Famous Bridges in France
France is one of the most visited countries in the world. Partly because of Paris and the Eiffel Tower but also for the love of French culture, fashion, food, and all the beauty the country has to offer.
Stepping into France can feel like you’re stepping into another world. A world where locals speak a romantic dialect that sounds beautiful with every word.
Wine spills over countertops, and bread with delicious oil is served on every table. The sun beats, and the streets look like places out of a fairytale.
The locals are always walking around in their Sunday best and live a laissez-faire lifestyle.
Besides the simple pleasures in life, like great food and great culture, France has no shortage of famous landmarks, architecture, bridges, cities, and landscapes to explore.
But we are here to talk about the famous bridges in France. The ones you need to check out on your holiday.
The bridges that make you question architecture and psychics.
11 Most Famous Bridges in France
France has its fair share of famous bridges that lie over famous rivers throughout the country.
Some are famous for their intricate and detailed designs.
While others are famous for their history or old age.
Keep reading to learn more about the most famous bridges to visit throughout France.
1. Pont Neuf
Located in Paris, France, Pont Neuf Bridge is the oldest bridge in Paris.
While the translation means “New Bridge,” that surely isn’t the case. It crosses the Seine River and has two arms with numerous arcs.
It was built from 1578 to 1607 and is made of stone. It’s located in a very central location, connecting the island in the Seine River to the rest of Paris.
The bridge connects the island, and with two arms, it crosses both sides of the river.
This bridge is a site to see for its history and architectural significance and walking across this bridge is just one of the many things you should do in Paris.
When visiting the Notre Dame and Musee de Louvre, you’ll be close enough to the bridge that you will have the opportunity to walk on it.
Another way to see the bridge is from the water on the Seine River.
2. Pont du Gard
Pont du Gard is located in the south of France in Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France.
It’s famous because it’s a three-tiered bridge and is an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge over the river Gardon.
It was built in the first century AD to carry water over 30 miles away.
The bridge is over 160 feet tall and over 800 feet across.
The massive bridge was the tallest in the Roman Empire. It’s a site to see in person.
If you’re ever in the South of France, be sure to check this bridge out.
Pont du Gard has walking trails surrounding the bridge, and it’s illuminated after dark.
There is also a nearby museum where you can learn about the history of the bridge.
The bridge is located about an hour and a half from Marseille and an hour from Montpellier. It’s less than 30 minutes from Avignon. Which is one of the best spots in France for solo female travelers.
This area of France is very wholesome, beautiful, and worth exploring.
3. Pont Alexandre III
Also located in Paris, Pont Alexandre III is arguably the most elegant bridge in Paris and in France.
This bridge represents the relationship between France and Russia when their alliance was formed in the late 1800s.
The bridge is named after Tsar Alexander III, who ruled Russia at that time. The bridge has two pillars on both sides that are intricately decorated and topped with bronze statues of Pegasus and the goddess Fame.
These pillars are iconic, and they’re easily identifiable and a landmark of Paris.
The bridge also has Art Nouveau Lamps that line the bridge. Each part of the bridge is dressed in intricate details. It’s very easy to marvel at all its beauty.
4. Milau Viaduct
This is a newer bridge than most of the others on this list. Built-in 2004, Milau Viaduct is a bridge in Southern France near Milau.
It is located over River Tarn and allows people to get around the area much easier. Before the bridge, there was one main road slowly winding down the valley to a small bridge crossing the river.
With this new and improved bridge, you can make that same trip in 5 minutes instead of 4 hours.
This bridge has become popular for its ease and time-saving qualities, but it has also become a tourist attraction of its own.
There is a visitor center on the bridge with panoramic views of the viaduct and countryside, and there are also hiking trails nearby, or you can canoe in the river below for more views of the bridge.
The bridge is over 1,000 feet high at its highest point, making it the tallest bridge in the world. It’s absolutely a sight to see.
5. Pont Valentré
This ancient bridge was built between 1308 and 1378.
It’s a medieval fortified stone arch bridge that crosses the River Lot in Cahors, France, and has six Gothic arches and three towers.
The bridge can only be accessed on foot, and when visiting the bridge today, you can see all the defensive features that were put in place.
The bridge took 70 years to build, and there is a legend that the building supervisor made a deal with the devil to give up his soul for the project to be completed faster.
When the bridge was restored at the end of the 19th century, a stone with the image of an imp was added to the central tower to pay tribute to the legend. It’s a wonderful bridge to explore if you’re ever in the small town of Cahors in the south of France.
Cahors is famous for Cahors red wine if you need more of a reason to stop by.
6. Briare Aqueduct
This is a canal bridge that was built in the late 1800s.
