Monday, 5 December 2011

Sab's Top Ten Wayward Paris Bridges

POSTED IN:  ~ PlacesListsPeculiar

Sab's Top Ten Wayward Paris Bridges
by Sab Will,  wannabe offbeat Paris street guru

Forget your most beautiful, forget your most romantic (with one or two notable exceptions), here I offer you an alternative take on the age old problem: how not to end up writing unpalatable, purple prose-tinted, nauseating gush when talking about Paris and its good old Mère Seine.

The approach I’ve taken for my 
Top Ten Wayward Paris Bridges may not be new, for all I know, and I've certainly seen another list or two of the Top Ten Paris bridges, but the angle taken, bless them, is invariably eulogistic. Homages to hurl to, if you will.

I wanted to try something different, so I took a bunch of Paris bridges with what I considered notable characteristics and ramped them up to the giddy heights of ‘most’.

Whence the list below, where I offer you the most artistic, the most pretentious (go on, guess before looking, I’m sure you’ll get it) and yes, I couldn’t resist, the most romantic bridges in Paris, to name but a few. So go ahead and get out there; maybe I'll cross you on the Seine one of these days.


Sab's Top Ten Wayward Paris Bridges

No.1) "Shortest" Paris Bridge – Petit Pont

You might be wondering where 'the longest Paris bridge' is in my list, but the denomination isn't as simple as it seems. The longest would probably be Pont Neuf if it weren't for the dubious fact that it plonks its backside on the end of Ile de la Cité half-way across the river (and besides, it's already the star of another category altogether). Same thing for Pont de Sully on Ile Saint-Louis...  Read more
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No.2) "Most Smooch-worthy" Paris Bridge - Pont des Arts

OK, OK, I know I'm not supposed to be doing categories like 'most romantic', but after all, not only does it have possibly the best view of Ile de la Cité of all, with a sunset over the Eiffel Tower included in the price just by turning around, it is a legendary meeting / picnic / smooching and now tryst-sealing Paris landmark...
Read more
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Guess I'd better come clean - it's not the bridge itself which is artistic; the bridge is a horrendous lump of featureless green-painted scrap iron without the slightest artistic merit whatsoever. In fact, I couldn't remember why I hadn't done an 'ugliest' Paris bridge, but now I remember why: this one fits the bill admirably...
Read more
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Love it or loathe it, there’s no escaping this prime piece of post-Napoleonic pomp. Of course it's impressive, with its enormous gilded statues and superb views of the Grand and Petit Palais in one direction and Les Invalides in the other.

The Pont Alexandre III is surprisingly recent... Read more
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The tired old tourist guide 'fun fact' is that, despite being called the 'New Bridge', the Pont Neuf is in fact the oldest bridge in the city. We have to be careful to define what 'oldest' actually means. It is far from being the first ever bridge built between the banks of the river within Paris.

What most people mean when they say... Read more
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Oooh, those sensual curves, that undulating silhouette a worthy complement to the most expressive of Rodin or Maillol’s voluptuous maidenpieces… although we're talking more top model sinuousness than podgy plump here. If you turned this thing on end we'd be reminded of Amazon Eve on a diet.
Read more
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


This isn't actually the bridge which leads directly to the Eiffel Tower itself, which would be the Pont d'Iéna, but it's a bridge I've crossed over many times, and I can never resist casting a glance over, just to make sure Lady Eiffel's still going strong.

I'm not alone, as numerous movies have... Read more
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Now why on earth would this bog-standard looking central Paris bridge, with nothing special to recommend it in particular, merit my 'Quirkiest Paris Bridge' title? Well, 'Ah-hah!', you see... That's exactly what I'm going to tell you now :-D

For, anodyne as it may seem (and in itself it is), there's one marvellous quirk which stands the Pont du Carrousel apart from all the others. Only having discovered this after nearly 20 years of fairly vigorous city scouring and curiosity seeking, I'm assuming I'm not alone in being delighted by the fact...
Read more
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Why the cutest? Coz it's tucked away so sweetly between the two central Paris islands, has no traffic, is always full of street entertainers at the weekend, has great views of Paris, Notre Dame, the PanthéonHotêl de Ville, the impressive Eglise Saint-Gervais, is ideally situated next to legendary Paris ice-cream shop Berthillon... need I go on?

Oh yes, I need, as I've only written one paragraph and need about four or five to call it a real article, sooo...
Read more
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


This one has history oozing out of its rivets, and has been the subject of many a Paris quiz question along the lines of: Why is the Pont au Double (Bridge of the Double) so-called? With possible answers including such fanciful fun as: it had a double row of houses on it; it was the first to allow two carriages to pass each other; you had to double back if you met a lady coming... Read more
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Late news just in: Despite what I said back in No.? about the Pont du Garigliano's striking inelegance, we have a late contender for Paris' ugliest bridge which I just know you'd want to hear about!

Of course, the two bridges taking the Paris ring road, the Périphérique, across the Seine are both officially... Read more

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
4) MOST PRETENTIOUS ~ 5) OLDEST ~ 6) SEXIEST
7) MOST EIFFELIST ~ 8) QUIRKIEST ~ 9) CUTEST
10) MOST ODDLY-NAMED ~ 11) UGLIEST
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Sab Will runs Photo and Curios Tours in Paris, and also manages a variety of Paris and photography-themed sites and blogs. He writes an illustrated Paris Chronicle every day, runs a Meetup group for Paris lovers, interviews Paris personalities and reviews Paris books (on this blog), and even contributes to the city's street art (shh), so feel free to browse some of the links below and in the right-hand column to find out more about what he gets up to out there...

                       
 ______________________________________________________________________________________
© 2011 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Suggestions, questions, requests and offers always welcome!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...