This is the oldest bridge in Paris; work started on it in 1578 under Henry III, and it was finished in 1606 under Henry IV. For the way it was conceived, however, it is extremely modern, even revolutionary if compared to the designs of bridges before it. All the other bridges in the city, in fact, had been lined with high houses hiding the view of the river. From here, however, you look for a prospect of the Seine, and the bridge, with its two spans right at the centre, becomes an enormous balcony spread over the breadth of the river. The Parisians immediately understood the beauty and the importance of the bridge, and it became a meeting point and a place for a promenade. At the beginning of the Sixteen hundreds, it saw the birth of the French comedy, since it was here that the famous Tabarin performed. (welcometoparis.it)
Molier got his start as a street performer in one of the little niches along the sides of the bridge.
By kjfitz @ 2005-06-24 11:51:37