Friday, 23 March 2012

Pont Louis-Philippe: His Story

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~ Pont Louis-Philippe: His Story ~

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

Nothing profound, nor frivolous to offer you today folks. Just this magical view of the Eiffel Tower's rotating beacon and Notre-Dame de Paris snuck in there on the left, taken from the Pont Louis-Philippe, which was opened in 1862.

This latter (the man, not the bridge) was the last French king, known as Roi des Français (King of the French) as opposed to the pre-revolutionary Roi de France epithet. He had a post-revolutionary Queenie too, Marie-Amélie de Bourbon-Sicile, who is very rarely talked about. Perhaps that's because she wasn't a 'real' queen, just as he wasn't really a 'proper' king any more in the autocratic sense of old. Or Perhaps it's because of the monarchly mouthful of her name, which doesn't exactly slip off the tongue.

The 19th century was a bizarre and complicated one in French history, and if you understand what happened in this 100 years you can probably consider yourself extremely well versed! It started as a Consulat before rapidly turning into an Empire in 1805 - bonjour Napoléon! This was messily overturned in 1814, or was it 15, with a Restauration, a return to Empire and another Restauration (told you it was messy).

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This lasted until 1830, with a king or two of sorts (Louis XVIII then Charles X) floating around being kingly. Then came our bridge hero, Louis-Philippe, who himself got kicked out in 1848 in favour of, wait for it... the 2nd Republic, no less. Don't worry, you didn't blink and miss the first, that was earlier, before the Consulate!

You want more? There's more. The Second Republic only lasted four years (quand-même!, before Napoléon's ) nephew, I think it was, became... Emperor Napoléon III. Do you follow? What do you mean what happened to Napoléon II? This time I think you really did blink!

Of course the Second Empire didn't make it to the end of the century either, and in 1870 Napoleon gets his but kicked and the <Republique Version 3.0 is established, which did finally see the 100 years out and itself lasted until the Second World War.

Phew! So, what stared as an intended one-line throw-away post turned into... a mini trip down the history highway. We can now consider that we know more than 99% of the planet about French 19th century embrouillements. Hope it was worth it!

And why not...
© 2012 
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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