Pont Neuf - History and Facts | History Hit

Pont Neuf

Paris, Ile-de-France, France

Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Pont Neuf

Pont Neuf in Paris is the oldest bridge in the city, dating back to the sixteenth century.

Pont Neuf history

In 1577 King Henri III decreed that a new bridge should be built over the Seine and appointed a committee to ensure the project’s steady progress. The following year, the first stone was laid by the king himself, in the presence of the queen mother, Catherine de Medicis and the queen consort, Louise de Lorraine.

The work continued until 1588, when construction was brought to a halt by a decade of political and religious unrest. The project resumed in 1599 during the reign of Henri IV, who presided over the inauguration of the bridge in 1607, some thirty years after it was begun.

It was the usual practice at this time to erect houses along the bridges of Paris, but Henri IV declared that the Pont Neuf would be free of buildings, allowing an unimpeded view of the Seine.

Pont Neuf today

Consisting of two spans, the bridge today connects the Musée du Louvre, Rue de Rivoli and the Tour Saint-Jacques on the Right Bank with the Rue Dauphine, the Monnaie de Paris and Saint-Germain-des-Prés on the Left Bank via the Ile de la Cité, the starting point for a tour of Notre Dame Cathedral and the Sainte-Chapelle.

As one of Paris’s most popular destinations, Pont Neuf is often included on small-group walking tours of the city center and highlights along the Seine.

Themed tours, including music, photography, history, and architecture tours, often include a walk across Pont Neuf and a fresh perspective of the city. While bicycle tours provide a quick and active way to see the highlights, evening tours showcase Paris’s architectural gems illuminated under the night sky. Private tours allow visitors to tack a visit to Pont Neuf onto the day’s fully customized itinerary.

Getting to Pont Neuf

The full address of the Pont Neuf is Quai de la Mégisserie – Quai des Grands Augustins, 75001 Paris. There is a metro station on the north bank of the site and numerous buses can take you to the bridge (21, 27, 58, 67, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75, 85).

If travelling by car, the nearest car park is Q-Park Rivoli Pont Neuf on the north bank.

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