October 13, 2017

French Friday: Le Pont Neuf

le vendredi 13 octobre 2017 (286/365)

« La vie est un pont, traverse-le, mais n'y fixe pas ta demeure. » ~ Sainte Catherine de Sienne 

Despite its name, Le Pont Neuf ("The New Bridge") is Paris' oldest bridge. It was named Pont Neuf to distinguish it from the older wooden bridges lined with houses that spanned the Seine in the 16th century. Henri III laid the first stone on May 31, 1578 and the bridge was inaugurated in 1607. The Pont Neuf spans the Seine in two sections, one of five arches joining the Left Bank to the Île de la Cité, another of seven joining the island to the Right Bank.  Along the top of the structure, there are 381 stone mascarons, each representing forest and field divinities, satyrs, and sylvains from ancient mythology. I think they are appropriately spooky for today's vendredi treize post!