des Arts".

    by breughel Updated Jan 3, 2014

    5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The bridges are excellent spots to observe and admire the nearly perfect architecture of Paris. Not only the famous monuments but also the houses with their homogeneous Hausmann style.
    I like all bridges but have some preferences for the pedestrians bridges like the "Ponts des Arts" between the "Cour Carrée" (Sully wing) of Le Louvre and the "Institut de France" on the Rive gauche.

    This was the first metal bridge in Paris built in 1804 under Napoleon I. After a number of collisions with barges the bridge had to be rebuild in 1984 and the number of arches was reduced from nine to seven. You can picnic on this passerelle.

    The Institut de France, with its elegant cupola, houses five academies among with the famous Académie Francaise.
    Centuries before the Institut de France was standing here a defence tower called La Tour de Nesle. This tower became famous in 1314 as it was the place of orgy by the daughters-in-law of King Philip IV le Bel. Alexandre Dumas wrote the celebrated romance "La Tour de Nesle".
    It was here that it all happened like in the TV series "Les Rois Maudits" from the book by Maurice Druon.

    Bridge - Tour de Nesle (now Institut de france).
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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    Le Pont des Artes

    by Maryimelda Written Dec 1, 2013

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My grandchildren call this the bridge with the locks and so it is. It is the original bridge with the locks but has become so overloaded that those locks can be found on some of the other bridges that cross the Seine as well. The fad has caught on so much that the Pont des Artes is full to overflowing so the starry eyed lovers have just moved on to the nearest suitable bridges and have placed their locks anywhere they can and then of course, they have thrown the keys into the river.

    I can't help wondering what if any, effect those thousands upon thousands of keys might be doing to the water but no one seems to be worried about it so I guess it must not be an issue. I do know that the council are not happy with all of the locks and have at times come along and removed them but they just spring up again and by the look of it, the council has given up. I am probably wrong about that and maybe one day soon the people of Paris will find that all the locks have been removed yet again.

    Whether it be a good practise or a bad one, I find it hard to believe that the tradition will ever die out unless of course it becomes a criminal offence to attach a lock to the bridge and could result in an extremely severe punishment. Who knows? In the meantime it is fascinating to see all of those locks attached to all of those bridges.

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    BRIDGE OF LOVE

    by balhannah Written Mar 4, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is what I call the pedestrian bridge, the Pont Des Arts. I decided to cross the River Seine here, and have a look at the hundreds of padlocks along the way.
    It wasn't as crowded with padlocks as I had seen in photo's, and I wondered why.
    I read the city of Paris isn't too happy about the padlocks and they have been wondering what to do..........Had they removed many................
    OR
    Was it because the Pont des Arts is for your committed love, while Pont de l'Archeveche is for your lover. You see, the Pont de l'Archeveche has many more locks than the Pont Des Arts.

    This was something new for me. I read many tourist couples come to Paris with a padlock with their first names engraved on the padlock. They lock it to the railing of the Bridge and throw the key into the river below, signalling their eternal love.
    I bet you can't move on the bridge on Valentines Day!

    This is ok, until the couple parts company, then what to do? Bolt cutters or cheat and have a spare key to the padlock?
    I don't know which happens or if it does, all I know, is the craze has really caught on in Europe!

    Pont des Arts
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    Picnic on Pont des Arts

    by ForestqueenNYC Updated Oct 3, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are several pedestrian bridges in Paris. The one that seems to be the most popular crosses the river at Quai Mitterand which is right at the center of the Louvre. It crosses directly to a beautiful building with a dome called Institue de France in the 6th Arrondisement.

    On warm Sunday afternoons you will often find it packed with groups of people who have set up their blankets to sit on and brought along their bread, cheese, and wine-though this is probably illegal. Sometimes there are buskers and dancers there. It is also a great place to take pictures.

    Pont des Arts Facing Rive Gauche Pont des Arts on a Sunday Afternoon View from the PONT des ARTES, Paris Pont des Arts Facing the Louvre Pont des Arts Lovers' Locks
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  • jmkovarik's Profile Photo

    Pont des Artes

    by jmkovarik Updated Feb 29, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the great surprises we had when we visited Paris last summer was crossing over Pont des Artes in the early evening and seeing all of the students sitting on blankets, enjoying picnics and playing music. Its a must do if you visit Paris.

