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A little history of Pont Bonaparte in Lyon

The bridge | Basilio / Public domain
Bridge Pont Bonaparte in Lyon

Our story began in 1546, when they raised a first bridge in order to link Saint-Jean cloister with the left bank of the river Saône.

In 1634, Christophe Marie (the engineer who designed pont Marie in Paris) rebuilt a wooden bridge with his own money.

About 30 shops opened on it, with a keeper who had to close the gates every night.

But with the floods, the storms, my gosh! They had to rebuild a new one in 1669. Even the toll they founded in 1634 was deleted because of the birth of the Dauphin, Louis XIV and Maria-Theresa of Austria's first son.

Shops closed at the end of the 17th century. Instead, little benches were put, so people could peacefully stroll here.

But on February 25th 1711, a big flood destroyed our wooden bridge. In 1808, a stony one was raised.

The same year, Napoleon I signed the treaty of Tilsitt with Russian emperor, so they called the new bridge Tilsitt.

But it was too big, not very practical for boats, so a new one was built in 1864. Final deathblow: German armies destroyed arches in 1944... so the current bridge dates back to 1950.

About the the author

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