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A Brief History of Urban Planning

Prior to the 18th century, the vast majority of cities and towns had populations of about two
to three thousand people, with 85-90% of the population living in small agricultural hamlets
and villages of 300-400 people scattered across the countryside. Generally, a market town
would likely develop at a suitable place to serve the needs of the surrounding villages -
usually defined as being within a convenient one-days walk (approximately 12 miles). This
was of course back in the days when farmers brought their goods to market on donkeys or
horse-drawn carts so that populations needed to live close to the land that fed them - thus
limiting the size of cities and towns. As a general rule, what larger cities and towns that did
exist at this time in history generally had their origin as either A) a consolidation of several
neighboring villages; B) a key transportation point (such as a river-crossing or harbor); or C)
proximity to a power-center such as a castle, palace or key religious institution.
In pre-industrial Europe of that time, there were perhaps 20-30 cities in the 10-20,000
population range with another half-dozen in the 50-150,000 range (Florence, Rome, Milan,
Venice, Paris & London). In every case, these larger urban centers were located either on the
coast or on navigable rivers - a necessity for food supply given the lack of refrigeration. All of
these old cities and towns have intricate and complicated street patterns in their oldest
districts - often called organic pattern as the streets generally follow the topography of the
land - twisting and turning in odd directions.
It is only with the advent of the 18th century industrial revolution where we see the
beginning of a steep rise in urban development and city sizes. The city is where industry was
usually located or developed and this attracted more and more people looking for work
and/or higher wages or opportunities. Thus, throughout the 18th & 19th centuries, urban
populations all over Europe and North America rose rapidly, with London and Paris passing
the million mark by 1800 and many other cities in the 100,000-500,000 population range.
Even at this time, all of these large cities were located upon coastlines or navigable rivers.
Between 1840 and 1960, a veritable spider web of canals, railroads and highways was laid
down across Europe and North America. With the assistance of electrical power and the
wonders of refrigeration, it was now possible for many cities to grow ever larger, outgrowing
the old need for coastlines and navigable rivers. Elaborate systems for the supply of fresh
water, sewage, garbage, public health services and public transit were developed to address
the needs of a vast growing metropolis.

The first notable trend in urban planning arises with renaissance era political authorities, most
notably absolutist-minded princes of Europe, seeking to fortify or to perfect their capitol
cities. The spoked wheel was deemed to be the most perfect city shape for the purpose of
military and civil defence - to allow easy routes for the movement of troops to quell riots in
the center of the city - or to move rapidly to defend the walls against external enemies. The
city of Palmanova in Italy (built 1593-1623) is an almost perfectly preserved example of this
type of radial starburst design with extensive fortifications and outworks.
But military and civil control were not the only driving passions of these renaissance princes.
Artwork and beautification were also high on their minds, with figures such as Michelangelo
laying out new streetscapes in Rome. In the hands of a great artist, these new corridor
streets became Grand Avenues, cutting through the old fabric of the organic city and linking
together key landmarks with well placed sight-lines for optimal viewing pleasure and taking
advantage of dramatic topography. Wherever possible, these avenues were set wide to admit
of being lined with trees. Monuments, Cathedrals, Government Buildings, Palaces or Museums
would serve as focal points for these avenues and promenades. Plazas, gardens, waterfalls,
equestrian statues and/or public fountains used for dramatic effect in marking the route.
These grand avenues would serve for ceremonial processions of the princely power. This
Baroque or Grand Manner style is also often associated with neo-classical architecture,
with a focus upon symmetry, marble columns and government buildings that look like ancient
Roman Temples.
Rome (Renaissance & Mussolini eras), Paris (post-Haussmann), Versailles, Washington D.C.,
and St. Petersburg are some of the most notable examples of this Grand Manner in urban
design applied in practice.

