Nighttime lighting of the Pont Marie.
|Official name||Pont Marie|
|Carries||Motor vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles|
|Designer||Rémy Collin, Jean Delgrange, Christophe Marie|
|Total length||92 m (302 ft)|
|Width||22 m (72 ft)|
|Toll||Free both ways|
The bridge links the Île Saint-Louis to the quai de l'Hôtel de Ville and is one of three bridges designed to allow traffic flow between the Île Saint-Louis and the Left and Right banks of Paris. The Pont Marie links the Right Bank and is the counterpart of the Pont de la Tournelle which is built along the same line but serves to connect the Île Saint-Louis with the Left Bank.
The Pont Marie derives its name from the engineer Christophe Marie, who proposed its construction beginning in 1605 in order to augment and assist in the urbanisation of the île Saint-Louis. However the bridge was not actually approved for building by the king until 1614, at which point Louis XIII laid the first stone as part of a formal bridge building ceremony. Following approval, the Pont Marie's construction was spread out over 20 years, from 1614 to 1635. Thus, the bridge is one of the oldest bridges in Paris.
In 1635 the bridge was opened to circulation. Following its construction, there were proposals to build houses along the bridge's span. These proposals were countered by Christophe Marie, however approximately fifty were built regardless by carpenter Claude Dublet.
On March 1, 1658 a flood occurred, which caused the destruction of twenty houses that were built atop the structure and the deaths of about sixty people as well as the loss of two arches near to the île Saint-Louis side of the bridge. In 1660 a wooden bridge was rebuilt on the same spot, this time with a toll-booth which was designed to raise funds for the complete, stone renovation of the structure. This reconstruction was completed in 1670. In 1740, the remainder of the buildings atop the Pont Marie were removed and in 1769 all building atop the bridge was forbidden. In 1788, houses were barred from construction atop bridges throughout the city.
Since the 18th century, the structure has seen little change aside from the flattening of its rise which did not alter the appearance.
It is interesting to note each of the five arches of the Pont Marie is unique and that the niches in the abutments have never been filled with statues.
Some years ago, excursion boat companies operating in Paris began to claim that the Pont Marie is a "lovers' bridge" beneath which it is an "old tradition" to kiss the person next to oneself and make a wish (several variants on this theme exist). However, there is no historical basis for such a "tradition," even though it is now repeated without verification in an increasing number of tourist guides.
Bridge location on the Seine:
|Located near the metro station: Pont Marie.|
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