When one visits Paris there are the usual tourist destinations: The Eiffel Tower, The Arc De Triomphe, The Champs-Elysee, Notre Dame…the list goes on.
But for me, I live for the Pont Des Art bridge.
This bridge is my favourite place in Paris. Now, this sounds pretty odd, considering what else there is to see; but being on this bridge makes me feel at home in this city.
The Pont Des Art bridge is stunning. It has the beautiful ‘Institut De France’ palace on the Left Bank side of the bridge, which offers the most perfect backdrop; and at night, especially with the lights giving everything an eternal glow, it truly is my favourite time to sit here and walk along this bridge. And even better, you can see the top of the Eiffel Tower from it.
However, this bridge has been in the news a lot over the past year and for good reason!
In mid 2014, a panel fell off this bridge causing the government to address the issue that surrounds this bridge: the ‘Love Locks’.
These ‘Love Locks’ are padlocks people write their names on and lock onto the bridge professing their love, by throwing the key into the River Seine. I’ve never actually done this, because I never had anyone to do it with when I was there haha! But when you walked along the entire bridge (and then some), you could really see the epidemic that has hit the bridge. People were attaching locks to other locks, so it was clearly becoming crazy and a safety hazard (and had quadrupled in number over the 3 years between visits since 2010!)
This week, the government announced they would be cutting off all of the locks on the Pont Des Arts bridge to ensure the safety of the people who walk on it. As the photo above highlights, the left panel is the newer panel that broke off, and the right is the panel that looks like the rest of the bridge. It is so full! I fully support them doing this though, because I think the bridge looked a lot nicer without the locks.
They plan on putting up art based designs instead, but this is still being worked out. Until then, they are this week, cutting off all of the locks to save the bridge.
But why did this ‘Love Lock’ idea even happen on this bridge?
My theory on who is most at fault for this ‘Love Lock’ business in Paris falls on two people: Carrie Bradshaw and Mr Big.
Not only did their love take them to Paris in the 6th season of ‘Sex and The City’; but this very bridge was the place they professed their love for each other (after so many years of being on-again/off-again).
The final season finished airing in 2007, culminating in the Paris episodes. In 2008, the ‘Love Locks’ began appearing on the bridge, and I truly feel it was in line with the show having used this bridge at such a romantic moment in the series.
It is too coincidental to not be, even with other places in Paris having locks appearing on bridges and other structures too.
I blame ‘Sex and the City’ for all of this. But I still love them for using this location, because it fostered a love for this bridge even before I visited Paris.
This was the one location I was really excited to see because it looked beautiful. Even on TV.
And it still does.
Every single time I visit Paris since that first time.
I am excited to see how it looks once all of the locks are taken off, but it truly is the end of an era too.
Here’s hoping the real romance of the bridge is captured in whatever the government chose to decorate it with next.
I can’t wait to come back and see it.
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