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  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    Escape the Louvre to the Pont des Arts

    by hquittner Written Jan 12, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you become overloaded with Art, you can quickly escape from the Louvre to the banks of the Seine through the Guichets (wicket-gates) du Carroussel from the Cour Napoleon. or at the Sw end of the galleries at the Pavillion de Flore or through a passageway (porte Champollion) out of the Cour Carree. The last is the quickest way to the Pont des Arts, a walking bridge over the Seine. It was the first iron bridge, built in 1803. From this structure you have the finest views in Paris (according to the Guide Michelin- 3* !!): the Seine both up and down, the Ile de la Cite, the Louvre and more. When you have recovered all of the Left Bank is within easy reach- The Quarters Beaux Arts, St-Germaine, St.-Severin and Latin.

    Ile de la Cite from Pont des Arts Pont des Arts as You Leave the Louvre Porte Champollion from Cour Carree Pont des Arts  Upon Leaving Louvre South Facade of Louvre from Embankment
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  • jelw's Profile Photo

    Art Hommage on Pont des Arts 3

    by jelw Written Mar 8, 2005

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    Close Up # 2 Art on "the Arts" footbridge.
    Art is a most intense form of expression. It can be beautiful, frightening or anything in between.
    It is a form of expression, most often intended to provoke some type of thought

    close up of Art on des Arts
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  • jelw's Profile Photo

    Art Hommage on Pont des Art

    by jelw Updated Mar 8, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Close Up # 1 Art on "the Arts" footbridge.
    Art is a most intense form of expression. It can be beautiful, frightening or anything in between.
    It is a form of expression, most often intended to provke some type of thought.

    AIDS
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    • Gay and Lesbian

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  • jelw's Profile Photo

    Pont des Arts

    by jelw Written Mar 8, 2005

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    From 1/12/ 04 to 3/1/05 the Pont des Art was home to a magnificent display to pay honor to 1000 men and woman touched in some manner by the aids epidemic. Volunteers, loved ones and the aids victims on the 20th anniversary of the Aids Association.

    Aides X 1000 une exposition de Pierre Marval
    presents les portraits of mille personnes malades, volontaires, donateurs, chercheurs, medecins, artists, sportifs, femmes et hommes politques, a yant participe, chacun dans...leur domain, a la lutte contre le sida cette exposition leur rend homage a l'occasion des vingt ans de l'Association Aides"

    (My french is very poor so any and all corrections are appreciated.)

    AIDS
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  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo

    Pont des Arts

    by mrclay2000 Updated Nov 7, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Among the vast collection of wonderful bridges arching the Seine, few can dispute the ambience, the style or the setting of the Pont des Arts. The bridge itself is well-named, being a wooden promenade for pedestrians only, but also the magnet for local artists who from this simple setting can color their canvasses with the Louvre, the Institut de France, the Seine, the distant Eiffel Tower and the Ile de la Cite, all visible from this charming lovers' retreat.

    the illumined Seine from the Pont des Arts
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  • Imbi's Profile Photo

    Pont des Arts

    by Imbi Written Jan 3, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    From its origins, the Pont des Arts was a footbridge for the pedestrians who had to pay a toll until 1848. It was built between 1801 and 1803, and represents the first metallic bridge in Paris. Its name derives from the ancient name of the Louvre also called the Palais des Arts. This bridge is one of the pleasants parisians bridges to have a walk.

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  • Martman's Profile Photo

    locks!

    by Martman Written Jul 8, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This bridge is not free from controversy. It is filled with locks by lovers who commit to each other.

    Some people find it pretty, others think not. I do think it adds to the city’s charm.

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  • Maillekeukeul's Profile Photo

    VIIIth - Walk over the Pont des Arts

    by Maillekeukeul Written May 20, 2005

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    Completely different from the numerous other bridges that link the left and the right banks of Paris, the Pont des Arts is a charming bypass over which I recommend to walk.

    Under the bridge
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Comments (1)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jun 9, 2014 at 4:53 AM

    According to French press reports, a 2.4 meter section of the wire mesh fence on the footbridge Pont des Arts collapsed under the weight of the love locks on Sunday afternoon, 8 June 2014 at 5:50 pm. Police said there were no casualties, but the footbridge was immediately evacuated and closed.

    • goodfish's Profile Photo
      Jun 9, 2014 at 5:05 AM

      Time for that nonsense to stop, eh Don? I'm reading that locks have recently been attached to - and removed from - the Eiffel.

    • leics's Profile Photo
      Jun 9, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      Absolutely agree. It's no way a valid 'tradition'...the practice only started in the early part of this century...and imo is blighting far too many places in far too many countries. I've seen padlocks attached in numerous place sin numerous European locations. I just don't like it, I'm afraid.

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