Few countries have as many famous bridges as France, a fantastic country in Western Europe. Famous bridges in France date back to Roman times, and today the country is replete with stunning ancient and modern bridges crossing valleys and rivers.
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Famous Bridges in Paris
37 amazing Parisian bridges cross the river Seine and connect some of the most incredible sights in the world. They form an affluent collection of interesting architectural landmarks and remarkable feats of engineering from different time periods.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most famous bridges in France.
#1 Pont Alexandre III Bridge
The Pont Alexandre III is one of the best bridges in Paris. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century in honour of the union of France and Russia.
It is considered one of the main attractions in the capital of France and one of the most beautiful bridges in Paris.
You can admire the Champs Elysees, the Eiffel Tower, and the Invalides from the bridge. This is one of the most famous modern bridges near Invalides metro station in one of Europe’s most extraordinary capital cities.
#2 Pont Des Arts
The Pont des Arts is a footbridge in the heart of Paris and one of the most famous bridges in France. And all this is not due to its incredible design, which it shares with most of the bridges of Paris, but because of its amazing location in the city’s heart.
The bridge connects the Institute of France with the Louvre Museum; it was built by the order of Napoleon Bonaparte himself. It was erected between 1802 and 1804, and the First and Second World Wars, which took place in the 20th century, slightly damaged it. From 1981 to 1984, it was completely reconstructed, and it again looks the same as it did at the beginning of the 19th century.
Many people wonder what the name of the bridge in Paris with locks is. The answer is Pont Des Arts. The love lock bridge is one of the best bridges of Paris. It is on this that romantic bridge lovers from all over the world hang locks as a sign of their unbreakable love.
#3 Pont De Bir Hakeim
This scenic bridge in France, connecting the Quai Branly and the Georges Pompidou Road, looks unusual: it is two-story. The upper floor works for cars and metro trains, and the lower is for pedestrians and cyclists.
Louis Biet was supervising the building process. Two metal structures, each with three spans, are separated by a monumental stone arch, decorated with four allegory statues – Science and Labor by Jules Coutan, Electricity and Trade by Jean-Antoine Injalbert.
The upper level, which carries the subway line, lies on graceful columns lit by Art Deco lamps. On the bridge piers are cast-iron sculptural groups by Gustave Michel: sailors with a stylized coat of arms of Paris and blacksmiths riveting a shield with the monogram “RF”, which means the Republic of France. It is one of the most famous Parisian bridges.
#4 Pont de la Tournelle
This landmark stone bridge in Paris changed several times. The first, still wooden, was built here in the 14th century. It was washed away by a flood in 1651. Five years later, the bridge was restored in stone. It stood for quite a long time, although it was often beaten with ice.
The bridge had to be demolished in 1918, as the 1910 flood had damaged it too much.
In 1928, it was rebuilt at last. The architect brothers Pierre and Louis Guidetti had a difficult task: to fit the structure into a unique landscape, given that this stretch of the Seine is one of the most difficult in Paris for navigation. Also, the Pont de la Tournelle appears in Dumas’ novel “The Three Musketeers”. It is one of the most famous bridges in Paris, France.
#5 Pont Neuf
Pont Neuf is an arched stone bridge constructed in the 16th century. It is one of the most famous bridges in France, the oldest surviving bridge in Paris and one of the oldest in the world. It connects the left and right banks of Paris and passes through the île de la Cité.
The bridge has two spans and a bronze equine statue of King Henri IV. The statue was destroyed during the revolution, although restored later. The bridge offers magnificent views of the city and the Seine and is very popular among locals and tourists.
#6 Pont d’lena
The Pont d’Iena in Paris connects the left bank with Trocadero. It is one of the most known bridges in Paris, France. It is named after the town of Iena, where in 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Prussian troops.
The construction of the bridge took place from 1808 to 1814. Initially, on the sides, it was decorated with figures of eagles – symbols of imperial power.
The bridge is especially beautiful at night. It locates close to the Eiffel Tower and the Isle aux Cygnes, where the Statue of Liberty Paris stands. In 1853, sculptures of four warriors were also placed here: Greek, Arabic, Roman and Gulish.
It is a must-see destination for those who travel to one of the most beautiful countries of Europe.
#7 Notre Dame Bridge
The oldest bridge in Paris, Notre Dame, has a vibrant history which dates back to the 9th century.
During its history, it even had residential buildings on it. Still, in 1786, by order of the King, all buildings were removed from the bridge, and 80 years later, the bridge was dismantled, and a completely new bridge of four arches was built in its place.
The barges that sailed under this bridge constantly collided with it, so the French merchants called the Notre Dame bridge the Devil’s Bridge. The two central arches were removed and replaced with a reinforced steel structure to avoid further clashes.
The last bridge restoration took place in 1919, and after the work, the current bridge was opened by President Poincaré. It is one of the most popular bridges of Paris.
More Beautiful Bridges in France
In France, there are many bridges and viaducts, the crossing of which will already be a little adventure that guarantees a storm of emotions. Many of them are bizarre and intricate works of art by French architects from different eras that every passionate traveller should see. Below you will learn more about France’s most beautiful and famous Bridges.
#8 Pont Du Gard, Vers-Pont-du-Gard
The Gar Bridge is located in southern France. It was included in the UNESCO World Historical and Cultural Heritage Sites list. It is one of those places not to be missed when visiting Provence. People come here to see an impressive monument of antiquity – the largest of the Roman aqueducts that have survived to this day. Its length is 275 m, and the height reaches 47m.
Two thousand years ago, water flowed through it to the city of Nimes. The total length of the ancient water pipeline in these places was then about 50 km, and this bridge was one of its parts.
When visiting the bridge, do not miss the museum, there you can learn lots of interesting facts about this legendary bridge.
