A little history of Pont Saint-Michel
This bridge looks like the pont au Change, because it was rebuilt on the same model, at the same time!
Come over here! The name St-Michel comes from an old chapel, near the Sainte-Chapelle, where took place king Philip Augustus' baptism, in 1165.
Before that, our bridge was called petit pont ("small bridge"), then petit pont neuf ("small new bridge")...
In 1378, king Charles V put the provost and captain Hugues Aubriot in charge of the construction of a new stony bridge, near the chapel: it was completed 15 years later, raised by Chatelet jail’s prisoners!
Winter 1616 was rude. A sudden thaw destroyed half of the bridge! They immediately rebuilt it, with 32 houses on it: second-hand clothes dealers, dyers and perfumers moved here.
But in 1786 all those houses were destroyed because they weakened foundations... After that, they laid out sidewalks. In 1857, engineer Vaudrey rebuilt the bridge in the axis on boulevard de Sébastopol, flanked by the “N” of Napoleon III...