In the face of growing problems associated with the early industrial city, such as high-density
urban slums, poor health and sanitary conditions, industrial pollution and smog, one of the
first attempted solutions was a throwback to the now cherished medieval past. Thus was
born the idea of the industrial village - patterned upon an old medieval village. Instead of
peasants in their cottages working in the feudal lords fields, we had workers in their cottages
(or dormitories) working in the company factory - away from the ugliness of the newly
industrial city. A focus upon planned picturesque suburbs is associated with this period - a
reaction against the ugliness of the industrial revolution and the absolutist political character
of the Grand Manner. This trend or style that is called Gothic Revival celebrates the human
scale and seeks to recreate the natural organic street pattern of old medieval towns and
villages. In many ways, this style or trend is anti-city as it seeks to escape from urban
squalor by working with a smaller scale in the countryside, and taking advantage of modern
forms of transportation - such as canals and railroads - to link up with distant markets. This
era also coincides with a revival of medieval-gothic styles of architecture in residential as well
as institutional buildings. Government legislature buildings in many British colonies display
this favoured style of the 19th century.
Setting up a series of small industrial villages in the manner of the small English mill or
mining towns was only partially successful because the enormous scale of industrial
production required, or encouraged, ever larger cities as centers of production and
consumption. While elaborate sewage systems and public health services went a long way to
curbing the worst problems, many challenging problems remained. Big industrial cities were
deemed to be inhuman in scale, reducing human beings to mere cogs in a machine. Big
industrial cities were still decried as filthy, polluted and congested.
The first signs of this new response to the ugliness of the industrial city comes in the form of
several late 19th century plans for new ideal cities laid out in an entirely different pattern..
The various parts of a city were to be separated and isolated into industrial, commercial,
public service and residential zones - insulated from each other with greenbelts of parklands
and plenty of trees. Straight arterial roadways would carry the traffic, while low density
residential zones would be laid out with meandering or curving streets reminiscent of the
medieval village. Riverside, Illinois and Glendale, Ohio are two notable 19th century examples
from the USA of this type of ideal planned town. Frederick Law Olmsted was a noted
practitioner of this style and his design for Central Park in NYC are considered a classic
example of this new style.
In 1898 Ebenezer Howard published his landmark book To-Morrow, A Peaceful Path to Social
Reform - later renamed and republished in the USA as Garden Cities of To-Morrow. Here
the ideal of the self-contained and modestly scaled city is laid out with precision. Howard
believed that this style of urban planning was really only possible with socialistic or communal
property laws. Nevertheless, Unwin & Parker, two early 20th century British urban planners,
picked up on Howards ideas and put many of them into practice with traditional private
property holdings. The most notable example is Letchworth in England, a garden-city
commuter town served by rail from London. In the 1920s & 30s, many of these garden-
city inspired commuter suburbs were built all over England, France and North America,
surrounded by green-belts of parkland.
Developed around the same time as the ideas of Garden Cities, and in response to the same
problems of the industrial monster city, Modernism in urban planning goes in the opposite
direction as that of the Garden Cities. Modernism celebrated the density, excitement and
egalitarianism of the modern city and strove to improve upon it with new ways of urban
living. Many noted modernist architects criticised the old European cities as tradition-bound
and inefficient for modern living. Modernism required new open spaces to showcase modern
skyscrapers and an efficient traffic network. Le Corbusier (a notable French modernist
architect) made many practical suggestions for a graduated road-network (fast traffic on
arterial roadways, local traffic on smaller side streets and a network of pathways to serve
pedestrian traffic) to serve the needs of modern living.
Modernism in urban planning also came to be associated with large scale renewal projects
after WWII in both Europe and North America. Many large bombed out cities or decrepit
industrial slums were bulldozed and laid down as if new - with huge blocks of residential
buildings and efficient road networks.
The one thing that is most notable in many of todays larger cities is that all of the styles
described here are often all present together and co-existing. Certainly the City Beautiful
movement admired several aspects of the Grand Manner - as well as having its roots in
The Gothic Revival movement. Modernism has placed its stamp with a network of highways
and system of graduated roads, along with forests of glass skyscrapers and odd-shaped
cantilevered buildings. And once again, there is a gothic revival of sorts going on with a
popular movement towards preserving older buildings, building on a smaller or more human
scale and mixed-use zoning laws with less reliance (and favortism) upon automobiles for
inner city transportation. One thing is certain - large urban cities remain as popular as ever
with major cities continuing to grow ever larger as more and more people are attracted to the
bright lights of the big city.

