Friday, October 06, 2006

About the Pont SAINT LOUIS

In about 1630, a first wooden bridge, called the Saint-Landry bridge was built diagonally between the Quai de Bourbon and the cross-roads of the Rue de Chantres and the Rue des Ursins. This structure however collapsed on 5 June 1634 under the weight of three processions. It was replaced in 1656 by a nine-arched bridge which had to be demolished the following year after being seriously damaged by flooding.In 1717, letters patent decided on the reconstruction of a "wooden bridge between the Isle du Palais and that of Notre-Dame". This led to a seven-arch bridge called the "Red bridge" owing to the red lead paint with which it was covered. It was swept away by floodwaters in 1795. Beaumarchais then tried in vain to have a metal bridge built in its place. Finally, under the supervision of the engineer, DUMOUSTIER, a 70 m long and 10 m wide two-arch bridge was built in 1804, mainly of oak protected by copper plates and tar. It was demolished in 1811 following partial collapse and was replaced by a two-arch wooden footbridge, itself replaced in 1842 by a single-span gothic style suspended bridge built by HOMBERT and called the "Passerelle de la Cité".

In 1862, this bridge was replaced by a single-arch metal bridge with a span of 64 m and 16 m wide. After several river traffic accidents, this bridge was struck on 22 December 1939 by a vehicle causing the explosion of a number of gas pipes. Twenty people were thrown into the river, three of whom drowned.

On 7 July 1941, an old footbridge resembling an iron cage was temporarily installed and was a true eyesore for such a prestigious junction between the two islands.

After several vain attempts to reach a technical and architectural solution, the decision was finally taken in 1968 to install a structure whose plain lines were to render it unobtrusive in the shadow of such a high-profile site as Notre Dame.

The current bridge is the seventh built on more or less the same site and joining the Ile Saint-Louis and the Ile de la Cité.


Construction date

Total length
67 m

Construction principles
Two box girders of 67 m span.
Reinforced concrete covering slab.


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