These are just a few examples of Paris gold. The first photo is a long shot of the gilded figures decorating the end of the Pont Alexandre III that links the Grand and the Petit Palais to the Hôtel des Invalides across the Seine. I took the photo a ways upriver, from the Pont de la Concorde.
The Alexandre III bridge was built for the Universal Exposition that took place in 1900. It's the bridge in the first photo I published in yesterday's post.
Not too far from the Place de la Concorde on the Rue de Rivoli, near the Louvre, stands the golden statue of French national hero Joan of Arc, depicted on horseback. It's also a 19th century creation. Here are two photos I took on Wednesday morning.
Joan of Arc on horseback at the Place des Pyramides
Joan was the young girl who was instrumental in throwing the invading English out of France in the 15th century, at the end of the 100 Years War. Unfortunately, she and this statue have become a symbol and rallying point for the 21st century's far-right Front National, whose members would probably be happy to see all today's invading foreigners tossed out of the country.
Finally, this is probably the most striking example of gilding in Paris. It is just visible behind the Assemblée Nationale building (that's the French parliament) from the Place and the Pont de la Concorde.
L'Eglise du Dôme at the Hôtel des Invalides
The domed church is much older than the Joan of Arc statue or the Pont Alexandre III — it dates back to Louis XIV, who was France's "Sun King" from 1643 until 1715. Today, the remains of the Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte lie in a massive marble tomb inside this church.