Stroll in the Ile-de-la-Cité of Paris, 800 year history

Stroll in the Ile-de-la-Cité of Paris: the Pont-au-Change as the starting point

This stroll in the Ile-de-la-Cité of Paris starts on the Pont-au-Change. It leads to the Ile-de-la-Cité which is located in the center of Paris. It is one of the 2 islands of the Seine (the other one is its neighbor the Île Saint-Louis). It is also surrounded by the Latin Quarter and the Luxembourg Palace Quarter in the center, the Louvre Museum and the Tuileries Garden in the northwest, the Pompidou Center and the Marais Quarter in the northwest. An exceptional neighbourhood!

A journey through the history of France and Paris

This stroll in the Ile-de-la-Cité of Paris is a journey back to the origin of the royal and judicial authority of Paris and France. It is a walk through more than 800 years of history over a distance of only 1 km. There are magnificent monuments to see from the outside and to visit from the inside such as the Sainte Chapelle, but also a romantic escapade with the Square du Vert Galand and a technical visit of the Pont-Neuf, the oldest bridge of Paris .

But also a cruise on the Seine awaits you

The stroll in the Ile-de-la-Cité of Paris can also be extended by a cruise on the Seine or on the Seine and the Canal Saint Martin. It can simply be extended by a visit of the Louvre, 200 meters from where this walk ends. Duration of visit to the Louvre: 3 hours .

Two more walks within “leg’s reach”

This walk “Stroll in the Ile-de-la-Cité of Paris, 800 year history” can also be followed by another walk that starts where you get out of the Louvre: it is the walk “Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries to Place de la Concorde via Place Vendôme and its luxury jewelry stores” of 1,8 km (a little over 1 mile).

And if you are a good walker you can even continue your journey from the Place de la Concorde by “going backwards” the route of the Arc de Triomphe-Place de la Concorde Walk. It’s an extra 2 km, but if your are tired, you can always leave at any point of the Champs Elysées! If you take the whole route, you’ll arrive at the Arc-de-Triomphe.

… and what’s more, you can go shopping on the Champs-Elysées at the same time

To do this, you can get help from our commented and rated list of Champs-Elysées merchants by clicking on “Champs-Elysées stores: list of 100 stores to visit“.

Have a nice stay in our capital city!

Pont au Change
75001 PARIS and 75004 PARIS

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ‘, “) 48° 51′ 24″ N 2° 20′ 48″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85688 2.34675

Access

  • Metro: lines 1, 4, 7, 11, 14 (Châtelet station)
  • RER: lines A and B (Châtelet-les Halles Station) and lines B and C (Saint Michel-Notre Dame Station)
  • Bus: Lines 21, 27, 38, 58, 85

Short description

The Pont-au-Change bridge connects the Ile-de-la-Cité from the Palais de Justice, the Conciergerie and the Tribunal de Commerce, to the right bank at the level of the Châtelet theater. It is located on the boundary between the 1st and 4th districts of Paris.

The first bridge built here in the 9th century underwent a succession of floods over the centuries, each time losing arches that were always rebuilt. The rebuilding between 1639 and 1647 was financed by the moneychangers and goldsmiths who occupied it, but it was not until 1860 that the present bridge was built.

More on Pont-au-Change bridge:  available in English or French

  • The 9th century bridge
  • The floods of the Seine which do not only date from our century
  • Origin of the Pont-au-Change bridge name
  • The bridge of 1647 and the following floods
  • The Pont-au-Change during the July Revolution
  • The Pont-au-Change bridge of 1860: the current bridge
  • The bookshops near the Pont-au-Change bridge

To continue your walk, Cross the Pont au Change towards the “rive gauche” where you can already see the huge building of the Conciergerie

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Conciergerie
2 boulevard du Palais
75001 Paris

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ‘, “) 48° 51′ 21″ N 2° 20′ 40″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85647 2.34559

Access

  • Métro : Station Cité
  • RER : Station  Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame
  • Bus : Lines 21, 27, 38, 58, 85

Short description

The Conciergerie Monument: a splendid Gothic palace, a royal residence that became the Palace of Justice, and later a revolutionary prison. A long historical past. Today Palais de Justice is just 200 m away.

The Conciergerie Monument is the former “Palais de la Cité”, which was the palace of the ancient kings of France, those of the Capetian family. The original Palais de la Cité dates from the 10th century, and what we can admire today dates from its renovation in the 14th century.