Our Iloilo City

History of Urban Growth of Iloilo City
Pre-Spanish Period
As with other civilizations, Filipino settlements began along bodies of water. In Iloilo, the
typical dwelling was the hut made of bamboo and grass or palm, which lined up along the
coasts or the banks of Jaro, Iloilo and Batiano Rivers. Rich landscape of forests, ricefields,
mountains or brush and bamboo thicket provided the natives with materials for clothing,
shelter and tools. The simple ways of Ilonggos were reflected in the lack of public buildings or
places of worship.
Spanish Period
Under Spanish colonization the early type of dispersed settlement called barangays evolved
into towns (pueblos) and provinces (alcaldias). Parish churches, beside the nearby town hall
(casa tribunal) and town plaza, became the heart of town plans. From the town center,
residences filled up the streets which radiated in a grid-iron pattern. Today, the town plaza
remains a center of public and religious celebrations.
The seat of government was first set up along the coastlines of Arevalo, which was always
under the threat of Muslim or Dutch pirates. Political survival prompted the Spaniards to
transfer the seat to Ogtong (now Oton) and eventually near the mouth of Iloilo River (now
Fort San Pedro). Since its establishment, a radial road network which radiates from the fort is
still being used today.
American Period
In Iloilo, the American Period brought about further economic development through road
networks. The British cannot only be credited for strengthening the booming sugar industry.
In 1857, Nicholas Loney, the first British vice-consul in Iloilo, was responsible for the
kilometer long Road Calle Progreso (now Isidro de Rama Street), which linked the warehouse
(bodegas) of sugar with the Iloilo towns. Loney also led the gradual reclamation of the whole
western bank of the river and eventual relocation of the business center to the nearby Calle
Real (now J.M. Basa Street).
The 1920s witnessed the introduction of the working class districts (barrio obreros) to
accommodate the low-income labor sector. Barrio Obrero was established in Lapaz to the
north of the Iloilo Rivers mouth. During this time, Art Nouveau and Neo-Colonial architecture
also flourished in the citys downtown. Typical designs were arcaded ground floors set back in
near straight alignments.
Although Manila was the focus of planning then, Iloilo was elevated as chartered city on 16
July 1937. During this time, Ilonggos, who received American grants to study architecture
abroad, returned and brought American architecture to their homes. Usual Commonwealth
elements were the eagle, scroll and olive leaves.
By the end of World War II, Iloilos blooming economy was in ruins. The decline in sugar
economy and exodus of people and investors to other cities such as Bacolod and Cebu, led
further to its economic demise.
Iloilo gradually recovered as the planning focus was on reconstructing and reviving war-torn
Philippines. In 1959, Iloilo City joined other chartered cities in implementing the urban
planning strategies and policies of the National Planning Commission.
Modern Period
The next three decades saw the moderate growth of Iloilo City with the establishment of fish
ports, an international seaport, and other commercial firms. Iloilo City also became the
Regional Center of Western Visayas.
In 1977, a Comprehensive Urban Development Plan for Iloilo City was approved and was
adopted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod. The Land Use Plan and Zoning Ordinance was the
implementing tool. However, the 1977 Plan was unable to cope with the demands of rapid
By the end of 1993, a multi-sectoral group prepared the 1994-2010 Comprehensive
Development Plan of Iloilo City to amend the old plan and address the present and future
challenges of urban development. The plan, however, was not carried pending the approval
of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
The word Iloilo City came from the shape of the city, cut by the river which looks like the
shape of a nose, Irong-Irong, nose-like, later became Iloilo. Other accounts point the origin
of the name to a fish.
Monicker: Most Loyal and Noble City or La Muy Leal Y Noble Ciuded de Iloilo in Spanish.
This is an inscription in the Coat of Arms from the Royal Decree of 1896 in recognition of the
peoples loyalty to the Spanish crown.
A replica of the Spanish Crown architechtural structure can be seen in the Arevalo District of
the City.
Zip code: 5000
Area Code: 33
Land Area: 78.34 square kilometers
Population: 442,511 (projected SEP 2010)
Population Density: 5,649 persons per square kilometer (Updated as of 2011 projection)
Number of Households: 85,518 (2007 Census)
Population Growth: 1.86% (2007 Cesus)
Coastline Area: 21.3 kilometers
Riverfront: 113 kilometers
Literacy Rate: 92.8 %
Lingua franca: Filipino, Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a, English

Economic activity:
Service sector : 82%
Industry : 14%
Agriculture : 4%
Iloilo Citys climate is monsoonal and has two (2) pronounced seasons namely, the dry and
wet seasons.
The following are the tables of the 2009 Meteorological Profile, Climatological Data and the
Tropical Cyclones.

