Paris 'Pont de l’Alma - The Traveller


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Monday, February 22, 2016

Paris 'Pont de l’Alma

'Pont de l’Alma

Pont de l’Alma – An Arch Bridge in commemoration of the Battle of Alma

Pont de l’Alma, an arch bridge in Paris is across the Seine and was named to commemorate the Battle of Alma during the Crimean War on September 1854, wherein the Franco-British alliance had gained victory over the Russian army. The Parisians seems to be very fond of the Pont de l’Alma with its popular statue that represents a Zauave soldier.

Built on the orders of Napoleon III in 1854, the Pont de l’Alma is towards the western area of Paris and became a household name all across the globe in August 1997 after the heart-breaking death of Princess Diana. The ordinary Tunnel du Pont de l’Alma that runs beneath the Place de l’Alma on the Right Bank became popular since it was the theatre of the most high profile tragic events of the late 20th century, the car accident where Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed had been killed 31st August 1997.

 The scale of the emotion caused by the tragedy was such that the monument which had already existed on the Place de l’Alma, the Flame of Liberty became a makeshift monument to Diana’s memory, overnight. Several people came to the site of her death and laid flowers at the foot of the sculpture as a mark of respect to Princess Diana.

Pont de la Tournelle – To Gauge the Water Level

It tends to lead from the Paris Sewer Museum and the Musee du Quai Branly towards the Left bank to the reputed brasserie Chez Francis on Place de l’Alma where one can locate a reproduction of the flame of Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty. Since then, the Flame of Liberty has become an unofficial memorial to Princess Diana.

 It is said that the Pont de l’Alma is decorated with four huge statues inclusive of the French soldier that used to measure the level of the Seine when it had been flooded. The Zauave statue was traditionally utilised as an unofficial standard of indicating the rise of the water level of the Seine till it was moved to this new pier that was slightly elevated.

The Parisian would know that the river was flooding when the water would reach the foot of the statue. The present Pont de la Tournelle is utilised to gauge the water level. From the bridge, one can get remarkable glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. France had received a sculpture of the Flame of Liberty as a sign of gratitude from the U.S.A. in 1989 for the restoration work that was done on the Statue of Liberty.

Donated on the Occasion of the Centennial of the International Herald Tribune

It was created with the donations that were raised by readers all over the world on the occasion of the centennial of the newspaper’s publication in Paris. It is said that the 3.5 m tall Flame of Liberty of the Place de l’Alma is a full sized copper replica of the torch of the Statue of Liberty that guards the entrance of New-York Harbour.

It tends to stand on a grey and black marble pedestal that is placed just above the exit of the tunnel and was presented by the International Herald Tribune. The commemorative plaque which is placed at the foot of the Flame has the inscription `The Flame of Liberty – An exact replica of the Statue of Liberty’s flame offered to the people of France by donors throughout the world as a symbol of the Franco-American friendship. On the occasion of the centennial of the International Herald Tribune.

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