Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pont Alexandre III

As we walked out the gates of les Invalides, a wide public esplanade greeted us with a display unobstructed view of the city. This grand open spaces in the heart of Paris - Esplanade des Invalides extends to the River Seine.

The Avenue du Maréchal Gallieni divides the esplanade into two halves; running from the north and south through the Esplanade. Three other streets cross it from east to west before it reaches Quai d'Orsay at the river's edge.

We took our time strolling the esplanade, trying to absorb as much that we could about Paris on that breezy morning.

Huge streets opposite Les Invalides (in the background)

We then came towards Pont Alexandre III, an arch bridge spanning the Seine; built between 1896 and 1900. It was designed by architects Joseph Cassien-Bernard and Gaston Cousin. Pont Alexandre III spans across 107m of the River Seine, connecting pedestrian and auto traffic between Esplanade de Invalides in the 7th arrondissement and the Champs-Élysées quarter in the 8th arrondissement.

The bridge displayed exuberant Art Nouveau lamps, cherubs, nymphs and winged horses at either end.

Numerous sculptors are featured prominently in the bridge. Four gilt-bronze statues of Fames watch over the bridge, supported on massive 17-meter socles - providing stabilizing counterweight for the arch. A gilded sculpture of Pegasus on the Right Bank, Renommée des Sciences ("Fame of the Sciences") by Emmanuel Frémiet.

One of the Fames - couldn't tell which is which. They all looked the same to this bare eyes.

Nymphs of the Seine

Seine River cruise boat

One of the nymphs of the Seine

Nymphs lagiiiii.....

Nissa getting really tired of the nymphs.....

And another nymph......

This one had pad locks on him...something to do with "love lock down" I think.

Lion à l'enfant by Georges Gardet.

And where to next???

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