#9 Pont d’Avignon
Avignon bridge in Southern France was built in 1177-1185 on the river Rhone. The legend says that an angel appeared in a dream to little Benoit with a command to build a bridge. Growing up, the boy carried out the instructions from above and later became known as Saint Benese.
Initially, the stone 22-arch structure had a length of 915 m and served as a transport artery and a border zone between France and the Papal States. In the 17th century, after a series of destructions and unsuccessful restorations, only four spans remained from the Saint-Benezet bridge.
Now you can get to the bridge only as part of an excursion. Also, you can purchase a joint ticket with the visit to Papal Palace. Additionally, there is a garden and cafe next to the bridge.
#10 Millau Viaduct
The Millau Viaduct is not just one of the most famous bridges in France. It is one of the most incredible structures in all of Europe. A 2,4 km-long cable-stayed bridge crosses a huge gorge where the river Tarn flows.
It is one of the most famous modern bridges and one of the biggest in the world. The bridge is located in the south of France and was named after the nearby town of Millau.
The stunning bridge was built in 2004, and if is not the highest bridge in the world, it is France’s tallest bridge. It reaches a height of 336.4 meters above the valley floor and significantly saves travel time on the road from Paris to Montpellier.
The biggest bridge in France was built by 2 architects – Norman Foster and Michel Virlogeux. Sometimes you can hear the name Foster bridge, France, referring to the name of its main architect.
#11 Pont Valentré, Cahors
The Valentre Bridge is a fortified medieval stone arch bridge crossing the Lot River in the south of France. It is located west of Cahors, a wonderful city in the department of Lot. Of course, the bridge is the main symbol of this small town.
The structure’s construction began as early as 1308 but was completed only seven decades later – in 1378. The bridge has 6 arches made in the Gothic architectural style and 3 squared towers.
Unfortunately, the tower at the bridge’s western end has not survived to this day. This stunning bridge is a pedestrian bridge where you can have a pleasant walk, admire it, and take fantastic pictures!
#12 Saint George’s Suspension Bridge, Lyon
This bridge is probably the most elegant bridge in France. It is located between Quai Fulchiron and Rue Sala. This neat bridge across the Saone runs like an arrow between the modern part of Lyon and the Old City. Opened in 1853, Saint-Georges has become one of the favourite walks for locals and tourists.
The bridge of St. George, 87 meters long, has a symbolic meaning: it connects two eras, modernity and the past. It takes travellers from the bustle into the majestic tranquillity of history.
The bridge has its own sad page in history: in 1944, it was destroyed to the ground, but soon it was restored to its original form. Another curious event happened in 2003: Saint-Georges received a second name – the Paul Couturier Bridge.
This authentic bridge is especially popular among children. Therefore, is a must-visit destination when travelling to Lyon with kids.
#13 Pont de Normandie, Honfleur
A cable-stayed toll bridge Pont de Normandie in the northwest of the country, is one of the most famous bridges in France. It connects the port city of Le Havre with the town of Honfleur and crosses the river Seine.
The bridge was completed in 1995 and was designed by the same civil engineer who designed the Millau Viaduct, Michel Virlogeux. Also, he designed the Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. When completed, the Normandy Bridge became the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world as it was 2,143.21 meters long.
#14 Pont Gustave Flaubert, Rouen
The Gustave Flaubert bridge crosses the Seine in the town of Rouen in northern France. This double structure, weighing 1,300 tons each, provides free passage under the bridge for ships and large sailing yachts. The height of the entire structure is 91 m, and the length is 1088 meters. The singularity of the highest European drawbridge is in the verticality of raising the spans to 55 m.
It takes about 12 minutes to raise the moving part of the bridge fully. A lot of people always gather to watch this intriguing spectacle. It offers a gorgeous panoramic view of the Seine and its picturesque banks. The architects Michel Virlojo and Aymeric Zublen are the authors of the project of an unusual bridge, which today is one of the most iconic sights of Rouen.
#15 Pont-Canal de Briare, Briare
The navigable Briare Aqueduct is the oldest canal in France. The water bridge was first built in 1642 to connect the Loire and Seine rivers.
Its length is approximately 662 meters, and its depth is 1.8 meters. In 1890 it was newly built by the Eiffel company adding a pedestrian pathway.
Today, there are boat trips organized on the canal. When travelling to France with Kids don’t miss the opportunity to take this canal boat trip. It’s big fun!
#16 Viaduc de Garabit, Ruynes-en-Margeride
The Garabit Viaduc is a charming railway arch bridge that crosses the Truyères River in southwestern France.
It is located in the mountainous region of the Central Massif of the country, which means that this marvel of engineering offers stunning views of the surrounding areas.
It was designed by Gustave Eiffel – the world-famous designer of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The structure was built between 1882 and 1884. The length of this amazing iron structure reaches 565 meters.
#17 Pont Jacques Chaban Delmas, Bordeaux
The Pont Jacques Chabant-Delmas is one of the most charming bridges in France. This vertical rise bridge spans the Garonne River and is located in the southwestern French city of Bordeaux. The upper deck of the structure can move up and down, allowing ships to pass under this bridge.
It was named after Jacques Chaban-Delmas – the former Prime Minister of France and the former mayor of Bordeaux. Its construction was completed in 2013, and the length of the bridge’s main span is exactly 110 meters. This makes it the longest vertical bridge in the country.
The most famous bridge in Paris is Pont Alexandre III, named after the Russian Emperor Alexander III.
The most famous bridge in France, Pont Alexandre III, is in Paris, thrown across the Seine in Paris between the Invalides and the Champs Elysees.
The biggest bridge in France is the Millau Viaduct, which can be seen 4 kilometres southwest of the city of Millau in southern France in the Occitanic region.
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Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.