Sunday, May 13, 2018

Two views

One from upstream, the other from downstream. This is the Pont des Arts, a well-known pedestrian bridge that connects the Louvre on the Right Bank with the Institut de France on the Left Bank. Until recently, this is where people would attach "love locks" to the bridge's railings. The city cleaned them all away in 2015, citing the danger that the weight of thousands of padlocks posed to the bridge structure. And they were ugly (IMHO).

The Pont des Arts, the first iron bridge in Paris, and the dome of the Institut de France, seen from just upstream of the bridge.

The bridge, originally built in the early 1800s, has had a difficult time, having been damaged by war and barge collisions over the years. It was modified in 1852, then closed completely by 1977. In 1979, another barge collision brought a good section of the bridge down. The rest was removed in 1980.

The Institut de France is home of the famed Académie Française. The ad mural is covering some construction scaffolding on a nearby building.

The current version of the bridge was rebuilt (I was a student in Paris for part of that time) and it re-opened in 1984. I've only known the current bridge, but I knew it before the "love lock" phenomenon took hold. I haven't been across it since the locks were removed and the new glass panel railings were added, but I have seen the result in photos (including these two of mine). It looks a lot better now.


  1. Your Paris photos have been amazing. I've noticed bridges here and there in Spain with padlocks attached. One beautiful old bridge in Sevilla was suffering the ugly and damaging practice.

  2. It is a very elegant bridge. I can't imagine it being festooned with love padlocks.

  3. I can't believe that there are people still posting things on the Internet about the "beauty" and "romance" of putting up a padlock. It infuriates me.

    Though the padlock situation has been remedied at Pont des Arts, we saw them alllll over the edges of the area where you go to get on the Vedettes du Pont Neuf sightseeing boat cruise: Stinkin' padlocks abound

  4. Some people pay no attention to details about their activities.
    Your photography is really inspiring, Walt! I just love to see what each day's photo will be!

    Mary in Oregon

  5. I've heard of this bridge with its locks. I haven't seen it full up with locks but sans locks it looks quite lovely

  6. mitch, they still exist on other bridges and railings, but I wonder for how long.

    andrew, it was a very strange sight, for sure.

    judy, and I've seen them on the Pont de d'Archevêché behind Notre Dame, but I read that they've been removed recently, too.

    mary, glad you're enjoying them!

    michael, you can find photos of the locks on google. Just search for "Paris love locks."


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