Along with the Old Prisons, the Pont des Amours is the most photographed place in Annecy by the many tourists on holiday. We reveal the history of this emblematic place of the lake city.
Getting to the Pont des Amours in Annecy
The city of Annecy has many canals running through its historic centre. It is a romantic destination that is nicknamed the Little Venice of the Alps. The waters of the Vassé canal flow into the lake by passing under the Pont des Amours. To reach it, two possibilities are offered to you.
Behind the Annecy Town Hall, you cross the Jardins de l’Europe, the bridge is on the left. Alternatively, if you walk along the banks of the lake on the Esplanade du Pâquier to the right , you will reach the Pont des Amours. On either side of the bridge, you can rent a pedal boat to discover the site and swim in summer.
The Vassé canal serves as a port for many boats that pass under the bridge to reach the lake. The visitor can enjoy a magnificent view of the lake and the small swan island. The mountain in the background is the Mont Veyrier, which offers beautiful walks for people of all levels.
The bridge is a popular location for wedding photography, but also for lovers wishing to have a souvenir of their time in Annecy. To get a different photographic angle on the bridge, with the hundred-year-old plane trees and the lake in the background, you will have to go to the banks of the Vassé canal, where the river turns to the left. For cyclists, 2 ramps are installed on each side of the bridge, making it easy to cross.
Legends and origins of the Pont des Amours
Opinions differ as to the origin of the name of the bridge. According to some, it is due to its use as a meeting place for lovers. It is said that people who kiss on the bridge stay together for the rest of their lives. In fact, many lovers place padlocks on the bridge’s barriers to seal their love. Like Paris, the town of Annecy regularly removes them to preserve the solidity of the bridge and the aesthetics of the place.
There is also an ancient legend that the Pont des Amours was first and foremost a place of choice for prostitutes.
The history of the Pont des Amours
The idea of building a bridge at this location in Annecy emerged in 1836, during the development plan proposed by Samuel Vaucher-Crémieux.
However, the people of Annecy had to wait until 1858, when a three-arched bridge was built. The plans were drawn up by Ignace Monnet, architect.
But the bridge proved to be too narrow for pedestrians to cross and too low to allow boats to pass. It also required considerable expenditure and was redesigned in 1859, with a view to better integrating the landscape. An iron structure was built to the plans of Gaspard Fraüf, the municipal architect, and the bridge was inaugurated on 9 June 1907. It linked the Pâquier to the Jardins de l’Europe.