The Conciergerie Monument became one of the main places of detention during the French Revolution with the installation of the revolutionary court. No less than 2700 people condemned to death in less than two years will pass through the Conciergerie! Its most famous prisoner is Marie-Antoinette. A commemorative chapel was set up at the time of the Restoration on the site of her cell and can be seen when visiting the building.

The Conciergerie Museum can be visited. Rooms are gothic, medieval, and very impressive. It’s hard to believe you’re still in Paris once you’re inside, so much this medieval bath can be a change of scenery.

More on Conciergerie Museum, visit conditions, etc.:  available in English or French

  • The Conciergerie Monument, the center of royal power
  • The Concierge of the Palace who gave the name to the monument
  • Transfer of royal power out of the Paris of the time
  • The Conciergerie Monument and the special revolutionary Court
  • The dark hours of the Conciergerie Monument during the Revolution
  • The 19th century and the prison of the Conciergerie
  • The 4 Towers of the Conciergerie Monument
  • Conciergerie Monument Rooms
  • Continue the visit with the Sainte Chapelle located about 100 m away

To continue your walk, retrace your steps and turn right onto Boulevard du Palais.

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Tour de l’Horloge
1 quai de l’Horloge
75001 Paris
Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ‘, “) 48° 51′ 22″ N 2° 20′ 44″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85608 2.34632

Access

  • Métro – line 4 – Station Cité
  • RER line B or C – Station Saint Michel
  • Bus : 21, 24, 27, 38, 58, 81, 85, 96

Short description

It was first a watchtower for the security of the royal palace, not a Tour-de-l’Horloge. It is rectangular, massive, 47 meters high. Its walls were nearly a meter thick.

The Clock Tower has undergone extensive restorations. From 1840 to 1843 to consolidate the lower part and establish a guardhouse at its foot, between 1843 and 1848, then between 1860 and 1861, and restored it to its medieval appearance, especially in its upperparts. The vaulted room on the fourth floor, was completely restored, as was the upper level of the tower, where crenellations were added that did not exist before.

The last restoration is that of the Conciergerie Monument, which will be completed in November 2012. On this occasion, the roof of the clock tower has been redone. It is a roof now brand new and gilded.

More on “Tour de l’Horloge”:  available in English or French

  • The Clock Tower: its origin as a simple watchtower
  • The restorations of the Clock Tower
  • The clocks that succeeded each other in the Tower
  • The current clock and the restoration of 2011-2012

To continue your walk, simply follow the Boulevard du Palais.

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Île de la Cité
75004 Paris

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ‘, “) 48° 51′ 17″ N 2° 20′ 45″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85541 2.34601

Access

  • Métro – Cité et Saint Michel – Line 4
  • Bus – Lignes 21, 27, 38, 58, 70, 85, 96

Short description

Since the 3rd/5th century the Ile-de-la-Cité has embodied royal, judicial and religious power. The dilapidated and unhealthy medieval city was razed only at the end of the 19th century, during the Great Works of Baron Haussmann.

Formerly Lutetia, the Ile-de-la-Cité is the oldest district of Paris.
In itself, it gathers a number of sites that cannot be ignored and that are close by, which facilitates their visit: the Pont Neuf, Notre-Dame-de-Paris, the Pont de l’Archevêché and a few dozen others. Its privileged central position, between the Châtelet to the North and Saint-Germain-des-Prés to the South, the Île de la Cité is truly the central crossroads of the capital.

After several expansions initiated by the kings Saint Louis and Philippe Le Bel (13th century), the Palais de la Cité was abandoned by the royal family under Charles V, who moved to the Louvre. The Ile de la Cité then had five hundred houses,

But it was mainly the works decided by Baron Haussmann in the 1860s that brought the greatest change to the Ile-de-la-Cité since the Middle Ages: the whole area between the Palais de Justice and Notre-Dame Cathedral was razed, as well as the eastern part of the chevet. Hundreds of houses and many small churches disappeared. Only two sections of the Place Dauphine and the cloister of Notre-Dame were saved from demolition. 25,000 people were evicted.

