Pont Neuf Bridge, my favorite place in Paris - JohnBrody.com / John Brody Photography
Pont Neuf is my favorite place in Paris and maybe my favorite place on the globe. It's my personal "Heart" of the city, the center around which the rest of the city branches. An architechtural gem, it has been painted by greats like Vincent van Gogh, Renoir, Pissarro and countless others. It's surrounded by the Notre Dame Cathedral, Pont des Arts, the Eiffel Tower, the Opera House and hundreds of other monuments and attractions. It always has something to offer; great views, interesting people, a nice place to relax after a long day of shooting.
--- What most people don't know is Pont Neuf's odd and often deadly history. All through the 1700s, Pont Neuf was the center of Paris, busy with both crime and commerce. Benjamin Franklin wrote to his friends in America that he had not understood the Parisian character until had visited Pont Neuf. Several other writers describe how, even before the bridge was completed in 1607, gangs hid out under and around it and robbed and murdered people. It remained a dangerous place even as it became busier. For a long time, the bridge even had its own gallows for instant justice. This didn't keep people from gathering there, drawn by various street performers, acrobats, fire-eaters, musicians, etc., (much as they still do when I visit now). Prostitutes, pickpockets, and scam artists were ever present. There were respected tooth pullers, sellers of glass eyes and stones to beautify the face, wrinkle removers, wooden leg salesmen, news-vendors, jugglers, showmen, loungers, and thieves... I didn't mean for this to sound like a history lesson, I just find it all quite interesting. If you haven't been there, you must visit if you get a chance...
Per request, some basics... Called Pont Neuf (meaning New Bridge) during construction, the name stuck. Construction started in 1578. It's length is 781 feet or 238 meters. The Architect was Androuet du Cerceau....... Also per request I'm adding photo data: Canon 5D Mark II, Shutter 1.6 seconds, Aperture 9.0, ISO 1600, Focal Length 68mm. Cheers. --- John Brody Photography