Thursday, February 9, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day at Pont des Arts

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Pont des Arts comes to mind with the tradition of “love locks” left by lovers from around the world. The Pont des Arts is less assuming than the neighboring Pont Neuf or Pont Alexandre, but it is truly charming to take a peak at the hundreds of simple and complex locks left with inscriptions of endearment. In fact, there is no better time than the month of February to stroll across the Pont des Arts and perhaps you too will leave a token lock attached to this simple but charming metal bridge.
The bridge was the first metal bridge constructed in Paris under Napoleon I between the years 1802 and 1804. During World War I and World War II Pont des Arts sustained damage from aerial bombardments. The bridge was further weakened by numerous collisions from boats traveling on the Seine. Finally in 1979, a barge rammed the bridge causing a section to collapse. This necessitated that the bridge undergo major renovation between 1981 and 1984. The current Pont des Arts was reconstructed identical to the original with the exception of reducing the number of arches from nine to seven and thereby better realign the new structure with the Pont Neuf.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

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