Pont-Neuf, Paris

Pont-Neuf, Paris

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!

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Paris. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. 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 (See walking tours in Paris)
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 Walking Tour II

Paris Introduction Walking Tour II

From the Louvre to the Notre-Dame Cathedral to Place de la Bastille, the evolution of Paris and its history is literally visible on the banks of the river Seine, the linking thread winding its way through the city, as if keeping a watchful eye on its architectural marvels.

This walk is centered around Île de la Cité and Le Marais, which together form the historical core of power in Paris....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Paris Introduction Walking Tour I

Paris Introduction Walking Tour I

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

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 Km or 3.2 Miles
The French Revolution Landmarks Walking Tour

The French Revolution Landmarks Walking Tour

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

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.3 Km or 4.5 Miles
St-Germain-des-Pres Walking Tour

St-Germain-des-Pres Walking Tour

This self-guided walk takes you to explore the 6th arrondissement, covering the quarter of St-Germain-des-Prés, the riverside districts and the areas nearby the Luxembourg Garden. It is one of the most expensive districts of Paris, home to posh boutiques, eateries and iconic cafes once favored by philosophers and legendary writers, the likes of Hemingway and Camus. The area is likewise renowned...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Le Marais Walking Tour

Le Marais Walking Tour

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: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Latin Quarter Walking Tour

Latin Quarter Walking Tour

Paris’ Latin Quarter is situated on the left bank of the Seine and dates back to the Middle Ages. For years, it was known as a bohemian enclave, attracting students, writers and intellectuals. Centered on the Sorbonne University's main university campus, the area was so named a few centuries ago because the students were speaking and learning in Latin. It remains very lively, with a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles

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