The rooftops of Paris – Arc de Triomphe

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The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle (originally named Place de l’Étoile), at the western end of the Champs-Élysées.[3] It should not be confused with a smaller arch, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which stands west of the Louvre. The Arc de Triomphe (in English: “Triumphal Arch”) honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

The Arc de Triomphe is the linchpin of the Axe historique (historic axis) – a sequence of monuments and grand thoroughfares on a route which runs from the courtyard of the Louvre to the Grande Arche de la Défense. The monument was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806 and its iconographic program pitted heroically nude French youths against bearded Germanic warriors in chain mail. It set the tone for public monuments, with triumphant patriotic messages.

The monument stands 50 metres (164 ft) in height, 45 m (148 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep. The large vault is 29.19 m (95.8 ft) high and 14.62 m (48.0 ft) wide. The small vault is 18.68 m (61.3 ft) high and 8.44 m (27.7 ft) wide. Its design was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus. The Arc de Triomphe is built on such a large scale that, three weeks after the Paris victory parade in 1919 (marking the end of hostilities in World War I), Charles Godefroy flew his Nieuport biplane through it, with the event captured on newsreel.[4][5][6]

It was the tallest triumphal arch in existence until the completion of the Monumento a la Revolución in Mexico City in 1938, which is 67 metres (220 ft) high. The Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang, completed in 1982, is modelled on the Arc de Triomphe and is slightly taller at 60 m (197 ft).

History

The Arc is located on the right bank of the Seine at the centre of a dodecagonal configuration of twelve radiating avenues. It was commissioned in 1806 after the victory at Austerlitz by Emperor Napoleon at the peak of his fortunes. Laying the foundations alone took two years and, in 1810, when Napoleon entered Paris from the west with his bride Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria, he had a wooden mock-up of the completed arch constructed. The architect, Jean Chalgrin, died in 1811 and the work was taken over by Jean-Nicolas Huyot. During the Bourbon Restoration, construction was halted and it would not be completed until the reign of King Louis-Philippe, between 1833 and 1836, by the architects Goust, then Huyot, under the direction of Héricart de Thury. On 15 December 1840, brought back to France from Saint Helena, Napoleon’s remains passed under it on their way to the Emperor’s final resting place at the Invalides.[7] Prior to burial in the Panthéon, the body of Victor Hugo was exposed under the Arc during the night of 22 May 1885.

The sword carried by the Republic in the Marseillaise relief broke off on the day, it is said, that the Battle of Verdun began in 1916. The relief was immediately hidden by tarpaulins to conceal the accident and avoid any undesired ominous interpretations.[8] On 7 August 1919, Charles Godefroy successfully flew his biplane under the Arc.[9] Jean Navarre was the pilot who was tasked to make the flight, but he died on 10 July 1919 when he crashed near Villacoublay while training for the flight.

Following its construction, the Arc de Triomphe became the rallying point of French troops parading after successful military campaigns and for the annual Bastille Day Military Parade. Famous victory marches around or under the Arc have included the Germans in 1871, the French in 1919, the Germans in 1940, and the French and Allies in 1944[10] and 1945. A United States postage stamp of 1945 shows the Arc de Triomphe in the background as victorious American troops march down the Champs-Élysées and U.S. airplanes fly overhead on 29 August 1944. After the interment of the Unknown Soldier, however, all military parades (including the aforementioned post-1919) have avoided marching through the actual arch. The route taken is up to the arch and then around its side, out of respect for the tomb and its symbolism. Both Hitler in 1940 and de Gaulle in 1944 observed this custom.

By the early 1960s, the monument had grown very blackened from coal soot and automobile exhaust, and during 1965–1966 it was cleaned through bleaching.

In the prolongation of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, a new arch, the Grande Arche de la Défense, was built in 1982, completing the line of monuments that forms Paris’s Axe historique. After the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile, the Grande Arche is the third arch built on the same perspective.

(Source: Wikipedia)

The rooftops of Paris – Eiffel Tower

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The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticised by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011.[2] The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.

