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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC

Haussmann's Paris


19th century


The 19th century saw a remarkable transformation of Paris.

Much of the Paris we know today come from this period.

The Baron Haussmann, the prefect of Paris, led a massive campaign of urbanisation.

He gutted the medieval quarters of Paris, justifying the project on sanitary, traffic and security grounds as 7 uprisings had taken place in Paris between 1830-1848 and there were numerous epidemics of cholera.

All in all, 19,000 buildings were demolished and 34,000 new ones created!

Haussmann built new streets across Paris - Rue de Rivoli, Boulevards de Strasbourg, Sebastopol, Voltaire, Magenta, Malesherbes, Arago, Raspail, Haussmann, Saint Germain, Avenues des Gobelins, Philippe-Auguste ...

He built squares - Places de la Republique, de l'Etoile, de la Nation, de l'Opera, de l'Europe, du Trocadero, Victor Hugo...

He created the Opera, 5 theatres, 6 city halls, 19 churches, 10 covered markets, 3 train stations, the Prefecture de Police, the Palais de Justice, the Tribunal de Commerce...

He built new parks : Bois de Boulogne, de Vincennes, Buttes Chaumont, Parc Montsouris, 24 public gardens, planted 600,000 new trees...

He updated the city's water supply and sewage system.

He annexed 11 suburbs including Montmartre, Belleville, Charonne...

Through these annexations, the city grew from 400,000 to 1.6 million inhabitants.

One of his most enduring legacies is the uniformity in Parisian architecture.

Indeed all buildings had to be built from the same stone, at the same height and in a similar architectural style.

It's the style we associate with Paris today.

La Joconde, de Vinci (1519)


The Passages couverts & the Nouvelle Athènes

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