One of my favorites subject while coming and living here now, is the increase in size of Paris and the transformation from an ordinary city to the grand city of lights we know today. Paris was not always like you see today in fact, it was pretty sad and dirty not too long ago.
When Napoleon III came to power, he found a city in waste ,dirty ,and not sufficient to be considered a grand capital of Europe. He took it upon himself to enlarge it, modernise it, and beautify it. This been try before in 1840 to make Paris well defended and increase the fluid of traffic started by Thiers under the 3rd Republic was adopted to give a circular road but also defensive around the city. Napoleon III continue by in around 1860 ordering Baron Haussmann, the big work ahead. This is the story of the arrondissements or districts of Paris and what you see today.
What many people do not know is that it was Napoleon I who had the idea of a Grand Paris reaching as far as St Cloud in Hauts de Seine dept 92 today. After a risk of France and Paris being invaded again around 1840 that the prefet Rambuteau (the same street now around centre pompidou) desired to begin this expansion. A wall was done in 1844 to defend Paris if attacked; several communities became IN Paris if not officially yet such as Grenelle,Vaugirard, Bercy, Charonne,, Belleville, La Villette, La Chapelle, Montmartre, les Batignolles, Passy and Auteuil. On orders of Napoleon III a public order is done in February 2, 1859 to debate on annexing propertly these communities to give a physical rounder to Paris. After this public consultation it was voted to annexed the communities and enlarge Paris on June 16 1859, becoming effective law of the nation on January 1, 1860. Paris immediately went from 3438 hectares to 7802 hectares,with the administrative repartition passing from 12 to 20 arrondissements or districts. Each arrondissement has it mayors office or city hall giving localise govt support to the community. It has been 150 years and the concept of Grand Paris is still in the air for public debate today. Webpage http://www.legrandparis.net/ and ,also, a concept in future transportation for the region ,webpage http://www.metrograndparis.com/ bringing Parisiens closer to each other each day, and making our visitors more at ease in their travel needs in the area. Both sites in French.
The mairies or city hall govt building in each arrondissement are done in touch with the local architecture of each. The Paris 1 has it after the church Saint Germain l’Auxerrois next to the end of the Louvre. Paris 2, is done in 1847 after opening the rue de la Banque, inside a mariage hall done in 1879 decorated with the 3rd Republic emblems. Paris 3 was the first done with an initial space virgin, looking more like a renaissance castle with doric columns and clock evoking Chambord. Paris 4 done with column first realized for the Chateau des Tuileries (today gone extension of the Louvre), Paris 5 was done to accompany the silhouette of the Pantheon in the center of a big plaza ,rue Soufflot with two monumental columns holding a massive fronton one is entering an university the other the mairie or mayor’s office. Paris 6 facing the facade of the church Saint Sulpice practically shown behind the church and as a second stage to it. Paris 7 is in a mansion of the 17C built between 1645-1647, acquired in 1710 then Robert de Cotte,then Laroux,finally in 1862 the city of Paris buys it and put the mairie or city hall there. Paris 8 at rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and integrated in 1926 to the hotel Cail or mansion cail;built during the Second Empire between 1865-1867. Paris 9 design and built between 1846-1848 with an entry of an old cour de service or domestic entrance. The city acquired it in 1848 keeping the municipal services of the 2nd arrondissement de Paris, lateral wings are added in 1860 it is kept and became the mairie for the 9th district. Paris 10 began built in 1892 making it look like a renaissance castle with facades similar to those of Chambord with the uniqueness of having its main structure of metal attached to the facade just like the Grand Palais years later. Paris 11 supporting the boulevard Voltaire and rue Parmentier it was built between 1862-1865. Paris 12 built in 1876 in a classical composition following other similar buildings with a woman statue on top meaning the city of Paris. Paris 13 facade design and built between 1864-1867 similar to those typical buildings of mairies or city halls. Paris 14 built between 1852-1858 for the town of Montrouge, after annexation it is at the centre of the 14 district so name its mairie. Paris 15 built between 1876-1876 with extensions designed in 1913 but finally done between 1925-1928. Paris 16 the towns of Passy and Auteuil could have done it by rue Francklin and pl Jean Lorain but not in agreement the mairie was finally done behind rue Henri Martin built between 1875-1877. Paris 17 an exception as it is built in 1971! replacing the old mairie of Batignolles, indeed very modern looking. Paris 18 it was for a while at place des Abbesses but the admin imposed its will in 1882 to have a new one done at the same spot, done in a renaissance style. Paris 19 facing the park parc des Buttes Chaumont with five arcades similar to renaissance castles built between 1876-1878. Paris 20 place gambetta and built between 1887-1897. I will list the sites webpages for each Mairie numerically,now
Paris 1 http://www.mairie1.paris.fr/mairie01/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is the forum les Halles,Arc du Carrousel,church of Saint Eustache,Jeu de Paume,Louvre,Orangerie, Conciergerie, Sainte Chapelle, Palais Royal, Jardin des Tuileries, and the Place Vendôme.