The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Because of the addition of the aerial atop the Eiffel Tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Not including broadcast aerials, it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct.

The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second. The third level observatory’s upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground,[2] the highest accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift (elevator) to the first and second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. Although there are stairs to the third and highest level, these are usually closed to the public and it is generally only accessible by lift.

The design of the Eiffel Tower was originated by Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, two senior engineers who worked for the Compagnie des Établissements Eiffel, after discussion about a suitable centrepiece for the proposed 1889 Exposition Universelle, a World’s Fair which would celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. In May 1884 Koechlin, working at home, made an outline drawing of their scheme, described by him as “a great pylon, consisting of four lattice girders standing apart at the base and coming together at the top, joined together by metal trusses at regular intervals”.[3] Initially Eiffel himself showed little enthusiasm, but he did sanction further study of the project, and the two engineers then asked Stephen Sauvestre, the head of company’s architectural department, to contribute to the design. Sauvestre added decorative arches to the base, a glass pavilion to the first level, and other embellishments. This enhanced version gained Eiffel’s support: he bought the rights to the patent on the design which Koechlin, Nougier, and Sauvestre had taken out, and the design was exhibited at the Exhibition of Decorative Arts in the autumn of 1884 under the company name. On 30 March 1885 Eiffel presented a paper on the project to the Société des Ingiénieurs Civils; after discussing the technical problems and emphasising the practical uses of the tower, he finished his talk by saying that the tower would symbolise

“not only the art of the modern engineer, but also the century of Industry and Science in which we are living, and for which the way was prepared by the great scientific movement of the eighteenth century and by the Revolution of 1789, to which this monument will be built as an expression of France’s gratitude.”

Little happened until the beginning of 1886, when Jules Grévy was re-elected as President and Édouard Lockroy was appointed as Minister for Trade. A budget for the Exposition was passed and on 1 May Lockroy announced an alteration to the terms of the open competition which was being held for a centerpiece for the exposition, which effectively made the choice of Eiffel’s design a foregone conclusion: all entries had to include a study for a 300 m (980 ft) four-sided metal tower on the Champ de Mars.[4] On 12 May a commission was set up to examine Eiffel’s scheme and its rivals and on 12 June it presented its decision, which was that all the proposals except Eiffel’s were either impractical or insufficiently worked out. After some debate about the exact site for the tower, a contract was finally signed on 8 January 1887. This was signed by Eiffel acting in his own capacity rather than as the representative of his company, and granted him 1.5 million francs toward the construction costs: less than a quarter of the estimated 6.5 million francs. Eiffel was to receive all income from the commercial exploitation of the tower during the exhibition and for the following twenty years. Eiffel later established a separate company to manage the tower, putting up half the necessary capital himself.[5]

A second Statue of Liberty in Paris is near the Grenelle Bridge on the Île aux Cygnes, a man-made island in the Seine , 11.50 metres (37 feet 9 inches) high. Inaugurated on July 4, 1889, it looks southwest, downriver along the Seine. Its tablet bears two dates: “IV JUILLET 1776″ (July 4, 1776: the United States Declaration of Independence) like the New York statue, and “XIV JUILLET 1789″ (July 14, 1789: the storming of the Bastille). This statue is shown in the movie National Treasure: Book of Secrets as one of the historic locations.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Opéra Garnier, Paris

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The Palais Garnier is a 1,979-seat opera house, which was built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. It was originally called the Salle des Capucines because of its location on the Boulevard des Capucines in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, but soon became known as the Palais Garnier in recognition of its opulence and its architect, Charles Garnier. The theatre is also often referred to as the Opéra Garnier, and historically was known as the Opéra de Paris or simply the Opéra, as it was the primary home of the Paris Opera and its associated Paris Opera Ballet until 1989, when the Opéra Bastille opened at the Place de la Bastille. The Paris Opera now mainly uses the Palais Garnier for ballet.

