A clever person has already identified this place for what it is, with the vital clue being the love-it-or-lampoon-it, in-yer-face, look-at-me-look-at-me show-off Alexandre III of a bridge.
How is the Alexandre III bridge so easily identifiable, way off in the distance there? Oh, would a few huge, blindingly bright shiny gold winged stallions on massive columns do it for ya? Not to mention some of the funkiest art nouveau lamps you ever did see.
You too could have a bridge like this built just for you. All you have to do is reestablish tsarist rule, strike up a war with France then decide you're gonna be friends again, and get one of your rugrats, preferably called Nicolas, to posthumously (and presumably pompously) lay the first stone with the approval of his namesake, the Emperor Sarkozy I, accompanied by Empress Carla and assorted Empret(te)s looking on benignly.
But this isn't about bridges. Our topic today spans much more than a relatively puny river. We're talking world domination here. Or at least global coverage.
It's another of those strange finds which seem to be scattered at irregular intervals over much of the city, as you'll already be aware if you have read me for a while. But this one was a new one to me; an absolute surprise. And you know how much I love surprises...
A grimmish dark grey marble slate nestles in the extensive lawn of the Invalides esplanade, unnoticed and unremarkable if it isn't to receive a curse from a lunchtime footballer who has the misfortune to tumble on to its nobbly surface.
For a nobble it does indeed have. Not a big one mark you, but there's unmistakably something there, and we're not talking a scuff or a scratch. As nobbles go, this one is here to stay.
So what's it all about? The words enlayed in grudging gold give the clue we need: 'Institut geographique national' lies above the bobble; 'Réseau géodésique français' lurks below.
Géodé-quoi? you may well be asking. As I did. Turns out it's a pan-planetary location system, allowing us to, hmm, did you guess... locate things in relation to other things, oh yeah. It's all very komplicated and klever anyway no doubt, but the long and the lat of it is that there's a bunch of these things scattered all over France (and presumably the planet) like a burst packet of M&Ms allowing the lay of the land to be more easily understood, mapped and navigated by all who sail in her. So now you know. Sweet.