Short description

The Pont de Bir-Hakeim, formerly known as the Pont de Passy, links the 15th and 16th arrondissements of Paris. First built in 1878, it has been listed as a historic monument since 1986. Offering a remarkable view of the Eiffel Tower, it is a popular venue for major events. From the bridge, you can access the Allée des Cygnes and the Parisian replica of the Statue of Liberty, located near the Pont de Grenelle. The bridge takes its name from the battle of Bir-Hakeim in June 1942, when the Free French Forces held off German troops. A memorial was erected here in 1949. The bridge's structure comprises two levels, with one lane for pedestrians and cars, and one for metro line 6. The bridge is adorned with statues and has been used as a backdrop for numerous international films and video clips.

Localisation
Region
Open hours

No closing periods except for maintenance work.

Access

Pont de Bir-Hakeim
Quai Branly  (15e)- Avenue de New York (16e)
75015 Paris

  • Métro - Line 6 - Station Bir-Hakeim
  • RER - Line C - Station Champ de Mars : Tour Eiffet
  • Bus - 72
Address

Pont de Bir Hakeim
Quai Branly  (15e)- Avenue de New York (16e)
75015 Paris, France

 

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ', ") 48° 51′ 20″ N 2° 17′ 16″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85604 2.28737

 

Full description

Bir-Hakeim bridge: its origin

Bir-Hakeim bridge, formerly the Passy Bridge, is a Parisian bridge crossing the Seine between the 15th and 16th districts. The first version of this bridge dates back to 1878. It was registered as a historical monument by decree of July 10, 1986.

The Bir-Hakeim bridge connects the Avenue du Président-Kennedy on the right bank of the Seine, in the La Muette district (16th arrondissement), to the Quai Branly and Quai de Grenelle on the left bank, in the Grenelle district (15th arrondissement).

Viewpoint from the Bir-Hakeim bridge

The view of the Eiffel Tower is remarkable from the bridge. During the fireworks and other big events, the crowd invades it to enjoy the show.

Your walk can be extended on the "Allée des Cygnes" (on the "Ile des Cygnes" or Swan Island), a promenade on the banks of the Seine, accessible by a staircase from the middle of the Bir-Hakeim bridge. It also allows access to the Parisian replica of the Statue of Liberty, located at the level of the Grenelle bridge, at the end of the island.

The replica of the Statue of Liberty on Swan Island is 11.50 m high. This location is near the sculptor Bartholdi's former workshop where he worked on the Statue of Liberty. The original plaster model by Bartholdi of 1878 was 2.83 m (11.50 m and 14 tons with the base). It was used for the enlargement of the real statue and is now in the church of the Musée des arts et métiers. Since 2010, a bronze copy in its entrance garden.

In 1989, a replica of the flame, the Flame of Liberty, was made by two French companies that participated in the restoration of the Statue of Liberty in New York in 1985-1986. It was "offered by the United States" thanks to a subscription launched by the International Herald Tribune It was installed in Paris at the Place de l'Alma. Since 1997, it has become a "spontaneous" memorial to Princess Diana's fatal accident, which occurred in the road tunnel just below it.

Origin of the Bir-Hakeim name

Bir-Hakeim was the strategic place in the Libyan desert where the Free French Forces put up a heroic defense against German troops in a battle in June 1942 (Battle of Bir Hakeim). On June 18, 1949, for the 9th anniversary of the appeal of June 18, 1940, the Paris City Council, led by Pierre de Gaulle (brother of General de Gaulle), organized a large commemorative event in the presence of General Charles de Gaulle. A memorial plate is fixed in the middle of the bridge. Since then, the bridge has been a place of remembrance for the Free French, and in 1955 it was associated with the monument to the 1st Free French Division, located nearby on the Quai Branly.

Construction of the Bir-Hakem bridge

The Bir-Hakeim Bridge has many original features: a central 12-meter cantilevered section has two floors (one for pedestrians and cars) and the viaduct above it for metro line 6. Stairs in the middle of the bridge lead down to Swan Island (Ile aux Cygnes), a long promenade that leads to the Grenelle Bridge.

It is adorned with four monumental stone statues in bas-relief located on the central arch of the viaduct at the Ile aux Cygnes:

  • Science and Work by Jules Coutan upstream ;
  • The Electricity and Commerce by Jean-Antoine Injalbert downstream.

On the upstream side, at the level of the pavement, the statue "La France renaissante", by Holger Wederkinch, was offered by the Danish colony of Paris in 1930.

Bir-Hakeim bridge: almost a Hollywood studio

Numerous French and international film shoots have taken place on the bridge and its viaduct. At least 13 films have been shot there and many video clips and videos: the American singer Janet Jackson for "Come Back to Me", the Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki filmed, under the bridge, part of her video clip Mirrorcle World. Also, jazz bassist Marcus Miller poses on the cover of his 2011 album, "Renaissance". The Chinese singer of K-Pop Lay of the EXO group shoots there some scenes in his clip "I Need U".

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