Pont Neuf is a bridge that is smack dab in the middle of Paris. It’s the oldest existing bridge crossing the Seine river and has a very stout feeling to it. If you look closely, you’ll see that the sides are decorated with a row of heads looking down at the river. Apparently they keep away bad spirits, much in the same way historical Korean bridges had small statues of tigers and such to keep away evil spirits. Pont Neuf connects to the Île de la Cité, the island where the famous Notre Dame was built. They decided to put a statue of Henry the 4th on the island where it connects to Pont Neuf and surround it with a fence. Of course, this fence is now completely covered with padlocks of love.
There are plenty of roads in other big cities where there are entire blocks of shops without any spaces in between the buildings, but for some reason it felt a lot more crammed together in Paris than any other city. I think it’s because it looks as though they originally had a nice row of spaced out buildings, but ran out of space and decided to fill in the gaps by squeezing in a bunch of narrow buildings. The narrow windows divided into smaller panes add to that look as well. Come to think of it, I think I saw a few “squished buildings” in Tokyo, but it didn’t seem as common as in Paris.
Pont au Change is towards the center of the island, and is decorated with an insignia. It must be the insignia of Napoleon or his successors. It’s rather simple, but it also has a graceful look that I prefer to the bulkiness of Pont Neuf. Have you read or seen the musical Les Miserables? That moment of Javert and the bridge supposedly happened at Pont au Change, but the bridge in the movie rendition of the musical is actually Pulteney Bridge in Bath, England. I suppose it makes for a much more dramatic effect in the movie considering the height of the bridge. Then again, I don’t suppose that many people knew how to swim back then.
Your turn ♥ What is the most memorable bridge you have seen? Have you seen Les Miserables?