The Pont de Pierre is the oldest bridge in Bordeaux. Its construction dates from the beginning of the 19th century, which is very late considering the origins of the city. For nearly 2000 years the city developed on the Left Bank without attempting to cross the river. The Garonne is wide and choppy with currents, probably frightening the people of Bordeaux who were slow to build a bridge.
The first bridge in Bordeaux
During our Bordeaux Walking Tours, We tell you how the Pont de Pierre was commissioned by Emperor Napoleon I who, on his way to Spain, to wage war there, saw the Grande Armée slowed down by crossing the Garonne by ferry. Built by architect Claude Deschamps, the bridge is made of lighter stone and brick. The piers rest on 220 fir piles driven 8 to 10 meters deep. In conclusion, completed in 1821, it was opened to traffic in 1822, a year after the death of the emperor. Crossing the Garonne from the left bank to the right bank has allowed Bordeaux to develop exponentially.
The bridge has since retained its 17-arch architecture. The number is not chosen at random since it is said, it corresponds to the number of letters of the name “Napoleon Bonaparte”. In addition, it should be noted that the bridge is hollow and has galleries for its maintenance and the passage of many networks. It was listed as a Historic Monument in 2002. It is a real historical link between the two shores of the Bordeaux metropolis.
The brick piles are adorned with a white medallion in homage to Napoleon. Indeed, we can see 3 intertwining crescents, symbols of the coat of arms of the city.
To discover this amazing city and why it was called France’s sleeping beauty, Join our fun and unique Bordeaux guided tours.
Bordeaux tours with wanderer footsteps are all about having a good time. Laughing, listening to personal stories, and creating great memories!
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