After a busy few months of writing-class and stuff-clearing, travel is again on the horizon and we’re moving into trip mode. The majority of time will be spent with our families in the U.S. and England, but there will be a few precious days in Paris for ‘just us’. We hope to return later this year for a longer stay.
As always, I’m already dreaming of being in Paris. When there, we often find ourselves walking across the Pont des Arts, and next month we’ll look for something we left there on our last trip.
Beautiful Bridge, Magnificent Setting
The Pont des Arts is a pedestrian bridge over the Seine in the heart of Paris, between the central square of the Louvre and the Institut de France. It was originally built in 1802-1804; gradually deteriorated due to war and boat collisions; closed after collapsing in the late 1970’s; and was rebuilt and reopened in 1984.
For many Parisians as well as visitors, this bridge is a favourite. Its unique location offers a spectacular view up and down the river, particularly looking toward Ile de la Cité and Notre Dame. Whether you’re admiring the view while walking across the bridge during the day, sitting on a bench having a picnic in the long summer twilight, or kissing a lover at midnight, the bridge seems always to radiate an air of magic and romance.
The Pont des Arts is considered a ‘studio en plein air’, an open-air studio, and attracts many artists for its striking location and views.
On our last visit, Clive and I noticed many padlocks on the bridge. We couldn’t imagine what they were for, but in looking a bit closer, it seemed they all had couples’ names and a date on them. It wasn’t difficult to figure out they were a symbol of love.
In this photo of Clive on the Pont des Arts, you can see two padlocks on the right-hand side of the picture.
Visual Clutter or Romantic Token?
When we first saw the padlocks, we wondered if they constituted some sort of visual clutter or ‘defacement’ of this much-loved bridge. Having discussed it, we concluded the padlocks are clean and harmless and, in their own way, enhance the romantic aura of the bridge.
Opting for Romance
We’re often away from Paris, and we like to be romantic, so when we thought about having our own padlock on the Pont des Arts, we decided ‘let’s do it.’
Where else to go next but BHV? Clive tried to accommodate my love of things purple but alas, we couldn’t find a purple padlock. We settled instead for a cow one, wanting something unique.
Clive ‘engraved’ C+ C 2009 on our padlock and filled it in with a permanent marker (which has now probably faded).
How many lovers have a cow padlock in Paris? On a crisp November day, we attached ours to the Pont des Arts and symbolically threw the key into the Seine.
If for some reason the city decides to remove the padlocks so be it, but in the meantime, we look forward to checking out ‘our’ padlock next month.
Cheers and if any one happens to see it before we get there, could you please let us know?
Filed under: Paris