It’s the longest canal aqueduct in France, at over 2,000 feet in length.
From 1896 to 2003, it was the longest aqueduct in the world until an aqueduct in Germany took the title.
Located in central France, it is regularly crossed by boats, but people can also cycle and walk it.
You can enjoy the wonderful views of the River Loire and the surrounding landscape.
The bridge is unique, with beautiful entrance columns and various renaissance-inspired lanterns illuminating the bridge at night.
During WWII in 1940, the French Resistance blew up one of the arches of this bridge. So while it’s not one of the oldest bridges in France, it still has a lot of history.
7. Pont Ambroix
All that remains of Pont Ambroix is a small piece of the bridge in the middle of River Vidourle in the south of France.
It is a Roman bridge that dates all the way back to the first century BC. It is believed to have been over 500 feet in length with a total of eleven arches.
Today, all that is left of the bridge is one single arch. In the early 20th century, there were two remaining arches, but in 1933 a flood carried away one of the arches.
All that remains of the two arches is a painting by Gustave Courbet of the bridge titled Le Pont d’Ambrussum, which showcases the two remaining arches of this very ancient bridge.
It’s not known when exactly the other 9 of the eleven arches deteriorated.
However, major floods in the 1700s and 1800s reduced the number of arches. The bridge was built as part of the Via Domitia, the first Roman Road, giving this bridge a ton of historical significance.
It’s truly worth seeing what is still standing.
8. Pont D’Avignon
As you enter the walls of the medieval town of Avignon, you can’t miss this bridge.
It’s very unusual because the bridge stops in the middle of the river and doesn’t reach the other side.
This is because of erosion, and now only four arches and a gatehouse remain. The bridge was originally built in the 12th century of wood but was destroyed in 1226.
After that, a new bridge was built of stone and had a total of 22 arches, but through the years, it has eroded due to strong currents and floods of the river.
The bridge is also famous because of a children’s song that originated in the 15th century and is still popular today called Sur le Pont d’Avignon.
If you visit the bridge, you can tour and visit the museum, where you’ll find 3D displays of the bridge and learn how it was built and destroyed.
9. Pont Julien
Located in Provence, Pont Julien is a bridge over 2,000 years old.
In 2005, cars were forbidden from crossing the bridge, but bikes and pedestrians can still use it. It’s a quiet and picturesque bridge, the perfect spot for a picnic.
The bridge was built around 3 BC to be part of Via Domitia, the first Roman Road connecting Spain to Italy.
The bridge was created using limestone from the nearby Luberon quarries. The bridge has three arches and crosses the Calavon River.
It is just under 40 feet high, 262 feet long, and 20 feet wide.
If you visit, be sure to walk under and on the bridge so you can acquaint yourself with the impressive construction of its time.
Come to Provence to enjoy rosé wine tasting and see the Pont Julien.
10. Pont des Arts
This bridge is famous for the padlocks that covered the bridge from 2008 to 2015 in Paris.
The bridge was known as the love lock bridge, and over the years, more than a million locks were added.
As city workers cut some off, more were continuously added to the bridge. Finally, in 2015, the locks were removed because the weight of them was causing damage to the bridge.
Now the bridge has glass slides instead of wire, so people can’t continue to attach locks, but the sad part is that locks have popped up in other places and on other bridges instead.
The Pont des Arts bridge was built in 1804 and was the first metal bridge in Paris.
Unfortunately, it closed in the 1970s due to damage it endured from the World Wars.
In 1984, the renovated bridge was opened again. Pont Des Arts is one of only 5 bridges used solely for pedestrians to cross the river in Paris.
There are a total of 37 bridges in Paris, but this is one of the most popular and central bridges.
You’ll surely pass by Pont des Arts if you’re in Paris.
11. Pont d’Arc
Vallon-Pont-d’Arc is a natural bridge that forms over Ardéche Gorge in Southern France. Unlike the rest of the bridges on this list, this one is not man-made.
It is a bridge that was created or carved out from the Ardeche river. The river created a natural rock arch that opens up into a dramatic canyon.
This natural bridge is a popular spot for kayaking and paddle boarding. It is definitely worth checking our.
Conclusions on Famous Bridges in France
France has no shortage of bridges, monuments, and sites to see and explore.
If you enjoy history and unique, intricate details, you will love exploring these various bridges and learning about their history and significance.
It’s so interesting to imagine these bridges being built hundreds of years ago and how the process, materials, and design have continued to change, grow, and evolve.
France is a great place for history buffs. There is something for everyone to see and enjoy in France.
It’s a great place to visit and explore the culture, sites, and landscape.
Do you have a favorite bridge in France that wasn’t mentioned on this list? Say so in the commennts below.