Pont de l'Alma

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Coordinates: 48°51′48.68″N 02°18′06.58″E / 48.8635222°N 2.3018278°E / 48.8635222; 2.3018278

Pont de l'Alma
Paris pont alma.jpg
Pont de l'Alma, illuminated at night
Official name Pont de l'Alma
Crosses Seine
Locale Paris, France
Design Arch Bridge
Total length 153 m (502 ft)
Width 42 m (138 ft)
Next upstream Pont des Invalides
Next downstream Passerelle Debilly
Coordinates 48°51′48.68″N 02°18′06.58″E / 48.8635222°N 2.3018278°E / 48.8635222; 2.3018278

Pont de l'Alma (Alma Bridge in English) is an arch bridge in Paris across the Seine. It was named to commemorate the Battle of Alma during the Crimean War, in which the Franco-British alliance achieved victory over the Russian army on 20 September 1854.

History[edit]

Construction[edit]

Construction took place between 1854 and 1856. It was inaugurated by Napoleon III on 2 April 1856. Each of the four piers was decorated with a statue of military nature: a Zouave and a grenadier by Georges Diébolt, and a skirmisher and an artilleryman by Arnaud.

Zouave statue and flooding[edit]

The Zouave statue

The bridge serves as a measuring instrument for water levels in times of flooding on the Seine: access to the footpaths by the river embankments usually is closed when the Seine's level reaches the feet of the Zouave; when the water hits his thighs, the river is unnavigable. During the great flood of the Seine in 1910, the level reached his shoulders. The French Civil Service uses the Pont de la Tournelle, not the Pont de l'Alma, to gauge flood levels.

Reconstruction[edit]

The bridge underwent complete reconstruction between 1970 and 1974, as it had been too narrow to accommodate the increasing traffic both on and below it; moreover, the structure had subsided some 80 centimeters. Only the statue of the Zouave was retained: the Skirmisher was relocated to the Gravelle Stronghold in Vincennes, the Grenadier to Dijon, and the Artilleryman to La Fère.

Death of Diana, Princess of Wales[edit]

The bridge is close to the Pont de l'Alma tunnel where Diana, Princess of Wales was involved in a fatal car crash along with her companion Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul on 31 August 1997.[1][2] The Flame of Liberty at the bridge's north end has become an unofficial memorial to Diana.

Technical specifications[edit]

Pont de l'Alma has a length of 153 meters (502 ft) and a width of 42 meters (138 ft). It was designed by Paul-Martin Gallocher de Lagalisserie.

Access[edit]

Location on the Seine

The Metro station Alma - Marceau is near the north end of the bridge, RER station Pont de l'Alma near the south end.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitney, Craig R. (31 August 1997). "Diana Killed in a Car Accident in Paris". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  2. ^ John King; John Beveridge (2001). Princess Diana: The Hidden Evidence. SP Books. p. 282. ISBN 978-1-56171-922-8. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 

External links[edit]