Thursday, June 7, 2012

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 42

Pont Nuef – Panorama of Paris from the Louvre, ca early 1900s

Pont Nuef or New Bridge was the first stone bridge to be built that did not have houses on it.  Although we cannot see all of them on this card the bridge has twelve arches.  It spans 912 ft (275 m) and connects the Ile de la Cité with both banks of the Seine River.  Construction of the bridge began in 1578 but it was not completed and open for traffic until 1607.  The Notre Dame cathedral towers can be seen in the central background.

[For more information:  Eyewitness travel, p. 86]
The Seine River looking toward the “Lock Bridge,” 2012

The Seine River flows around two islands, Ile de la Cité and Ile St-Louis and is connected to the mainland by several small bridges and the larger Pont Neuf.  This view is from one of the smaller bridges by Notre Dame looking toward the bridge that contains all the padlocks (see previous post about the “Lock Bridge,” Paris).

Panorama of Montmartre, ca 1915

This second card shows the church of Sacré-Coeur and the bell tower at the top of the hill in the Montmartre district of Paris.  Two Catholic businessmen, Alexandre Legentil and Hubert Robault de Fleury, made a vow at the beginning of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 to build this church to the Sacred Heart of Christ should France be spared the impending Prussian invasion.  Construction of the church was begun in 1875, completed by 1914, and dedicated following World War I in 1919.  Legentil’s heart is in a stone urn in the basilica’s crypt. 

The bell tower at the right contains one of the heaviest bells in the world weighing 18.5 tons.  The clapper weighs 1,900 lbs or almost one ton.  The tower was completed in 1895 and stands 252 feet (83 meters) high.  It might be an optical illusion because the bell tower looks a little taller on the card but the Eyewitness travel guidebook states that the ovoid dome of the church is the second highest point in Paris.  

[For more information:  Eyewitness Travel, pp 226-227]

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