More on “Ile -de-la-Cité”:  available in English or French

    • The Ile-de-la-Cité today
    • A very small island, a great destiny
    • The birth of Lutetia in the 1st century A.D.
    • And history follows its course on the Ile-de-la-Cité
    • The seat of royal and episcopal power
    • The return of power to the Ile-de-la-Cité
    • The center of a growing capital and the emergence of the Louvre
    • The Great Works of Prefect Haussmann
    • The Ile de la Cité in recent times – Changes to come
    • The Ile-de-la-Cité in its geographical context
    • The bridges of the Ile-de-la-Cité
    • Squares and green spaces of the Ile-de-la-Cité
    • Quays of the Ile-de-la-Cité
    • Remarkable buildings left by 10 centuries of history
    • Listed historical monuments of the Ile de la Cité

To continue your walk : you are on the Boulevard du Palais It is the central north-south artery of the Ile de la Cité

 

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Palais de Justice de la Cité
4 boulevard du Palais –
75001 Paris

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ‘, “) 48° 51′ 21″ N 2° 20′ 42″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85529 2.34561

Access

  • Métro : Line 4 – Station Cité
  • RER : Line C – Station Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame
  • Bus : Lines 21, 27, 38, 85, 96

Short description

The Palais occupies more than 4 hectares on the ground and develops on the floors on nearly 200,000 m². Inside, there are approximately 24 kilometers of corridors, 7,000 doors, and more than 3,150 windows.

the Palais-de-Justice-de-la-Cité was for a long time the residence of the rulers. Monarch by divine right, the king concentrates in his person the legislative power, the executive power… but also the judicial authority.

Over the centuries, the Palais-de-Justice-de-la-Cité has undergone innumerable fires and reconstructions: In 1601, in 1618, 1630, in 1737 and in 1776. It was rebuilt between 1783 and 1786. But the fire of May 24, 1871, which was set in various parts of the Palais de Justice by the dying Commune Riot, destroyed almost a quarter of a century’s work.

The Palais-de-Justice-de-la-Cité housed all the Courts of the town of Paris. Now It only houses the highest national court of justice (Cour de Cassation), the Court of Appeal of the regional jurisdiction (Paris), and the Special Assise Court (sensitive cases).

The rest of the Courts (Tribunal de Grande Instance – TGI, called Tribunal Judiciaire (TJ) since January 1, 2020) has been relocated since 2018 to the 17th arrondissement (North-West of Paris).

Within its walls, personal dramas were played out, to the rhythm of the trials that followed one another. But perhaps the most infamous was that of Queen Marie-Antoinette. Also during the Terror of the Revolution, when so many citizens were guillotined, after having been “judged” within the walls of the Palace of Justice

More on  Palais de Justice de la Cité, visit conditions, etc. :  available in English or French

  • The history of the Palais-de-Justice-de-la-Cité is often that of the city of Paris
  • The Courthouse and fires
  • The Tribunals of the Palais de Justice and the relocation of the High Court (TGI)
  • The History that took place within the walls of the Palais-de-Justice-de-la-Cité
  • The Palais-de-Justice-de-la-Cité: the current buildings

To continue your walk a few meters are enough to be in front of the Sainte Chapelle, on the left of the main entrance of the Palais de Justice.

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Sainte-Chapelle
8 boulevard du Palais
75001 Paris

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ‘, “) 48° 51′ 19″ N 2° 20′ 42″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85522 2.34555

Access

  • Métro – Line 4 – StationCité
  • RER – Line C – Station Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame
  • Bus – 21, 27, 38, 85, 96
  • Offre adaptée aux personnes en situation de handicap

Short description

It was built on the Ile de la Cité, in Paris, at the request of Louis IX (Saint Louis, canonized in 1297, twenty-seven years after his death) in the heart of his Parisian residence, the Palais de la Cité. La Sainte Chapelle was to house the Holy Crown of Thorns, a piece of the True Cross, and various other relics of the Passion that he had acquired from 1239 onwards.

After a series of talks with the last Latin emperor of Constantinople, Baldwin II of Courtenay, he acquires the Holy Crown for 135,000 tournament pounds, more than half of the annual income of his royal estate.

The relic took the road to France in 1239. On August 10, 1239, it made a solemn entrance in France (of that time) at Villeneuve-l’Archevêque (Champagne area).

Two years later, in 1241, the king pursued his ambition by acquiring a large piece of the Holy Cross and seven other relics of the Passion of Christ.

Although it was built in only seven years, there are no construction defects and the decoration has not been neglected. In particular, it makes use of sculpture, painting, and stained-glass art: it is its immense original historiated stained-glass windows that today make the Sainte-Chapelle’s wealth.

During the Révolution, the relics were entrusted to Jean-Baptiste Gobel, constitutional bishop. They are transported to Saint-Denis, and it is there that many of them disappear in conditions not yet elucidated.