The Palais Garnier is “probably the most famous opera house in the world, a symbol of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré Coeur Basilica.” This is at least partly due to its use as the setting for Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera and, especially, the novel’s subsequent adaptations in films and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s popular 1986 musical. Another contributing factor is that among the buildings constructed in Paris during the Second Empire, besides being the most expensive, it has been described as the only one that is “unquestionably a masterpiece of the first rank.” This opinion is far from unanimous however: the 20th-century French architect Le Corbusier once described it as “a lying art” and contended that the “Garnier movement is a décor of the grave”.

The Palais Garnier also houses the Bibliothèque-Musée de l’Opéra de Paris (Paris Opera Library-Museum). Although the Library-Museum is no longer managed by the Opera and is part of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the museum is included in unaccompanied tours of the Palais Garnier.

(Source: Wikipedia)

 

Pont du Carrousel, Paris

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The Pont du Carrousel is a bridge in Paris, which spans the River Seine between the Quai des Tuileries and the Quai Voltaire.

History

Begun in 1831 in the prolongation of the rue des Saints-Pères[1] on the Left Bank, the original bridge was known under that name until its inauguration, in 1834, when king Louis-Philippe named it Pont du Carrousel, because it opened on the Right Bank river frontage of the Palais du Louvre near the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in front of the Tuileries.

The bridge’s architect, Antoine-Rémy Polonceau, succeeded in a design that was innovative in several aspects. For one thing, the new structure was an arch bridge, during a period when most bridge construction had turned to suspension bridges; the necessary towers and cables would have been considered unacceptable additions to the Parisian scenery. The structure combined the relatively new material of cast iron with timber. Its gradated cast-iron circular supports were quickly dubbed “napkin rings” (ronds de serviette). At each corner of the bridge were erected classic style stone allegorical sculptures by Louis Petitot, which remain in situ. They represent Industry, Abundance, The City of Paris and The Seine.

In 1906, after seven decades of use, serious restoration was required; the former wooden elements were replaced with beaten iron. Nevertheless, the bridge was too narrow for twentieth-century traffic, and shifted alarmingly. In 1930, its height above the river was judged insufficient for river transportation, and it was decided to scrap it for an entirely new structure to be built a few tens of metres downstream from the former one, and with greater headroom on the river. The architects Malet and Lang attempted to respect the former aspect, which now had become familiar to Parisians. The new bridge of reinforced concrete still crosses the river in three arches reaching the right bank in front of the Louvre, in direct line with the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. For its lighting at night, the iron craftsman Raymond Subes conceived an ingenious telescoping system that raised the streetlights from a height of 13 metres in the daytime to 20 metres at nightfall when they were lit; however, the system is too fragile to be of any use and did not function until be repaired in 1999.

Location on the Seine
The nearest Métro station is Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Pont de la Concorde, Paris

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The Pont de la Concorde is an arch bridge across the River Seine in Paris connecting the Quai des Tuileries at the Place de la Concorde (on the Right Bank) and the Quai d’Orsay (on the Left Bank). It has formerly been known as the Pont Louis XVI, Pont de la Révolution, Pont de la Concorde, Pont Louis XVI again during the Bourbon Restoration (1814), and again in 1830, Pont de la Concorde, the name it has retained to this day. It is served by the Metro stations Assemblée nationale and Concorde.

History

The architect Jean-Rodolphe Perronet was commissioned in 1787 with this new bridge. It had been planned since 1755, when construction of place Louis XV (now place de la Concorde) began, to replace the ferry that crossed the river at that point. Construction continued in the midst of the turmoil of the French Revolution, using the dimension stones taken from the demolished Bastille (taken by force on 14 July 1789) for its masonry. It was completed in 1791.

In 1810, Napoléon I placed along the sides of the bridge the statues of eight French generals killed in battle during the campaigns of the First French Empire. On the Bourbon Restoration these were replaced with twelve monumental marble statues, including four of the “grands ministres” (Suger, Sully, Richelieu, Colbert), four royal generals (Du Guesclin, Bayard, Condé, Turenne) and four sailors (Duguay-Trouin, Duquesne, Suffren, Tourville). However, this collection of statues proved too heavy for the bridge, and Louis-Philippe I had them removed and transferred to Versailles.[3]

Traffic across the bridge became very congested and the bridge had to be widened on both sides between 1930 and 1932,[3] doubling the width of the original bridge. The engineers Deval and Malet nevertheless took care to preserve the neoclassical architecture of the original. It was renovated one last time in 1983. Today, this bridge bears the brunt of Paris’s road traffic (except for those of the Boulevard Périphérique).

