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This "New Bridge" is now the oldest existing bridge in Paris. The laying of the first stone on May 31, 1578 was a tearful occasion for Henry III, who had just lost two of his favorite mignons in a duel: the king was coming out of the funeral service and it was raining. Always ready for a laugh, the Parisians subsequently dubbed the bridge "le point des Pleurs", or the bridge of tears. The Pont Neuf was a unique bridge in its time: the first to be built in stone; the widest; the most accessible; and, unlike the other bridges of Paris back then, no houses were built along the bridge's spans.