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The first, a wooden bridge, was built during le moyen Âges. This bridge connected the Eastern bank of la Seine (le quai Saint-Bernard) to l'île Saint-Louis. It was subsequently washed away by a flood on 21 January 1651. A stone bridge was erected in its place in 1658. It was demolished in 1918 and replaced by the current bridge in 1928, after it suffered several natural disasters, especially the flood of 1910.
The Pont de la Tournelle was intentionally built lacking symmetry, in order to emphasize the shapeless landscape in the part of the Seine that it bestrides. Consisting of a grand central arch that links the riverbanks via two smaller arches, one on each side, it's decorated on the Eastern bank with a pylon built on the left pier's cutwater, and a statue of St. Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, atop of the pylon, designed by Polish-French monumental sculptor Paul Landowski.
The term "Tournelle" traces its origin to a square turret (tourelle in French) constructed at the end of the 12th Century on the nearby fortress of Phillipe Auguste.