(Source: Wikipedia)

 

The rooftops of Paris

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On this shot, you can identify two major monuments of Paris: The Eiffel Tower and The Grand Palais

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The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticised by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become both a globalcultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.[2]

The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Because of the addition of the aerial atop the Eiffel Tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Not including broadcast aerials, it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct.

The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second. The third level observatory’s upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground, the highest accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift (elevator) to the first and second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. Although there are stairs to the third and highest level, these are usually closed to the public and it is generally only accessible by lift.

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The Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées, commonly known as the Grand Palais (English: Great Palace), is a large historic site, exhibition hall and museum complex located at the Champs-Élysées in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France. Construction of the Grand Palais began in 1897 following the demolition of the Palais de l’Industrie (Palace of Industry) as part of the preparation works for the Universal Exposition of 1900, which also included the creation of the adjacent Petit Palais and Pont Alexandre III.

The structure was built in the style of Beaux-Arts architecture as taught by the École des Beaux-Arts of Paris. The building reflects the movement’s taste for ornate decoration through its stone facades, the formality of its floor planning and the use of techniques that were innovative at the time, such as its glass vault, its structure made of iron and light steel framing, and its use of reinforced concrete.

(Source: Wikipedia)

The rooftops of Paris – Palais Garnier

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The Palais Garnier is a 1,979-seat opera house, which was built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. It was originally called the Salle des Capucines because of its location on the Boulevard des Capucines in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, but soon became known as the Palais Garnier in recognition of its opulence and its architect, Charles Garnier. The theatre is also often referred to as the Opéra Garnier, and historically was known as the Opéra de Paris or simply the Opéra, as it was the primary home of the Paris Opera and its associated Paris Opera Ballet until 1989, when the Opéra Bastille opened at the Place de la Bastille. The Paris Opera now mainly uses the Palais Garnier for ballet.

The Palais Garnier is “probably the most famous opera house in the world, a symbol of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré Coeur Basilica.” This is at least partly due to its use as the setting for Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera and, especially, the novel’s subsequent adaptations in films and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s popular 1986 musical. Another contributing factor is that among the buildings constructed in Paris during the Second Empire, besides being the most expensive, it has been described as the only one that is “unquestionably a masterpiece of the first rank.” This opinion is far from unanimous however: the 20th-century French architect Le Corbusier once described it as “a lying art” and contended that the “Garnier movement is a décor of the grave”.

The Palais Garnier also houses the Bibliothèque-Musée de l’Opéra de Paris (Paris Opera Library-Museum). Although the Library-Museum is no longer managed by the Opera and is part of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the museum is included in unaccompanied tours of the Palais Garnier.

(Source: Wikipedia)

 

The Picardian Composition

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Shot taken at Bergicourt (Somme, Picardie, France).


Somme is a department of France, located in the north of the country and named after the Somme river. It is part of the Picardy region of France.

The north central area of the Somme was the site of a series of battles during World War I. Particularly significant was the 1916 Battle of the Somme. As a result of this and other battles fought in the area the department is home to many military cemeteries and several major monuments commemorating the many soldiers from various countries who died on its battlefields. The famed Battle of Cressy also took place in this department.

Picardy is one of the 27 regions of France. It is located in the northern part of France.


History

The historical province of Picardy stretched from north of Noyon to Calais, via the whole of the Somme department and the north of the Aisne department. The province of Artois (Arras area) separated Picardy from French Flanders.

Middle Ages

From the 5th century the area was part of the Frankish Empire, and in the feudal period it encompassed the six countships of Boulogne, Montreuil, Ponthieu, Amiénois, Vermandois, and Laonnois.[2] According to the 843 Treaty of Verdun the region became part of West Francia, the later Kingdom of France.

