A large number of companies offer cruises along the Seine in a bateau-mouche, but there's really no need to take one if you have read this node!

Paris has 34 bridges, each with a history. Here are the most interesting ones.

LE PONT DE LA CONCORDE has a great deal of symbolic meaning, as it was built in part from stones from the Bastille prison, destroyed during The French revolution.

LE PONT ALEXANDRE III is considered the most beautiful in Paris, with its ornate gold decoration. The bridge commemorates the Franco-Russian alliance of the 19th century. The first stone of this bridge was put into place by Tsar Nicholas II.

LE PONT DE L'ALMA serves as a reminder of the Crimean War of 1856. There is a statue next to the bridge, with its base in the Seine. Known in French as "le zouave", this little fellow is used by passers-by to judge how high the water level of the river is.

LE PONT BIR-HAKEIM is another (less famous) construction by Gustave Eiffel, of Eiffel Tower fame. The bridge has two teirs - one for cars and the other for the metro.

LE PONT DES ARTS was immortalized by Georges Brassens. It leads to L'institut de France, which is made up of five academies, the most famous being L'academie Francaise.

LE PONT DE L'ARCHEVECHE is the lowest bridge in Paris, and that's all there is to say about it!

LE PONT MARIE is the most romantic bridge in Paris. Tradition says that, the first time you pass under it, you must make a wish, and at the same time kiss the person sitting next to you. My wish came true, so I recommend you give it a go!

LE PONT-NEUF, despite its name, is in fact the oldest bridge in Paris. It was completed in 1606, and was the first bridge to be built without houses and shops on it. The gargoyles, apparently, are meant to represent the friends and ministers of King Henri IV, in whose reign the bridge was completed.

So there you have it. In fact, forget what I said at the start, go and spend good money on a boat trip along the Seine - it's worth it, especially on a sunny day, and especially if you make a wish under the Pont Marie.

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