Friday, June 14, 2013

Philatelic Photograph: Pont Alexandre III and the Petit Palais - Paris, France

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Pont Alexandre III and the Petit Palais
Paris, France
Topic: Philatelic Photographs

N 48° 51.783 E 002° 18.791

Quick Description: 

The Pont Alexandre III is considered to be the most beautiful bridge in Paris. It frames the Petit Palais on the right bank of the River Seine.

Long Description:

Pont Alexandre III was constructed the end of the 19th century as part of a series of projects undertaken for Universal Exposition of 1900. The bridge joined Exposition sites on the right and left banks of the River Seine.

The bridge was designed by architects Joseph Cassien-Bernard and Gaston Cousin and built by the engineers Jean Résal and Amédée d'Alby. The bridge has to meet strict requirements not to obscuring the view of the Champs-Élysées or the Invalides. Thus the bridge is only 132' wide, has a single 353' long span, and a height of only 20'.

The bridge is lavishly decorated with Art Nouveau style lampposts and sculptures of cherubs and nymphs. On each end of bridge are large gilded sculptures on 56' high granite pillars.

The first stone for the bridge was laid by the Russian Tsar Nicolas II in October 1896. The bridge symbolizes Russian-French friendship and was named after the Tsar's father, Tsar Alexander III.

The Petit Palais was also built for the Universal Exposition in the year 1900. Originally it was meant to be a temporary structure, displaying a large exposition of French art. The Beaux Arts-style building was designed by Charles Girault and became a favorite with Parisians, who refused to raze the building. Currently it is the home of the Musée des Beaux-Arts.

The airmail stamp was issued by France on June 13, 1949 to commemorate the International Telegraph and Telephone Conference which was held in Paris from May to July 1949.

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