You cannot come to Paris and not visit Pont des Arts (also know as Passerelle des Arts), one of the most iconic pedestrian bridges in Paris crossing the river Seine. This footbridge that links the Institut de France and the central square of the Palais de Louvre offers one of the most romantic views of the City of Light. This also is a real open-air studio for many artists, that come here to paint or photoshoot. During the summer, Pont des Arts also becomes a great spot for picnics, where people are just sitting around, playing some music and sipping their glass of red wine.
The first metal bridge in Paris was constructed between 1802 and 1804, under the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, at the location of the present-day Pont des Arts. The French engineers Louis –Alexandre de Cessart and Jacques Dillon conceived this nine-arch metallic pedestrian bridge as a suspended garden. After being modified in 1852, the bridge was closed in 1977 because of its fragility caused by two aerial attacks during the World War I and World War II, and several collisions with the boats. The new bridge, inaugurated in 1984, was built identically as the previous one. Pont des arts is listed as a French national historic monument since 1975, and in 1991, this bridge and the entire banks of the Seine in Paris, are listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Pont des Arts has become worldwide famous thanks to the “love locks” affair. It all started in 2008 with the couples that began declaring their eternal love by writing their initials on a padlock, attaching it to the bridge and throwing the keys into the Seine. This, in the beginning, a harmless trend has become a real threat to this historical monument, and in June 2014, a part of the bridge rail even collapses under the weight of padlocks. After that, the Parisian authorities said enough is enough. In 2015, all the lovelocks were removed, and to prevent their return, the padlock-proof glass panels were installed. So, if you liked to declare your love on Pont des Arts, you need to find other ways of doing it.
Pont des Arts is one of the most iconic bridges in Paris, so it is not a big surprise that this place has been featured in many movies and TV shows. One scene in the Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain from 2001 is taking place on the so-called bridge of lovers. Pont des Arts is also featured in the Devil wears Prada, the Sex and the City or even in the TV show Gossip Girls. In 2007, a TV commercial for the perfume Trésor, Lancôme, starring Kate Winslet, was also filmed on this bridge.
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