Friday, September 19, 2014

Haussmann’s Paris

Haussmann’s Paris

I have traveled to Paris many times but I’ve always been rather busy and not had enough time to reflect. This time I have done lots of that.

Haussmann’s Paris was made up of large boulevards.

When you look around Paris you will notice that the buildings are all similar along the big Boulevards.  This is because of a man named Georges-Eugene Haussmann the Prefect of the Seine from 1853 to 1870.

Medieval streets in Paris 

He worked for Napoleon the third. His job included building fresh water supplies, extending the sewer systems, and creating gardens, squares, and public buildings such as churches, town halls, theaters and hospitals. He was also responsible for laying out new roads.

Medieval streets in Paris 

He envisioned a network of thoroughfares crossing Paris from one side to the other which would help with traffic congestion. All of this was to make Paris a healthier city since bad air and cholera were a problem. The goal was also an improved urban landscape.

Medieval streets in Paris
Haussmann raised streets like these to make way for his grand Boulevards. 

 The Avenue De L’ Opera remains one of the best examples of a Haussmann Street in spite of the fact that there are no trees along the boulevard.

 The Avenue De L’ Opera remains one of the best examples
of a Haussmann Street.

Haussmann’s plan was a tough one for the residents of Paris to take. Many people were forced to leave their homes that had passed through generations. Entire neighborhoods were razed to the ground losing communities that were built over lifetimes. 

Here's where modern meets Medieval  

The landlords were fairly compensated but the tenants were not. This also had the effect of moving the poor to the outskirts of the city. The improvements took 15 years. Haussmann ended up losing his position due to over extending and losing the public’s support.

Life long communities where wiped out for ever.


  1. thank you so much for this post, will be there soon and this just adds so much to the wealth of the trip!

    1. Have a great trip! If I can give you any information please let me know.

  2. He was a man way before his time. Bellingham could have used his vision in lots of places, especially along Bakerview and the Guide. What a mess that can become, and not very esthetic. - Margy


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...