With the exception of a few newer bridges, most of the bridges over the Seine are reminders of Paris past.
The Parisii tribe who inhabited Ile de la Cité built the first bridges in Paris, the Petit Pont and the Grand Pont, in 52 BC. Today there are 37 bridges spanning the Seine, which flows for 13 km through Paris. They make for an exceptional heritage and are a magnificent sight, by day as by night.
The Seine riverbanks – from Pont de Sully to Pont de Bir-Hakeim via Pont Alexandre III – are a UNESCO world heritage site. The best known bridges in Paris include the oldest one, Pont Neuf, the construction of which began in 1578; Pont Alexandre III, built for the 1900 Universal Exhibition, Pont Marie, built to provide access to Ile Saint Louis when it began to be urbanized in the 17th century, and Pont de l'Alma, a magnet for tourists, as it is the place where Princess Diana met her tragic death in 1997.
The Pont des Arts, which connects the Institut de France to the Louvre Palace, has become a meeting place for lovers from all over the world. The most recent footbridge, the Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir, is a lens-shaped structure that was inaugurated in 2006.