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Pont De L’Alma Tunnel

March 9, 2012 by staff 

Pont De L’Alma Tunnel, Pont de l’Alma (Alma Bridge in English) is an arch bridge in Paris, crossing the Seine. It was named to commemorate the Battle of Alma during the Crimean War, in which the Franco-British alliance achieved victory over the Russian army on September 20, 1854.

The initial construction of the bridge took place between 1854 and 1856. It was inaugurated by Napoleon III on 2 April 1856. At the time, each of the four piers of the bridge was decorated with a statue of military nature: a zouave and a grenadier, by Georges DiƩbolt, and a skirmisher and an artilleryman, both sculpted by Arnaud.
For Parisians, the bridge serves as a measuring instrument for water levels and a dam in times of flooding on the Seine, due to its statue of a Zouave soldier.

Access to the footpaths by the river embankments usually is closed when the Seine’s level reaches the feet of the Zouave, and when the water hits the statue’s thighs, the river becomes unnavigable. During the great flood of the Seine in 1910, the level reached to the shoulders of the Zouave. The French Civil Service, however, officially uses the Pont de la Tournelle to gauge the flood levels – not the Pont de l’Alma.

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