Pont de la Tournelle bridge in Paris
There has been a bridge over the River Seine in this location since the 1300s, however, the current bridge in Paris was only constructed during the 1920s, and compared to some is rather bland, yet there is a statue of Saint Genevieve, the Patron Saint of Paris to one side of the Pont de la Tournelle.
A bit of history
It was back in 1370 that a wooden bridge was constructed between the Ile Saint Louis island and the Quai Saint Bernard on the left bank of the River Seine, however, this bridge, which at the time was called the Fust de l’Ile Notre-Dame, ended up getting swept away by the river.
This bridge over the River Seine was eventually replaced by another at the start of the 1600s, however, even this bridge was destroyed in 1637, but this time its destruction was caused by ice rather than just the raging river.
Then came another bridge, which was then constructed out of stone and when finished in 1656, it was named the Pont de la Tournelle, and with its six stone arches it remained in place until the start of the 1900s.
But unfortunately this historical bridge in Paris ended up with a similar fate as the first, as the Pont de la Tournelle was severely damaged during the major floods in 1910. And so the decision was taken to demolish it, which happened in 1918, and it was to be replaced with a new bridge over the River Seine, yet carry the same name and be located in the same position as the previous ones.
About the Pont de la Tournelle Bridge
A competition for the new Pont de la Tournelle was organised and this was won by Pierre and Louis Guidetti, who gave a good explanation about why they chose such as a design, which was due to the width of the river at that point and the lack of symmetry with a wide bank.
Construction on this new bridge over the River Seine was started in 1924 and with one large central arch span, along with two smaller arches on either side on the riverbanks, the Pont de la Tournelle was built utilising reinforced concrete, yet dressed with quarried stone and was eventually finished in 1928.
You will also discover that there is a pylon located on the left bank pier at the cutwater, which stands 14 metres high and positioned on top is a statue of Saint Genevieve, who is the Patron Saint of Paris. And this large statue of over 5 metres in height, was designed by the sculptor Paul Landowski in order to provide some decoration to this bland looking, yet practical bridge.
Visiting Pont de la Tournelle in Paris
Situated between the left bank of the River Seine at the Quai de la Tournelle, the bridge goes over to the Ile Saint Louis island and is located close to places such as the Arab World Institute, the famous Tour d’Argent restaurant and a little further you will reach the Ile de la Cite with the fabulous Notre Dame Cathedral.
However, the nearest Metro station is actually located on the opposite bank of the River Seine by the Pont Marie bridge, and is named the Pont Marie stop.