Paris 2 http://www.mairie2.paris.fr/mairie02/jsp/site/Portal.jsp ; this is Bibliothéque Nationale, Bourse,tour Jean Sans Peur.
Paris 3 http://www.mairie3.paris.fr/mairie03/jsp/site/Portal.jsp ; this is the Archives Nationales, Arts et Métiers,Carnavalet museum,Picasso museum,amongst others.
Paris 4 http://www.mairie4.paris.fr/mairie04/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is the Arsenal,Centre Pompidou, Crypte de Notre Dame,church saint louis saint paul,hotel de ville,memorial de la shoah, Cathedral of Notre Dame, and tour Saint Jacques.
Paris 5 http://mairie05.paris.fr/mairie05/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is Arénes de Lutéce,church Saint Etienne du MOnt, Church Saint Julien le Pauvre,Mosquée de Paris, Panthéon, Sorbonne, Cluny, and church Val de Grâce
Paris 6 http://www.mairie6.paris.fr/mairie06/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is the church of Saint Germain des Prés,church of Saint Sulpice,Delacroix museum, palais and museum of Luxembourg,gardens of Luxembourg amongst others.
Paris 7 http://www.mairie7.paris.fr/mairie07/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is the Army museum,Assamblée Nationale, Ecole Militaire,Egouts or sewers of Paris,Invalides, Legion of Honor museum, Orsay museum,Rodin museum, UNESCO,and the Tour Eiffel.
Paris 8 http://www.mairie8.paris.fr/mairie08/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is the Arc de Triomphe,Chapelle Expiatoire,pl de la Concorde,church of the Madeleine,Palais d’Elysées, Grand and Petit Palais,Jacquemart museum,NIssim de Camondo museum, and palais de la Decouverte.
Paris 9 http://www.mairie9.paris.fr/mairie09/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is the Grévin wax museum,Opéra Garnier,and Vie Romantique museum ,and Gare Saint Lazare, amongst others.
Paris 10 http://www.mairie10.paris.fr/mairie10/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is the Pinacothéque de Paris. Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est.
Paris 11 http://www.mairie11.paris.fr/mairie11/jsp/site/Portal.jsp this is the Bastille bordering also Republique and Nation.
Paris 12 http://www.mairie12.paris.fr/mairie12/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is the Cinémathéque Française,Palais de la porte Dorée,Opéra Bastille, and Palais omnisport de Paris Bercy Gare de Lyon, Gare de Bercy as well as Bercy VIllage.
Paris 13 http://www.mairie13.paris.fr/mairie13/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is the Bibliothéque Nationale Fraçois Mitterrand, Manufacture des Gobelins ,with its Place d’Italie.
Paris 14 http://www.mairie14.paris.fr/mairie14/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is the Catacombs de Paris,and the Observatoire de Paris, and the Cimetiére de Montparnasse.
Paris 15 http://www.mairie15.paris.fr/mairie15/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is the Bourdelle museum,Institut Pasteur,Jean Moulin memorial, Tour Montparnasse , Gare de Montparnasse, and the post office museum
Paris 16 http://www.mairie16.paris.fr/mairie16/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is Arc de Triomphe,Palais de Tokyo,Baccarat museum,Palais de Chaillot, Guimet museum,museum of man,navy museum or marine, marmottan-Monet museum,Parc des Princes, wine or vin museum , Bismarck Foundation,amongst others.
Paris 17 http://www.mairie17.paris.fr/mairie17/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is part of Arc de Triomphe, porte Maillot,and lingering with Place de Clichy.
Paris 18 http://www.mairie18.paris.fr/mairie18/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is the Espace Montmartre,Halle Saint Pierre, church of Sacre Coeur,Church of Saint Pierre, Place du Tertre, cimétiere de Montmartre, vinyards of montmartre by rue Saint Vincent, and the cabaret Lapin Agile.
Paris 19 http://www.mairie19.paris.fr/mairie19/jsp/site/Portal.jsp this is the cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Parc de la Villette, La Géode,La Grande Halle, Zénith cabaret, Cité et musée de la musique, and Rotonde de la Villette.
Paris 20 http://www.mairie20.paris.fr/mairie20/jsp/site/Portal.jsp This is the cimétiere Pére Lachaise, and the Eurolines Gallieni bus terminal just outside it, Chinatown by Belleville area.
Its good to know these tipbits, the 12éme is the rendez-vous point for all Parisiens around place de la Bastille and place de la Nation. The fame Marché d’Aligre, and the cours de Vincennes the old entry point for the king Louis XIV and Maria Teresa. Faubourg Saint Antoine the art of the wood/furniture is still present today from times of long ago. Not long ago the cementary of Picpus is located past avenue de Saint-Mandé, you go there by 35 rue de la rue éponyme, it is here the bodies of 1306 persons guillotine are located and it is today private, the only one in Paris, but you can visit in the afternoons.