More on La Sainte Chapelle, visit conditions, etc. :  available in English or French

  • Sainte-Chapelle: its origin is linked to King Saint Louis
  • Acquisition of the relics deposited in the Sainte Chapelle
  • A roof to match the veneration of the relics
  • Construction of the Sainte-Chapelle (1241 – 1248)
  • Design of the Holy Chapel
    • Low chapel
    • High chapel
    • The building
  • The Revolution, the Sainte-Chapelle, and the Relics

To continue your walk on the Boulevard du Palais until the Quai des Orfèvres, where you turn right. 

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36 Quai Des Orfèvres
75001 Paris, France

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ‘, “) 48° 51′ 18″ N 2° 20′ 40″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85525 2.34343

Access

  • Métro – Line 4 – StationCité
  • RER – Line C – Station Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame
  • Bus – 21, 27, 38, 85, 96

Short description

36-Quai-des-Orfèvres means a lot of memories for all fans of French or even foreign crime novels and movies. It is the address of the Parisian Criminal Police, the equivalent of Scotland Yard for the Londoners.  This is also the address of the office of Inspector Maigret, the main inspector in Georges Simenon’s novels.

Since September 2017, DRPJ have their new headquarters at 36 rue du Bastion. This new building concentrated all services (before they were in different places). Only the Research and Intervention Brigade stay at 36 quai des Orfèvres.

More on “36 Quai des Orfèvres” :  available in English or French

  • The “36-Quai-des-Orfèvres” and its competence
  • Le “36-Quai-des-Orfèvres”, now at 36 rue des Bastion, Paris, 75018
  • L’histoire du 36 Quai des Orfèvres
  • 36 Quai des Orfèvres in fiction and films
  • What future for the 36 Quai-des-Orfèvres building?

To continue, follow Quai des Orfèvres until rue Harley, turn right.

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Place Dauphine
Place Dauphine
75001 Paris

 

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ‘, “) 48° 51′ 24″ N 2° 20′ 33″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85651 2.34329

Access

  • Métro – Pont Neuf on the “rive droite” (Line 7) or Cité (Line 4)
  • RER – Saint Michel – Notre Dame (Ligne B)
  • Bus – 21, 27, 58, 67, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75, 76, 85

Short description

The Place Dauphine, 102 meters long and 67 meters wide, occupies a triangular space, in the west of the Ile de la Cité.

On the land occupied by this square, there were once two islands. The larger one was called the Ile au Bureau from the name of its owner, Hugues Bureau. Later, the construction of the Pont Neuf, from 1578 to 1607, led to the attachment to the Île de la Cité of three additional alluvial islets flush with the water: the islet of the Passeur-aux-Vaches (or “île aux Bœufs”), the île à la Gourdaine (also called “île du Patriarche”) and the île aux Juifs.

The square was named by King Henri IV himself, in honor of the dauphin born in 1601, the future Louis XIII. The distributed private lots had to be built under common rules, which was a fine example of concerted urban planning. And “The buyers agreed to build on the lots bordering “a place of exchange or stock exchange”.

Close to the Louvre, the Place Dauphine became a place of exchange and stock exchange, attracting goldsmiths, spectacle makers and engravers. Of the thirty-two original uniform houses, only the two corner pavilions on the Pont Neuf remain intact.

Today, the Place Dauphine is one of the most romantic squares in Paris. The place Dauphine welcomes nowadays many art galleries and small restaurants-cafés, which ensures a frequentation, but without the crowd.

Many artists have mentioned or even lived on Place Dauphine, even today. The singers and actors Yves Montant and Simone Signoret who lived there, immortalized it by staying at n°15 Place Dauphine.

More on Place Dauphine Square:  available in English or French

  • The Place-Dauphine square : difficulty to make one’s place
  • Origin of the Place-Dauphine square: three islands to make one square
  • Why “Place Dauphine”?
  • A place of exchange and stock exchange
  • Evolution of the Place-Dauphine square over time
  • The revolution and the continuation of history
  • The Place-Dauphine square today
  • Place-Dauphine square and the artists
  • Remarkable buildings and places of memory
  • Buildings of the Place-Dauphine square under protection, registered or classified as historical monuments

To continue, take Henri Robert street, in the direction of the Statue of Henri V on horseback.

