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A little history of Pont au Change

The bridge | / CC-BY-NC-SA
Bridge Pont au Change

Money changers came here first, on this wooden and stony bridge, in 1141. That’s why it was called pont au Change, change means “exchange”!

It was also called pont de la Marchandise ("Commodities bridge"), and goldsmiths also came here, in 1360, just in front of the money changers.

Several times destroyed by the river floods, burnt in 1621, architect Androuet du Cerceau rebuilt it between 1639 and 1647: soon little houses on 5 floors mushroomed on the bridge!

A flowers and birds market took place every week here. Kings and queens flanked by the Court used to go by here when they went to Mass in Notre-Dame... Indeed, Charles VI’s wife, Isabel of Bavaria, went across the bridge in 1369... when she came across a strange Italian acrobat, hanged to a house, who put a crown on her head!

By the way, did you know we found here, at the end of the bridge, a statue of king Louis XIII with his wife Anne of Austria and young dauphin, the future Louis XIV? Statues made by François Guillain, we still can see in Louvre museum! The current bridge dates back to 1860.

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!