Iconic bridges in Paris: Louis-Philippe

Sladjana Perkovic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Very interesting and, sometimes, even dramatic stories are hiding behind almost every bridge in Paris. For instance, the Pont de la Concorde exists thanks to the French Revolution as it was built from the ruins of the Bastille. On the other hand, the Pont des Invalides was demolished several times and even moved from its original site. The same thing happened with the Pont Louis-Philippe (the Louis-Philippe Bridge). Since it was inaugurated, this iconic bridge in Paris was built, burned down, restored, demolished, and rebuilt. It even changed its name twice. Today, this bridge is one of the most interesting spots to see and observe the Notre Dame de Paris, the most famous cathedral in the world.

History of Pont Louis-Philippe

Louis-Philippe I wanted to celebrate his accession to the French throne, so he decided to build a  bridge. He lay the first stone for this new bridge over the Seine River in July 1833. The construction work was entrusted to Marc Seguin, a prominent French engineer, and inventor. The bridge was inaugurated precisely one year later, in July 1834, and it was named the Pont Louis-Philippe. Unfortunately, this bridge didn’t last long. In the year 1848, the waves of revolution loomed in France and all over Europe. During that period, Pont Louis-Philippe was burnt down. Later, it was restored and renamed Pont de la Réforme (the Reformation Bridge). In 1860, Pont de la Réforme was demolished, and the construction of the new bridge over the River Seine started a little further upstream. Edmond-Jules Féline de Romany and Jules Savarin, two French engineers, were behind this project. Finally, the new bridge was inaugurated in April 1862, and its name was changed back to Pont Louis-Philippe.

© Wikipedia/Guilhem Vellut

Inspiration for artists

The new bridge, inaugurated in April 1862, was nicely decorated. Its piers were embellished with the stone laurel wreaths surrounding metallic rosettes. It is no wonder that this bridge has served as an inspiration to many artists, especially to the French impressionist painters. Jean-Baptiste-Armand Guillaumin was a French impressionist and lithographer that painted Pont Louis-Philippe in 1975. Today, this painting is located at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Albert Lebourg was another French impressionist, and post-impressionist landscape artist, who also immortalised this bridge.

A great location

The Pont Louis-Philippe, one of the iconic bridges in Paris, is located in the Notre Dame de Paris neighbourhood. From this bridge, you will have a fascinating view of the arguably most famous cathedral in the world that represents one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.

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