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Statue Équestre d’Henri IV
Place du Pont Neuf
Paris, 75001

 

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ‘, “) 48° 51′ 26″ N 2° 20′ 27″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85711 2.34091

Access

  • Metro : line 4 (Station Cité) ou 7 (Station Pont- Neuf)
  • RER : line B (Station Saint Michel – Notre Dame
  • Bus : 21, 27, 58, 67, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75, 76, 85

Short description

The statue of Henri IV of France is the work of the sculptor François-Frédéric Lemot and was inaugurated on August 25th 1818, under king Louis XVIII.
But in reality, this statue is the 3rd equestrian statue of Henry IV installed at this same location.

The original bronze horse of 1614 had been sent from Italy to Marie de Medici by Cosimo II de Medici and Grand Duke of Tuscany.

It took 3 years for the statue to come from Italy, following a multitude of incidents. The most serious was the sinking of the transport boat and the statue had to be fished out after being at the bottom of the water for a month.

The statue was pulled down during the French Revolution, on August 12, 1792. It was replaced by a 2nd statue made of plaster on the occasion of the entry of Louis XVIII, on May 3, 1814.

The current statue of 1818 is the work of the sculptor François-Frédéric Lemot, who was inspired by the few original elements found left.

The statue was inaugurated on August 25, 1818. Several objects were placed inside the belly of the horse. These were parchment documents relating to the inauguration of the statue, twenty-six medals and three books on Henry IV. They are now kept in the Iron Cabinet at the National Archives, Museum of French History. The list of the eighteen pieces according to the ratings of the National Archives is noted in our post. It is not a “secret” anymore.

More on Statue of Henri-IV :  available in English or French:

  • The current statue of King Henri
  • The 1st statue of Henri IV in 1614 – four years after his assassination
  • The setbacks of the 1614 statue
  • Provisional statue of 1814: the 2nd statue
  • The 3rd statue from 1818, the one we see today
  • The pedestal of today’s statue
  • The Henri IV statue: a box of secrets?
  • Anecdote relating to another story about the Henri IV statue

To continue your walk, your next destination is the Square below the Pont-Neuf, which you can see from behind the Statue of Henri IV.

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Square du Vert-Galant
Place du Pont-Neuf
75001 Paris

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ‘, “) 48° 51′ 27″ N 2° 20′ 24″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85741 2.34026

Access

  • Métro : line 7 (Station Pont Neuf) and line 4 (Station Cité)
  • Bus : lines 21, 27, 58, 67, 69, 70, 72, 85

Short description

The Square-du-Vert-Galant is located at the western tip of the Ile de la Cité. The level of the square is 7 to 8 m below the first floor of the nearby Pont-Neuf.

The Square-du-Vert-Galant was created by the reunion of several small islands at different periods.

Before becoming a square, the 2,665 m² were used for baths around 1765, and then a concert café in 1865. The latter was destroyed by a flood in 1879. In 1884, the State ceded the land to the city of Paris.

On the occasion of the inauguration of the Montreal World’s Fair in April 1967, a friendly ceremony organized by the city of Paris took place. A stone from Île Sainte-Hélène (Montreal) was placed in the Square-du-Vert-Galant.

Today the Square-du-Vert-Galant is a romantic ecological square in the heart of Paris with a pier for a cruise on the Seine.

 

Square-du-Vert-Galant romantic in Paris center. The legend of the Templars

More on “Square du Vert-Galant”:  available in English or French:

  • Origin of Square-du-Vert-Galant: Henri IV again
  • Successive uses of the space taken from the Seine
  • The Montreal World’s Fair of 1967. What’s the connection with the Square-du-Vert-Galant?
  • A romantic ecological square in the heart of Paris with a pier for a cruise on the Seine
  • The Square-du-Vert-Galant is also a place of memory: the Memorial of the Templar Jacques de Molay
  • But the history of the Templars does not end there…
  • The Square-du-Vert-Galant in popular culture

Your next stop is in a “niche” under the Pont-Neuf: the Memorial of the Templar Jacques de Molay

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Memorial of the Templar Jacques-de-Molay
Square du Vert-Galant
Place du Pont-Neuf
75001 Paris

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ‘, “) 48° 51′ 27″ N 2° 20′ 24″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85718 2.34082

Access

  • Métro : line 7 (Station Pont Neuf) and line 4 (Station Cité)
  • Bus : lines 21, 27, 58, 67, 69, 70, 72, 85

Short description

On March 18, 1314, Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Templars, imprisoned for 7 years and finally sentenced  to life imprisonment for the crime of “heresy and obscene practices”.

