In the eastern part of Paris, there is one of the city's most original motes - the Pont de Bercy. A two-level bridge, reminiscent of a Roman aqueduct, is the main transport artery connecting the 12th and 13th arrondissements of Paris. It can be used to get from Austerlitz Station to Lyons.
Bercy Bridge - the story of its appearance
The first crossing in this place appeared under Louis XIII, when a gunpowder factory was built in the town of Bercy for the needs of the king's army, and then the Salpêtrière, a hospital for the poor and beggars (now the French Ministry of Finance is located in this building). In order to get to the hospital, they used a pontoon ferry, planning to build a bridge in this place. Many projects were shelved until the rapid development of the suburbs required a reliable transport artery across the Seine.
In 1832, on the site of the pontoon ferry, the first Bercy bridge was erected, which connected the Salpetriere hospital and the port of Rapi. It was a three-span iron suspension bridge. As on all bridges outside the city, a fee was charged for the passage and travel on it in favor of the hospital. Therefore, until the period of the large-scale reconstruction of the city under the leadership of Baron Osman, the bridge was never repaired, because even minor repair work assumed the abolition of the toll on it.
New Bercy Bridge
The new Bercy bridge appeared due to the fact that the town of Bercy became part of the city and the traffic flow increased sharply, which the old bridge simply could not withstand. On the site of the old bridge, a stone one was built in 1864, consisting of three strips. Upon completion of the construction, it turned out that the new bridge is similar, like a twin brother, to the Louis Philippe bridge built at the same time. The construction, material and decoration on the bridges are identical.
Bercy bridge transformations
In 1904, the Bercy bridge was extended by 5,5 meters for the first time, building a railway viaduct for the 6th metro line. And in 1909, part of the viaduct arcade was demolished, having equipped a passage to the metro station. The second reconstruction of the bridge in 1989-1992 was associated with the construction of the Palais des Sports de Bercy and consisted of a symmetrical expansion upstream.
During the construction of the new part, reinforced concrete structures were used, which then
decorated with stone so that the new part does not differ from the old one. The stages of the construction of the bridge are clearly visible when you are under the bridge.
The modern Bercy bridge
The modern Bercy bridge consists of five arches 175 meters long and 40 meters wide. Trains of the sixth line of the Paris metro fly over the top of the arched gallery. Newlyweds often come under the Bercy Bridge for photo sessions. And it offers a beautiful view of the unusual Palace of Sports and the park, the original building of the Ministry of Finance.
The Bercy Bridge is the original example of bridge construction in Paris.
Address: 75012, Paris Pont de Bercy
Metro: Quai de la Gare