Every bridge across the Seine has fascinating history and its own certain charm but the one that gets most votes from camera toting tourists has to be Pont Alexandre III. A graceful arch, loaded with art nouveau sculptures, and anchored by four pillars disguised as works of art, the bridge was built and named for a dual purpose.
The Universal Exhibition (1900’s World Fair) was being staged on either side of the Seine and a structure for transporting visitors between exhibits was part of the plan. That a bridge be constructed bearing the name of Czar Alexander III was a gesture to encourage the development of a Franco-Russian friendship, a sort of counterweight to the growing might of Germany. The first stone was laid by Czar Nicholas II in October 1896, who followed Alexander III to the throne in 1894.
Day and night the bridge is captivating. Barge and vehicle traffic as well as commentary from the open air tourist ferries amp up the volume. Look both ways for a direct view of Invalides (Napoleon’s Tomb), Petit and Grand Palais and squint for the Champs Elysees. The engineers were instructed to build the Alexandre a certain height for this very reason. The French like to line their monuments up. Take for example, the Louvre, Place de la Concorde, Arch de Triumph and La Defense.
Tour Number One in your No Worries Paris guides you to this bridge. You might want to linger for more than a few minutes.