He declaring that he was not guilty of the crimes for which he had been accused and that he was the victim of a plot by Philip IV le Bel and Pope Clement V. He knew that his protest would earn him a completely different condemnation: as relapses, they were no longer protected by the pope and had to be sentenced to the stake. This is what happened on the same day, March 13, 1314.

Mémorial  du Templier Jacques de Molay

More on “”:  available in English or French:

  • Jacques-de-Molay, Grand Master of the Templars, burned alive on the Ile de la Cité
  • But the history of the Templars does not end there…
  • The curse of Jacques-de-Molay and what history tells us
  • The Memorial of the Templar Jacques de Molay

There, a few steps away, you will find the departure of the “Vedettes-du Pont-Neuf”. 

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Vedettes du Pont Neuf
1 Square du Vert Galant
75001 Paris

Tel: 01 46 33 98 38

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ‘, “) 48° 51′ 39″ N 2° 19′ 49″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85745 2.34091

 

Access

  • Metro: lines 1 (station Louvre), 4 (Station Cité), 7 (Station Pont Neuf)
  • RER: Line C (Stations Châtelet ou Saint Michel)

Short description

The Vedettes-du-Pont-Neuf have their landing stage on the bank of the Square du Vert Galant, just below the Pont Neuf on the north side.

More on “Vedettes du Pont Neuf” :  available in English or French:

  • The cruise boats of the Vedettes-du-Pont-Neuf
  • During the cruise
  • Departures throughout the day and evening
  • The 1 hour basic cruise of Vedettes-du-Pont-Neuf
  • Les Vedettes-du-Pont-Neuf also offers many other cruises

To continue and finish your walk, you must go back to the Pont-Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris.

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Pont Neuf
Quai de la Mégisserie (1e) – Quai des Grands Augustins (6e)
75001 Paris

 

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ‘, “) 48° 51′ 24″ N 2° 20′ 27″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85818 2.34203

Access

  • Métro – Line 7 station Pont Neuf – Line 1 station Louvre Rivoli
  • RER – Line C station Musée d’Orsay
  • Bus – 21, 27, 58, 67, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75, 85

Short description

The Pont-Neuf bridge is located at the back of the Sainte Chapelle, the Tour de l’horloge and the Palais de justice. Le Louvre museum is only 200 m away. It is a good area for several particularly interesting visits.

The Pont-Neuf bridge (Pont Neuf or Pont-Neuf spelling) is the oldest existing bridge in Paris. It crosses the Seine at the western tip of the Ile de la Cité. It was built at the end of the 16th century and completed at the beginning of the 17th century. It owes its name to the novelty of a bridge devoid of dwellings and equipped with sidewalks to protect pedestrians from mud and horses. King Henri IV opted for a bridge without houses, which was new at the time.

In July 1606, as the construction of the bridge was being completed, Henri IV decided to build near the bridge an almost enclosed square with houses with identical facades between the Palais de la Cité and the Terreplein, located between the two abutments of the bridge. This became Place Dauphine.

On January 2, 1602, the king authorized the construction of a large water pump against the Pont Neuf bridge. It was to “the right of the second arch from the right bank on the downstream side”: it was called the pump of La Samaritaine, which later gave its name to the department store of La Samaritaine still there in front of you.

More on Pont-Neuf Bridge:  available in English or French :

  • Pont-Neuf bridge: origin of the name of the oldest bridge of Paris
  • Construction of the Pont-Neuf, a change in building habits
  • The statue on the Pont-Neuf bridge of King Henry IV: quite a story!
  • Arrangement of the surroundings of Pont-Neuf bridge
  • The Samaritan’s pump of 1742
  • A bridge different from the previous ones

This walk is over. We thank you for following our itinerary and hope that you have appreciated the information given.

You can also continue with another walk whose starting point is in front of the Louvre, some 200 meters away. This walk “Walk Louvre to Place de la Concorde via Place Vendôme” is also very dense in information of all kinds.

Don’t forget that an alternative is to rest in the nearby Jardin des Tuileries before continuing on your way.
Or you can continue by visiting the Boutiques on Rue Royale (a few hundred meters away) or Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré (300 m away) or Rue de Rivoli (200 m away). To find out more, see the last 3 paragraphs “Other lists of luxury shops near the Champs-Elysées” of this article by clicking on “Shops on the Champs-Elysées: list of 100 shops to visit“.

We wish you an excellent stay in Paris.

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