The Pont Alexandre III bridge in Paris

You will find the Pont Alexandre III the most elegant bridge over the River Seine, and many class it as the most extravagant in Paris with as many artists as ornamental features being used on this historical monument, which was designed and constructed for a World Fair in the capital city.

A bit of history

The Pont Alexander III was constructed by the French engineer Amedee d'Alby and the renowned engineer Louis Jean Resal who also helped design the Pont Mirabeau and the Pont de Bercy bridges in Paris, however, it was the architects Joseph Cassein-Bernard and Gaston Cousin that came up with the initial designs for this particular bridge.
Pont Alexandre III over the River Seine
It was a major feat of engineering, due to the fact that it is not only a single arch span, but it was required to be a low bridge, so as not to obstruct the views from Les Invalides over to the Avenue des Champs Elysees.

Work started on the Pont Alexandre III in 1896 and the first foundation stone was laid by Tsar Nicholas II in the October of that year, and he was the son of Tsar Alexander III who had completed the Franco-Russian alliance in 1892, which is what this bridge is dedicated to.

And even though the bridge was completed in approximately two years, some of the additional ornamental elements took longer to finish the ornate Pont Alexandre III bridge, and it was inaugurated in 1900 for the Universal Exhibition in Paris.

About the Pont Alexandre III Bridge

Well let us start with the bridge itself.  We mentioned earlier that the Pont d'Iena is a low bridge in a single span arch and on either bank at each end you will find a 17 metre high pillar, and these pillars are designed to act as counterweights for the stability of the bridge.

But rather than these being boring columns, they were made to be ornate with gilded statues positioned on top that are designed to represent Pegasus being held by Fame, and these are sometimes just known as the Fames of Pegasus.

On the right bank or North side of the river, which is the side you will find the Grand Palais, you can discover the Renommee des Sciences or Fame of the Sciences and the Renommee des Arts or Fame of the Arts, which were both produced by Emmanuel Frémiet.  And at the base of the first you will find a statue called La France Contemporaine that translates to Contemporary France, which was produced by G Michel and the other statue called France de Charlemagne or Charlemagnes France was sculpted by A Lenoir.
Eastern side of Pont Alexandre III
Nymphes de la Neva on Pont Alexandre III
However, on the left bank of the River Seine, which is the side you will find the fabulous Les Invalides complex, you will also be able to discover the other two gilded equestrian statues or Fames of Pegasus with the first being called the Renommee du Commerce or in Englsih the Fame of Business or Commerce , which was sculpted by P Granet and the Renommee de l'Industrie, or Fame of Industry, that was produced by C Steiner.

At the base of each of these two columns you will again find two statues and the first is known as the France Rennaissante that was executed by Jules Coutan and the other statue is La France de Louis XIV produced by Laurent Marqueste.

There are also four lion statues that were produced by the French sculptors Jules Dalou and Georges Gardet.
Golden statue on Pont Alexandre III
Now on either side of the Pont Alexandre III bridge in the centre of the long curved arch, you will find a keystone, and on one side you will find the beaten copper sculpture representing the Nymphs of Neva with the arms of Russia, and on the opposite side, you will find the Nymphs of the Seine, again sculpted in beaten copper but with the coat of arms of France.  And both of these were produced by Georges Recipon, who also worked on the Grand Palais, which is when he sculpted the beautiful quadriga statues in readiness for the 1900 World Fair in Paris.

And as well as all of these decorations on the Pont Alexandre III bridge, there are also four monumental candelabra, which are surrounded by cupids and sea monsters that were executed by the sculptor H Gauquic.

So as you can no doubt tell, this is one of the fabulous tourist attractions in Paris that should not be missed, and even high quality photos of the Pont Alexandre III do not give it justice compared to seeing it in person.
Lamp posts on Pont Alexandre III
Southern side of Pont Alexandre III

Visiting the Pont Alexandre III Bridge in Paris

Classified as an historical monument in Paris you will find the Pont Alexandre III located between the 8th Arrondissement on the right bank and the 7th Arrondissement on the left bank of the River Seine.

At one side in the 8th is the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais, along with the Avenue des Champs Elysees, and the nearest Metro station on this side is the Champs Elysees - Clemenceau stop via lines 1 and three.  Yet on the other side in the 7th the nearest Metro stop is called Invalides via lines 8 and 13, but this also serves the RER trains on line C, and as you can probably gather from the name, this is the side of the fabulous Hotel Les Invalides with its different museums and the Tomb of Napoleon.

Of course, there are also other forms of transport in Paris that stop close by to the Pont Alexandre III including the buses, plus there are velib bike rental stations situated nearby, and the tour buses such as Les Car Rouges and l'OpenTour also pass the Alexandre III bridge on their routes as well.