Historical and Commemorative
Collection of Benjamin Weiss
BRIDGE OF LOUIS XVI
DUVIVIER, Benjamin: France, 1788, Bronze, 56 mm
The Bridge of Louis XVI is an arch bridge across the River Seine in Paris. Its name has changed over the years, at one time being called the Pont de la Révolution; it is currently called the Pont de la Concorde. The bridge was designed by the architect Jean-Rodolphe Perronet and when completed replaced the ferry that crossed the river at that point. Over the years the bridge was strengthened, at one time using stones taken from the demolished Bastille. Also several statues were placed along the sides of the bridge at various times: Napoléon I added the statues of eight French generals killed in battle during the campaigns of the First French Empire; at the time of the Bourbon Restoration these were replaced with twelve monumental marble statues, including four of the "grands ministres" (Suger, Sully, Richelieu, Colbert), four royal generals (Du Guesclin, Bayard, Condé, Turenne) and four sailors; in 1810 even more statues were added. Eventually all this extra weight proved too heavy for the bridge and Louis-Philippe I had the statues removed and transferred to Versailles. Today the bridge, recently expanded, is one of the most heavily trafficked bridges over the Seine.
For a brief biographical sketch of Louis XVI see the medal CORONATION OF LOUIS XVI AT RHEIMS.
LINK to photograph of Pont de la Concorde (from wikipedia)