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Pont Neuf, Paris: Overall view
The Pont Neuf, French for the "New Bridge," is the oldest standing bridge across the river Seine in Paris. Its name, which distinguished it from the old bridges that were lined on both sides with houses, simply stuck. The bridge is actually composed of two separate spans, one of five arches joining the left bank to the Île de la Cité, another of seven joining the island to the right bank. Pont Neuf is constructed as a series of many short arch bridges, as most bridges of that time were built, following Roman precedents. Unlike the old bridges, it was the first stone bridge in Paris not to support houses in addition to a thoroughfare, and was also fitted with pavements protecting pedestrians from mud and horses; pedestrians could also step aside into its bastions to let a bulky carriage pass. A major restoration of the Pont Neuf was begun in 1994 and was completed in 2007, the year of its 400th anniversary.