Did you know that the Pont de la Concorde (the Concorde Bridge) was made during the French Revolution with the stones from the ruins of the Bastille after it was taken in 1789? Even the name of this bridge has a very turbulent history. Firstly, it was called the Louis-XVI Bridge, and then it was renamed to the Bridge of the Révolution ("Pont de la Révolution"). During the Restoration, the period following the first fall of Napoleon I in 1814, and come back of the exiled supporters of the monarchy, this bridge was again renamed into the Louis-XVI Bridge. Finally, in 1830, it got the name the Pont de la Concorde, that remains to this day. Today, this bridge has the most beautiful view over some incredible Parisian buildings such as the Palais Bourbon.
Jean-Rodolphe Perronet, a French architect and engineer, was commissioned in 1787 to build a new stone bridge in Paris. The plan for this new project was made back in 1775, but the French authorities lacked money. However, the following events will change everything: the French Revolution and the Storming of the Bastille, on July 14th 1789. After this political prison was demolished, the construction of this new Parisian bridge was finally possible. Perronet used the stones taken from the Bastille to accomplish his work. In 1791, this beautiful Parisian neoclassical bridge was finally inaugurated, and 200 years later, in 1975, the Pont de la Concorde was listed as a French historical monument.
It was in 1810 when Napoleon Bonaparte, the Emperor of the French, decided to place along the sides of the Pont de la Concorde the statues of eight generals killed during the battles for the First French Empire. During the period of Restoration, the exiled supporters of the monarchy replaced them by twelve statutes representing ministers, generals, and sailors of the old regime. But, those statues were too heavy for this bridge, and they were transferred to the Palace of Versailles. Today, in the Carnavalet Museum in Paris, dedicated to the history of the city, you can see and admire the 1830 painting “Le Pont de la Concorde”, by a French painter Prosper Barbot.
The Pont de la Concorde, one of the iconic bridges in Paris, is situated just next to the beautiful Jardin de Tuileries and the Orangerie. If you cross this bridge, on the other side of the River Seine, you will find yourself in front of the incredible Palais Bourbon. This building was constructed in 1722 as a country house, and it was surrounded by gardens. During the French Revolution, it was nationalised, and Napoleon I decided in 1806 to add the classical colonnade. Today, this incredible place is the seat of the French National Assembly.
Cover Photo © Credit to iStockphoto/BargotiPhotography
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