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Pont-Neuf, Paris

Pont-Neuf, Paris (must see)

The Pont-Neuf (or the New bridge) in Paris has been around since the late Middle Ages. Although the name claims that it's new, it is, in fact, the oldest standing river crossing in Paris. Despite the age, or perhaps because of it, the bridge is just as popular today as it was back in the 1600s when it first opened and is undoubtedly the most famous of all the bridges spanning the river Seine. In reality, the word “new” was to distinguish it from the other, older bridges standing at the time and traditionally lined with houses on both sides. The novelty of this New Bridge was that it was the first one built without houses along it, thus allowing to observe, from the river, the unobstructed panorama of Paris in all its clarity complete with the boats passing underneath. Centuries on, this panorama has expanded with the arrival of new landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, complementing the long-standing ones like the Notre-Dame Cathedral on Île de la Cité.

Another distinguishable feature of the Pont-Neuf is the semicircular bastions jutting out above the piers. These were made to allow people to step aside so as not to get wet or soiled in mud by the passing carriages. Later on, they were used as meeting places and, at one point, even served as trading spots for the street vendors and even tooth-pullers. Now that the traders are gone, these bastions are occupied primarily by tourists and romantic couples.

Also noticeable about the Pont-Neuf is the presence of mascarons, the stone masks in high relief, some 300 of them on the outside edges of the bridge, close to the cornice. If you look closer, you will notice that each mascaron is different and has a distinct and somewhat unusual expression; seems like they're grimacing or something...

Why You Should Visit:
If you're the kind of person who likes watching boats – this is a great spot.
Otherwise, some fantastic views of old Paris from either side!

Tip:
For those keen on bridges and wishing to see the Pont-Neuf from a totally different angle, there is a River Seine cruise company called “Vedettes du Pont-Neuf” whose office is right next to the bridge. Their river cruise is a really good value for money, and you can pick up their discount voucher from the majority of tourist information offices around Paris. Highly recommended!

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Paris, France within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Pont-Neuf on Map

Sight Name: Pont-Neuf
Sight Location: Paris, France
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Paris, France

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

Creating your own self-guided walk in Paris is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Paris Introduction Walk I

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The capital of France takes its name from the Celtic tribe of Parisii who, back in the Iron Age, around the 3rd century BC, settled near the river Seine. The Romans conquered the Parisii and established on their land a garrison town which, towards the end of the 5th century AD, fell to the Franks and flourished under their rule. Despite wars, revolutions and numerous social cataclysms, Paris had...  view more

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Champs Elysees Walk

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On this self guided walk you will witness the grandeur of the 8th arrondissement of the French capital, one of its busiest and chic neighborhoods, thanks to the presence of Avenue des Champs Elysées, Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. If shine and glamour are up to your liking, we invite you to take this walk in a mixed crowd of fashionistas, tourists and local workers, and see some of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 Km or 3.2 Miles
Latin Quarter Walking Tour

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The 5th arrondissement of Paris, also known as the Latin Quarter, is the city's oldest neighborhood. Its name came from the Middle Ages due to the presence of universities where Latin was commonly spoken by students and members of the clergy. Aside from several beautiful Medieval churches that are well worth a visit, the presence of said universities and students also brought some lively...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
The French Revolution Landmarks Walking Tour

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The French Revolution had a huge impact on France's history as it gave rise to a radical democratic republic and resulted in violence during the infamous "Reign of Terror". Even though many of Paris' buildings were damaged in the course of the Revolution, the sites they occupied – which you can find on this self-guided walk – are of a great historical value today. Take your...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.3 Km or 4.5 Miles
Champs-Elysees Nightlife

Champs-Elysees Nightlife

A haven for the arts in Europe, with its influence felt worldwide, Paris boasts a steady stream of visitors to its fine city. After dark, guests to the City of Light can enjoy a multitude of great nightlife establishments that is sure to appeal to anyone looking for a hot night on the town. Whether its live DJs spinning intense electronic beats or a live acoustic jazz band you’re looking for...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Le Marais Walking Tour

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The district known to locals as "Le Marais" used to be a bourgeois area in the past and a major center of the Paris Jewish community that still exists today. Here, you will find different bookshops specializing in Jewish books, restaurants with traditional Jewish food and a synagogue. As one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city, it also has no shortage of narrow medieval streets,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles

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