The name “Picardy” (which may have referred to a Frankish tribe of picards or pike-bearers) was not used until the 12th or 13th century. During this time, the name applied to all lands where the Picard language was spoken, which included all the territories from Paris to the Netherlands.[3] In the Latin Quarter of Paris, people identified a “Picard Nation” (Nation Picarde) of students at Sorbonne University, most of whom actually came from Flanders.[4] During the Hundred Years’ War, Picardy was the centre of the Jacquerie peasant revolt in 1358.

From 1419 onwards, the Picardy counties (Boulogne, Ponthieu, Amiens, Vermandois) were gradually acquired by the Burgundian duke Philip the Good, confirmed by King Charles VII of France at the 1435 Congress of Arras. They were again seized by King Louis XI of France after the Burgundian Wars and the death of Duke Charles the Bold in 1477.

Modern era

In the 16th century, the government (military region) of Picardy was created. This became a new administrative region of France, separate from what was historically defined as Picardy. The new Picardy included the Somme département, the northern half of the Aisne département, and a small fringe in the north of the Oise département.

In the 17th century, an infectious disease similar to English sweat originated from the region and spread across France. It was called Suette des picards or Picardy sweat.[5]

Sugar beet was introduced by Napoleon I during the Napoleonic Wars in the 19th century, in order to counter the United Kingdom, which had seized the sugar islands possessed by France in the Caribbean. The sugar industry has continued to play a prominent role in the economy of the region.[6]

One of the most significant historical events to occur in Picardy was the series of battles fought along the Somme during World War I. From September 1914 to August 1918, four major battles, including the Battle of the Somme, were fought by British, French, and German forces in the fields of Northern Picardy.[7]

Picardy today

This painting by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes recalls the “Golden Age” in the history of the province of Picardy.[8] The Walters Art Museum.

In 2009, the Regional Committee for local government reform proposed to reduce the number of French regions and cancel additions of new regions in the near future. Picardy would have disappeared, and each department would have joined a nearby region. The Oise would have been incorporated in the Île-de-France, the Somme would have been incorporated in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Aisne would have been incorporated in the Champagne-Ardenne. The vast majority of Picards were opposed to this proposal, and it was scrapped in 2010 (see newspaper: “Courrier Picard”).

Today, the modern region of Picardy no longer includes the coastline from Berck to Calais, via Boulogne (Boulonais), that is now in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, but does incorporate the pays of Beauvaisis, Valois, Noyonnais, Laonnois, Soissonnais, Omois, among other departments of France. The older definition of Picardy survives in the name of the Picard language, which applies not only to the dialects of Picardy proper, but also to the Romance dialects spoken in the Nord-Pas de Calais région, north of Picardy proper, and parts of the Belgian province of Hainaut.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Hôtel de Ville, Paris

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The Hôtel de Ville in Paris, France, is the building housing the city’s local administration. Standing on the place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville (formerly place de Grève) in the 4th arrondissement, it has been the location of the municipality of Paris since 1357. It serves multiple functions, housing the local administration, the Mayor of Paris (since 1977), and also serves as a venue for large receptions.

History

In July 1357, Étienne Marcel, provost of the merchants (i.e. mayor) of Paris, bought the so-called maison aux piliers (“House of Pillars”) in the name of the municipality on the gently sloping shingle beach which served as a river port for unloading wheat and wood and later merged into a square, the Place de Grève (French for “Square of the Strand”), a place where Parisians often gathered, particularly for public executions. Ever since 1357, the City of Paris’s administration has been located on the same location where the Hôtel de Ville stands today. Before 1357, the city administration was located in the so-called parloir aux bourgeois (“Parlour of Burgesses”) near the Châtelet.

In 1533, King Francis I decided to endow the city with a city hall which would be worthy of Paris, then the largest city of Europe and Christendom. He appointed two architects: Italian Dominique de Cortone, nicknamed Boccador because of his red beard, and Frenchman Pierre Chambiges. The House of Pillars was torn down and Boccador, steeped in the spirit of the Renaissance, drew up the plans of a building which was at the same time tall, spacious, full of light and refined. Building work was not finished until 1628 during the reign of Louis XIII.

