Photography: Nature,Architecture,Wildlife,Photojournalism

Le Pont Neuf : the ironical french bridge..

Pardon my ignorance from the lack of proper or any knowledge of the french language, that i am  using the word ‘le’ every now and then in order to sound french, the way we add ‘ish’ to sound english and ‘vodka’ to sound Russian…

Ahem, yes so the Pont Neuf approximately translates to New Bridge in french, but is ironically the oldest standing bridge across le river Seine , dans Paris …

As early as 1550, uncle Henry II was asked to build a bridge here because the existing Pont Notre-Dame was overloaded, but the expense was too much at the time, a few chicken wings and a few tons of gold, thats it (remember Marie Antoinette advising frenchmen to eat cake almost 200yrs later,yup, the bankruptcy followed, with wars and stuff u dont need…)

…So it took 30yrs to sort out the problems which included  Wars of Religion , getting funds from ‘conquered lands’ in the far east & down south and the like…Finally it got completed in 1607…*le Champagne Bottles Open*…French people used to raise a toast, way before it was cool…


When looking at the bridge its almost impossible to overlook the countless faces inscribed on the stone…Some say (please dont tell me that The Stig ‘owns’ the ‘Some Say’) that these faces represent the traders from the era,the famous and the infamous ones..Others say they represent human expressions while a few still claim that they are the faces of  the various Gods who take care of the human race…What ever might be the truth, or the case, historians can never really guess whats in the mind of the real sculptor…Like if u have read uncle Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, you’ll get a shadowy idea of what it was like to stand on the bridge (Rialto) and curse down or spit on a passing boatsman, long before acting ‘extreme’ was ‘cool’ or ‘gangsta’  …. Centuries later we are still not sure who was the Merchant of Venice actually, was it Antonio or was it Shylock or was it Portia, pun intended leave alone Bassanio or Gratiano or anyone else… Scholars speculate, but can u really know what Shakespeare actually had in his mind? Similarly comes the Pont Neuf faces..If u’r Schizophenic, some of those faces even talk to you….


At one point of the bridge u see a bearded gentleman sitting on a horse with its left leg raised, looking at u…U must almost immediately imagine that its not your vodka , ahem sorry again, but its really a bronze equestrian statue of  king Henry IV ..It was destroyed during the French Revolution, but rebuilt in 1818..its history after all, who destroys old history while making a new one…


But in the 21st century and even later, you can spend hours just waiting there, sitting on the banks..It works greatly if u have someone with you, after all its Paris, but even when u’r alone u can just sit there, looking, dreaming, watching boats go by, sea gulls fly , without fearing anyone spitting from the top, like the 15th century sky…

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Research/Writing/Images : Marcus Sam



2 responses

  1. You are a very talented photographer!

    March 3, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    • Sam

      Thankyou so very much for those kind words…! =)

      March 4, 2013 at 8:16 am

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