Fine Art Prints
Begun in 1831 in the prolongation of the rue des Saints-Pères on the Left Bank, the original bridge was known under that name until its inauguration, in 1834, when king Louis-Philippe named it Pont du Carrousel, because it opened on the Right Bank river frontage of the Palais du Louvre near the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in front of the Tuileries.
The bridge’s architect, Antoine-Rémy Polonceau, succeeded in a design that was innovative in several aspects. For one thing, the new structure was an arch bridge, during a period when most bridge construction had turned to suspension bridges; the necessary towers and cables would have been considered unacceptable additions to the Parisian scenery. The structure combined the relatively new material of cast iron with timber. Its gradated cast-iron circular supports were quickly dubbed “napkin rings” (ronds de serviette). At each corner of the bridge were erected classic style stone allegorical sculptures by Louis Petitot, which remain in situ. They represent Industry, Abundance, The City of Paris and The Seine.