During the next two centuries, no changes were made to the edifice which was the stage for several famous events during the French Revolution (notably the murder of the last provost of the merchants Jacques de Flesselles by an angry crowd on 14 July 1789 and the coup of 9 Thermidor Year II when Robespierre was shot in the jaw and arrested in the Hôtel de Ville with his followers). Eventually, in 1835, on the initiative of Rambuteau, préfet of the Seine département, two wings were added to the main building and were linked to the facade by a gallery, to provide more space for the expanded city government. The architects were Étienne-Hippolyte Godde and Jean-Baptiste Lesueur.

During the Franco-Prussian War, the building played a key role in several political events. On 30 October 1870, revolutionaries broke into the building and captured the Government of National Defence, while making repeated demands for the establishment of a communard government. The existing government was “rescued” by soldiers who broke into the Hôtel de Ville via an underground tunnel built in 1807, which still connects the Hôtel de Ville with a nearby barracks. On 18 January 1871, crowds gathered outside the building to protest against speculated surrender to the Prussians, and were dispersed by soldiers firing from the building, who inflicted several casualties. The Paris Commune chose the Hôtel de Ville as its headquarters, and as anti-Commune troops approached the building, Communards set fire to the Hôtel de Ville destroying almost all extant public records from the French Revolutionary period. The blaze swallowed the building from the inside, leaving only an empty stone shell.

Reconstruction

Reconstruction of City Hall lasted from 1873 through 1892 (19 years) and was directed by architects Théodore Ballu and Édouard Deperthes, who had won the public competition for the building’s reconstruction. Ballu also designed the Church of La Trinité in the 9th arrondissement and the belfry of the town hall of the 1st arrondissement, opposite the Louvre’s east facade. He also restored the Saint-Jacques Tower, a Gothic church tower in a square 150 metres to the west of the Hôtel de Ville.

The architects rebuilt the interior of the Hôtel de Ville within the stone shell that had survived the fire. While they rebuilt Hôtel de Ville –from the outside– a copy of the 16th-century French Renaissance building that stood before 1871, the new interior was based on an entirely new design, with ceremonial rooms lavishly decorated in the 1880s style.

The central ceremonial doors under the clock are flanked by allegorical figures of Art, by Laurent Marqueste, and Science, by Jules Blanchard. Some 230 other sculptors were commissioned to produce 338 individual figures of famous Parisians on each facade, along with lions and other sculptural features. The sculptors included prominent academicians like Ernest-Eugène Hiolle and Henri Chapu, but easily the most famous was Auguste Rodin. Rodin produced the figure of the 18th-century mathematician Jean le Rond d’Alembert, finished in 1882.

The statue on the garden wall on the south side is of Étienne Marcel, the most famous holder of the post of prévôt des marchands (provost of the merchants) which predated the office of mayor. Marcel was lynched in 1358 by an angry mob after trying to assert the city’s powers too energetically.

The decor featured murals by the leading painters of the day, including Raphaël Collin, Jean-Paul Laurens, Puvis de Chavannes, Henri Gervex, Aimé Morot and Alfred Roll. Most can still be seen as part of a guided tour of the building.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Paris in Gold

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The Louvre Palace is a former royal palace located on the Right Bank of the Seine in Paris, between the Tuileries Gardens and the church of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois. Its origins date back to the medieval period, and its present structure has evolved in stages since the 16th century. It was the actual seat of power in France until Louis XIV moved to Versailles in 1682, bringing the government with him. The Louvre remained the nominal, or formal, seat of government until the end of the Ancien Régime in 1789. Since then it has housed the celebrated Musée du Louvre as well as various government departments.

