In complete contrast, the wildly ornate Pont Alexandre III flashes its gilt and bronzed cupids in the setting sun.
Symbolic of the optimism of the Belle Epoque, it was built for the 1900 Exposition Universelle and dedicated to a new alliance between Russia and France. The first stone was laid by the tsar in 1896, and the facades bear coats of arms of the two countries. Over 15 artists worked on this wedding-cake bridge to create winged horses, gilded cupids, garlands, and various other Greco-Roman artifices on every available ramp, balustrade, or corner.