Carruzel Bridge


Carruzel Bridge
48 ° 51′36 ″ s w. 2 ° 20′00 ″ c. d. H G I O L
Official namefr. Pont du carrousel
LocationParis, France
Type of constructionarch bridge
Materialreinforced concrete
Main span3 * 47 m
total length168 m
Bridge width33 m
Constructor, architect Gustave Umbdenstock d
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Carruzel Bridge (FR. Pont du Carrousel) - a bridge across the Seine in Paris from the Tuileries embankment to the Voltaire embankment.


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The first bridge on this site since 1831 was called Saint-Pierre. In 1834, King Louis-Philippe I called it the Carruzel Bridge, because it was opposite Carruzel Square, which got its name from a military drive demonstration (French carrousel), which took place at this place under Louis XIV from June 5 to 7, 1662. on the occasion of his son’s birthday.

Architect Antoine Remy Polonso managed to create a design that was innovative in several aspects. On the one hand, it was a construction of an arched bridge instead of suspension bridges adopted at that time. A relatively new material was used: cast iron with wood. On each corner of the bridge, sculptor Louis Petito erected stone allegorical sculptures in the classical style (1846), symbolizing industry, abundance, the city of Paris and Seine. The bridge had a length of 169.5 m and a width between the railing of 11.85 m. It consisted of three arches of 47.67 m each.

In 1906, after seven decades of use, a serious restoration was required: the wooden elements were replaced with iron ones. However, the bridge was too narrow for traffic in the twentieth century. In 1930, its height above the river was deemed insufficient for river traffic, and it was decided to abandon it in favor of a completely new structure several tens of meters downstream. Architects Gaspard, Turri, Gustav Umbendstock and engineer Lang tried to keep the bridge silhouette familiar to Parisians. The new three-arch reinforced concrete bridge 33 meters wide, built in 1935-1939, reaches the right bank opposite the Louvre Museum on a straight line with the Arc de Triomphe.

Photo and description

“Carruzel Bridge” is the name of one of Rilke’s poems. It speaks not of a bridge, but of a blind person standing on it, but without a name one cannot understand the tragedy of the plot. Because the blind man stands on the bridge leading to the Louvre, that is, in the very center of Paris, in the center of beauty that he does not see.

Rilke also wrote about the old, not converted Carruzel bridge, but it doesn’t matter - the place was almost the same. The ferry opposite the Carruzel arch was built according to the royal decree of Louis Philippe I of 1831. The construction was entrusted to engineer Antoine-Remy Polonso, a man prone to innovation and thoughtful risk. At that time, most of the Parisian bridges were suspension, but he put in arched, while using a relatively new material - cast iron in combination with wood. The pillars of the structure were decorated with large cast-iron rings, which Parisians immediately began to ironically call napkin rings. On each corner of the bridge, on high pedestals, there were stone allegorical sculptures in the classical style of the work of Louis Petito - female figures depicting Industry, Abundance, Paris and the Seine.

In 1883, the bridge was closed for six months to update the wooden elements. Even then, experts recommended replacing them with iron, but they did it only in 1906, using reinforced concrete. Despite the restoration, the bridge, too narrow and too low, is outdated for the twentieth century. It was decided to build a new one by slightly moving it.

The engineers Henri Lange and Jacques Moran, who developed the project, sought to maintain the silhouette of the old bridge, already familiar to the townspeople. In addition, they abandoned the use of metal due to the close proximity of ancient structures - the Louvre, Pont Neuf and Pont Royal. Thus, the three-arch bridge Carruzel, leading directly to the gates of the Louvre, does not look modern. Though reinforced concrete, it is lined with stone, and at the entrances to it the carefully preserved Industry, Abundance, Paris and Seine still stand on their pedestals.

New bridge near the Louvre

In 1831, King Louis Philippe allowed the construction of a new bridge along the streets of the Holy Fathers, which gave him the first name. Engineer Antoine Polonso developed an innovative project - instead of a traditional suspension bridge, he built an arched of cast iron and wood. On October 30, 1834, traffic began on it. Then this bridge was sometimes called the Louvre because of its proximity to the residence of the kings. A fee was charged for the passage, since it belonged to a private investor on an annuity basis until 1867.

But in 1849, the mayor's office of Paris decided to buy the bridge and collects two million francs, a record for those times. And in 1850 the duty is canceled. Then the name of the bridge was finally fixed - Carruzel. During the Second Empire, the Carruzel bridge connected two stations - Montparnasse and Saint-Lazare, which increased the flow of people and crews through it and rendered the wooden structural elements unusable. In 1883, it was closed for six months for overhaul. Even then, experts advised replacing the tree with reinforced concrete. But such reconstruction will be carried out only in 1906.

New Carruzel Bridge at a new location

In 1930, they plan to demolish the Carruzel Bridge, as it turned out to be too low for river vessels and too narrow, only 11.5 meters, for traffic. But then they decided to move it a few tens of meters, directly to the gates of the Louvre, and raise it to the desired height. In 1939, the construction of a new bridge was completed.

Engineers retained the silhouette of the bridge, familiar to the people of Paris, but used new material for construction - reinforced concrete. And so that he did not violate the architectural ensemble of the Louvre, the Royal Bridge, the Bridge of Arts and the Arc de Triomphe Carruzel, he was lined with stone, maintaining the same style of Old Paris.

The statues of Industry, Abundance, Paris and the Seine were transferred from the old bridge to the new one, and in 1946 telescopic lights were installed at the entrances to the bridge, which have a height of 13 meters in the afternoon and rise to 22 meters at night. They did not work for a long time, in 1999 they made an attempt to repair them, but the flashlights still do not work.


Carruzel Bridge - a bridge across the Seine in Paris from the Tuileries embankment to the Voltaire embankment.

Wiki: en: Carruzel Bridge en: Pont du Carrousel

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