The “Old Louvre”

The Old Louvre occupies the site of the 12th-century fortress of King Philip Augustus, also called the Louvre. Its foundations are viewable in the basement level as the “Medieval Louvre” department. This structure was razed in 1546 by King Francis I in favour of a larger royal residence which was added to by almost every subsequent French monarch. King Louis XIV, who resided at the Louvre until his departure for Versailles in 1678, completed the Cour Carrée, which was closed off on the city side by a colonnade. The Old Louvre is a quadrilateral approximately 160 m (520 ft) on a side consisting of 8 ailes (wings) which are articulated by 8 pavillons (pavilions). Starting at the northwest corner and moving clockwise, the pavillons consist of the following: Pavillon de Beauvais, Pavillion de Marengo, Northeast Pavilion, Central Pavilion, Southeast Pavilion, Pavillon des Arts, Pavillon du Roi, and Pavillon Sully (formerly, Pavillon de l’Horloge). Between the Pavillon du Roi and the Pavillon Sully is the Aile Lescot (“Lescot Wing”): built between 1546 and 1551, it is the oldest part of the visible external elevations and was important in setting the mould for later French architectural classicism. Between the Pavillon Sully and the Pavillon de Beauvais is the Aile Lemercier (“Lemercier Wing”): built in 1639 by Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu, it is a symmetrical extension of Lescot’s wing in the same Renaissance style. With it, the last external vestiges of the medieval Louvre were demolished.

The “New Louvre”

The New Louvre is the name often given to the wings and pavilions extending the Palace for about 500 m (1,600 ft) westwards on the north (Napoleon I and Napoleon III following the quarter-mile-long Henry IV Seine Riverside Grande Gallerie) and on the south (Napoléon III) sides of the Cour Napoléon and Cour du Carrousel. It was Napoléon III who finally connected the Tuileries Palace with the Louvre in the 1850s, thus finally achieving the Grand Dessein (“Great Design”) originally envisaged by King Henry IV of France in the 16th century. This consummation only lasted a few years, however, as the Tuileries was burned in 1871 and finally razed in 1883.

The northern limb of the new Louvre consists (from east to west) of three great pavilions along the Rue de Rivoli: the Pavillon de la Bibliothèque, Pavillon de Rohan and Pavillon de Marsan. On the inside (court side) of the Pavillon de la Bibliothèque are three pavilions; Pavillon Colbert, Pavillon Richelieu and Pavillon Turgot; these pavilions and their wings define three subsidiary Courts, from east to west: Cour Khorsabad, Cour Puget and Cour Marly.

Inside the Pyramid: the view of the Louvre Museum in Paris from the underground lobby of the Pyramid.
The southern limb of the New Louvre consists (from east to west) of five great pavilions along the Quai François Mitterrand (and Seine bank): the Pavillon de la Lesdiguieres, Pavillon des Sessions, Pavillon de la Tremoille, Pavillon des États and Pavillon de Flore. As on the north side, three inside (court side) pavilions (Pavillon Daru, Pavillon Denon and Pavillon Mollien) and their wings define three more subsidiary Courts: Cour du Sphinx, Cour Viconti and Cour Lefuel.

For simplicity, on museum tourist maps, the New Louvre north limb, the New Louvre south limb, and the Old Louvre are designated as the “Richelieu Wing”, the “Denon Wing” and the “Sully Wing”, respectively. This allows the casual visitor to avoid (to some extent) becoming totally mystified at the bewildering array of named wings and pavilions.

The Pavillon de Flore and the Pavillon de Marsan, at the westernmost extremity of the Palace (south and north limbs, respectively), were destroyed when the Third Republic razed the ruined Tuileries, but were subsequently restored beginning in 1874. The Flore then served as the model for the renovation of the Marsan by architect Gaston Redon.

A vast underground complex of offices, shops, exhibition spaces, storage areas, and parking areas, as well as an auditorium, a tourist bus depot, and a cafeteria, was constructed underneath the Louvre’s central courtyards of the Cour Napoléon and the Cour du Carrousel for François Mitterrand’s “Grand Louvre” Project (1981–2002). The ground-level entrance to this complex was situated in the centre of the Cour Napoléon and is crowned by the prominent steel-and-glass pyramid (1989) designed by the Chinese American architect I.M. Pei.

(Source: Wikipedia)

 

 

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