In the 13éme the mansion or hôtel queen Blanche its at 17 rue des Gobelins, here Marguerite the wife of king Louis IX (Saint Louis) came to guard silence, as well as in the 14C Blanche of Bourgogne wife of king Charles IV lived. At 73 rue des Gobelins you will have a building with a loggia around columns and pillastres, in it there are two statues(1869) work of a young sculptor name Auguste Rodin.
In the 14éme, you have the Observatoire de Paris ,the oldest in the world.1667. the astronomic cupola dates from 1845. Coming out of the observatoire you turn left and see the Maison du Fontainer, distribution of water from Rungis, and store in the aqueduct of Medicis, from here it provided water to the Palais de Luxemburg and Parisiens with 14 fountains!
In the 15éme done around the village of Vaugirard and old agricultural land area.rich in sand and construction materials. Near the metro Javel old Citroen car factory today no longer and nice walks alone the Seine.
In the 16éme, the villages of Passy and Auteuil were annexed to neighborhood of Chaillot to create the 16 arrondissement! on June 16 1859! becoming the biggest district in Paris ! OF course, 52% of it is the Bois de Boulogne! Here was the hunting area of the locals at the time. Napoleon I wanted to have a triumphant arch build in this area to link a great avenue Bastille to the Louvre, he never saw it done, but the successor king Louis-Philippe completed. The body of Napoleon I was finally able to pass it under in 1840. Here you have the Maison de Balzac with the writers memoirs, it still has vinyards around it.Now it is a museum Balzac. Here the musée du vin or wine museum is located at rue des Eaux (street of water ::)) on the old fortification from the middle ages that serves as cellars to the brothers of the order of Minimes (Passy) producing a wine very much like by king Louis XIII. It became the cellars of the wines serve in the Tour Eiffel until becoming today the museum.
In the 17éme is the union of Ternes (lordship from 1318) to those of Monceau (lordship from 1549) under the village of Batignolles. You can see an area rich in theaters because inside Paris at the time only 8 theaters were allow! you go to 78 boulevard des Batignolles the theater of Batignolles was built in 1838 in an Italian salon with 630 seats, then it takes the name of theatre des Arts in 1906 and finally the name of Théatre Jacques Hébertot that leds it until 1840 as director. At the place Villiers (now name place Prospére-Parfait Goubaux, but locals still call it place villiers) at the center of the plaza you have a bust of actor Henri Becque, the bust has no signature of its makers but it is no doubt Auguste Rodin the maker !
In the 18éme officially born on january 1 ,1860, this is the commonly call Montmartre a union of the neighborhoods of La Chapelle and Montmartre plus a small section of Batignolles. It is history since the passing of Saint Denis giving an equal footing with the city below, something that symbolically still carries today as Montmartre has a mayor as the Free City of Montmartre. At rue Lepic you will find one of the remaining windmills in Paris today power by electricity. Many painters from Renoir to Van Gogh describe them in their paintings.
In the 19éme, the village of La Villette and portions of Pantin,Belleville,and Aubervilliers were added to create this arrondissement. The famous parc Des Buttes Chaumont is here. The water to supply Paris started from here and the Parisiens finally could taste clean pure water in 1822! here you have the Rotonde de la Villette, a barrier to pay your taxes to come into Paris built in 1785 When the are joined Paris this was abolished,and it became a depot for salt then the seat of the commission for old Paris from 1959.
In the 20éme ,was the union of the villages of Belleville,Menilmontant, and Charonne. Even in 1871 they fought for Paris during the uprising of the commune that gave them the name of the red hill or colline rouge. Here the Cementary Pére Lachaise (name François d’Aix de la Chaise, confessor to king Louis XIV) is omnipresent. It is 58 hectares big ( 143.2 acres).
What of the boulevard péripherique ,that big circular road that goes around Paris? Yours truly takes it regularly and again just this morning. It came from the idea of protecting Paris from invaders! The decision was taken in 1840 and the idea of Adolphe Thiers was chosen. A new defensive wall attached to fortresses towers was built in four years, it was composed of 94 towers with a lenght of 34 kms. the fortifications took about a strip of 140 meters with a zone of about 250 meters where no construction was allowed all around it! Taken into account villages that eventually were annexed to Paris in 1860 such as La Villette, Vaugirard, Auteuil, Passy, Bercy and Montmartre amongst others.
After the construction it was decided under Baron Haussmann that the wall was obsolete as the artillery of the times had improved!!! It was a difficult task on what to use of 1400 hectares ! About 3458 acres. The first towers were destroyed in 1919 ,the final concept presented to the municipal govt of Paris calls for the destruction of the towers only but what about the land in between? It was decided to build low income housing or HBM (the equivalent of today’s HLM); the other was given to private investors such as those who built the Cité universitaire de Paris from 1923. After WWII, the ministry of reconstruction tries to improve the highway system in France, it is under this idea that the land became the boulevard péripherique or BP that we see today. Remember speed limit is 80 km per hour Lol!!!!and they have speed radars all over !!!
Have a great week on the roads of France. Some misc photos.