I’m always very excited when I get to review a book and such was the case when I found the very beautiful book, Bridges of Paris, being delivered to my door. Like most people who know Paris, I love the bridges that cross the Seine. They add so much to the feel and look of Paris. I don’t think I am familiar with the bridges on the outskirts of Paris although I’m sure I have passed them all at one time or another. They can’t compare with the bridges of central Paris, so beautiful and unique. I think the fact that the Seine is a wide river helps too as we noted when we were in Dublin. The bridges there were more workaday too without that elegance and sophistication found in Paris. I loved looking though Bridges of Paris, at the stunning photograpy as well as the history of each bridge.
The author, Michael Saint James, a Californian, lived in Paris for a year going out each day visiting a bridge, rain or shine, in each season to find the best light and view. There are thirty seven bridges crssing the Seine and the author says he is reluctant to name a favorite but finally settles on the Petit Pont which sits on the site of the first bridge in Paris. It’s tiny but timeless.
Here’s a lovely photo of Pont Mirabeau. I remember the first time that I saw it I wondered why it wasn’t more famous as it is really lovely. One reason, of course, is that it isn’t central but a downstream bridge. Michael gives the interesting history of the bridge including information on a plaque found on the bridge with the first stanza of a well known French poem by Apollinaire named Le Pont Mirabeau. The plaque was pointed out to the author by a charming lady who crossed the bridge every day and who was proud to point it out to him.
So if you are a lover of all things Parisian or know someone who is, this would be a perfect gift, a coffee table book to grace your life. It’s full of history and interesting facts-I love things like that-and the photography is just stunning.