Open main menu

Coordinates: 48°51′48.68″N 02°18′06.58″E / 48.8635222°N 2.3018278°E / 48.8635222; 2.3018278

Pont de l'Alma (English: Alma Bridge) is a road bridge in Paris, France across the Seine. It was named to commemorate the Battle of Alma during the Crimean War, in which the Ottoman-Franco-British alliance achieved victory over the Russian army, on 20 September 1854.

Pont de l'Alma
Paris pont alma.jpg
Pont de l'Alma, illuminated at night
Coordinates48°51′48.68″N 02°18′06.58″E / 48.8635222°N 2.3018278°E / 48.8635222; 2.3018278
CrossesSeine
LocaleParis, France
Official namePont de l'Alma
Next upstreamPont des Invalides
Next downstreamPasserelle Debilly
Characteristics
DesignGirder bridge
Total length153 m (502 ft)
Width42 m (138 ft)

Contents

HistoryEdit

ConstructionEdit

Construction of an arch bridge took place between 1854 and 1856. It was designed by Paul-Martin Gallocher de Lagalisserie and was inaugurated by Napoleon III on 2 April 1856. Each side of both of the two piers was decorated with a statue of military nature: a Zouave and a grenadier by Georges Diébolt, and a skirmisher and an artilleryman by Arnaud.

The Zouave statue and floodingEdit

 
The Zouave statue
 
The Zouave statue, 3 June 2016

The general public took the original bridge as a measuring instrument for water levels in times of flooding on the Seine: access to the footpaths by the river embankments usually was closed when the Seine's level reached the feet of The Zouave; when the water hit his thighs, the river was unnavigable. During the great flood of the Seine in 1910, the level reached his shoulders.[1] The French Civil Service used the Pont de la Tournelle, not the Pont de l'Alma, to gauge flood levels, and since 1868 uses the Pont d'Austerlitz.

ReconstructionEdit

The bridge underwent complete reconstruction as a girder bridge between 1970 and 1974, as it had been too narrow to accommodate the increasing traffic both on and below it; moreover, the structure had subsided some 80 centimeters. Only the statue of the Zouave was retained: the Skirmisher was relocated to the Gravelle Stronghold in Vincennes, the Grenadier to Dijon, and the Artilleryman to La Fère.

Death of Diana, Princess of WalesEdit

 
Entrance to the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in April 1998, the site where Diana's car hit a Fiat and then the wall

The bridge is close to the Pont de l'Alma tunnel where Diana, Princess of Wales and four others were involved in a fatal car crash on 31 August 1997. They were being chased by paparazzi, and their chauffeur was driving under the influence of alcohol. [2][3] The Flame of Liberty (completed in 1987), at the bridge's north end has become an unofficial memorial to Diana.

Technical specificationsEdit

Pont de l'Alma has a length of 153 meters (502 ft) and a width of 42 meters (138 ft).

AccessEdit

 
Location on the Seine

The Metro station Alma - Marceau is near the north end of the bridge, RER station Pont de l'Alma near the south end.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Paris readies for floods as Seine surges higher" (video). BBC News. 27 January 2018.
  2. ^ Whitney, Craig R. (31 August 1997). "Diana Killed in a Car Accident in Paris". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  3. ^ John King; John Beveridge (2001). Princess Diana: The Hidden Evidence. SP Books. p. 282. ISBN 978-1-56171-922-8. Retrieved 31 May 2013.

External linksEdit