What was the famous Pont-Neuf's Samaritaine for?
Paris oldest bridge! In the middle of the 16th century, people needed a passage here: at that time, we only had 4 bridges in Paris.
Just picture the scene! Coaches, riders, walkers made a huge human tide on wooden bridges which were narrow, in poor condition and... lined with houses!
Until the end of the 16th century, the main road in Paris went through pont Notre-Dame.
When Saint-Germain suburb extended on the left bank of river Seine, people needed here a new bridge.
King Henri III laid down the first stone in 1578. Architect Baptiste Androuet du Cerceau and Guillaume Marchant put it up. Henri IV inaugurated it in 1607.
Did you know this king also raised in 1608, downstream, a water pump called the Samaritaine?
Jean Lintlaer built it: it brought water to Louvre and Tuileries palaces! Its name came from a low-relief made of bronze, on the pump, representing Jesus Christ and the Samaritan woman near Jacob's well.
They destroyed the pump in 1813 because it bothered traffic...