Political Boundaries
The City of Iloilo is composed of six (6) Districts
and One Hundred Eighty (180) barangays, namely:

District No. of Barangays Topography

Land features is flat and low level mass.
90% of land mass has an elevation of
meters above the main level water.
10% of land mass has an elevation of

Arevalo 14
City Proper 45
Jaro 42
La Paz 37
Mandurriao 18
Molo 25
Total 180

Source: Iloilo City Planning and Development Office
Chronological Order

Sometime in the 13th Century:
The Maragtas legend explained that sometime between 1200-1250s; Ten (10) Malay Datus
together with their families, households and subordinates fled the tyrannical rule of
Makatunaw, the Shri-Vijaya Sultan of Bornay (Borneo).
Led by Datu Puti, the Sultanate Minister, they landed in the Island of Aninipay or Panay.
They bartered their gold and jewelries with the local Ati Chieftain Marikudo for the lowlands,
plains and valleys of the Island they called Madya-as or Paradise. The land where time
began; the birth of the Ilonggo Nation and the cradle of ancient Filipino civilization.
For about 300 years before the coming of the Spaniards, the Ilonggos lived in comparative
prosperity and peace under an organized government, the Katiringban et Madia-as or the
Confederation of Madya-as and with such laws as the Code of Kalantiaw.


-1566: The Spaniards under Miguel Lopez de Legaspi came to Panay and established a
settlement in Ogtong (now Oton, Iloilo). The conquistadores, subjugated our forebears not
only with superior weapons and the sword; but likewise, with the Cross.
-1581: The encomienda, the seat of Spanish power was moved from Ogtong (Oton) to La
Villa Rica de Arevalo.
-1616: Due to recurrent raids by Moro pirates and foreign privateers, the Spaniards moved
close to the mouth of Irong-irong river and built the Fort San Pedro;
-1688: The Spaniards shortened Irong-Irong or Ilong-Ilong to ILOILO, which became the
capital of the province.
-1855: The rapid economic growth of the place, led to the opening of the port of Iloilo to
world trade. Thanks to British Nicholas Loney, Iloilo soon emerged to be the biggest center of
commerce and trade in Visayas and Mindanao, second only to Manila. Thus, earned the title
Queen City of the South.
-1896: The Ayuntamiento on Iloilo (City government) which was established in 1890 under
Becerra Law was given the honor by virtue of the Royal Decree of having a Coat-of-Arms with
the inscription La Muy Leal y Noble Ciudad de Iloilo.
This is considered a sham and an act of ignominy by todays patriotic ilonggos. Like the title
Queen City of the South which is being disputed as bestowed upon us for being the Queen
Regents minions, TUTA or pet City.


Meanwhile, centuries of Spanish subjugation; cruelty and injustice; apathy, greed and
misconduct of the elite; the immoral and abusive theocracy alienated the populace. These
created a social volcano of an angry enslaved society in despair and discontentment,
especially among the masses.
-1586: The Igbaong Revolt (Igbaras-Ogtong) started when the local leaders protested
against the cruelty and abuses of the encomienderos and friars due to conscription or forced
labor, either to work in their haciendas or construction of churches.
-1663: Tapar, a babaylan and nativist of Oton, Iloilo waged the Tapar Revolt. Poorly armed
these early movements were easily quelled. But the Ilonggo patriots did not give up; they
continued their struggle for freedom.
-1889: February 15 In Barcelona, Spain the first issue of La Solidaridad a political
propaganda publication founded by Graciano Lopez Jaena of Jaro, Iloilo City was published.
With Jose Rizal, Marcelo del Pilar, Antonio Luna and others; they advocated reforms for the
welfare of the Filipino people.The La Solidaridad-El Filibusterismo and Noli mi Tangere;
notwithstanding, difficulties since circulation was strictly banned in the Islas; was the spark
that ignited the event that changed Filipino history.
-1892: July 7-The Katipunan KKK was founded by the Great Plebeian Andres Bonifacio and
fellow workers in Tondo, Manila that planned and initiated the Philippine Revolution.
-1896: December 30 Dr.Jose Rizal of Calamba, Laguna; an illustrado-reformist of many
talents, who was not in favor of the planned Revolution was executed by the Spaniards at
Bagumbayan now Luneta. This emboldened the Indios, including the elite and other
illustrados to join in the revolution.
-1897: May 10 Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio were executed in Cavite after a
bogus trial for treason. A black chapter in the history of the Revolution. A victim sacrificed in
the altar of ambition and self-serving interest of the illustrados as personified by Emilio
-1898: March 18 The Comite Conspirador was formed in Molo, Iloilo which was the
nucleus that started the well organized Ilonggo Revolutionary Movement, who fought the
foreign invaders.
-1898: June 12 Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo declared in Kawit, Cavite the Independence of
Filipinos and birth of the Philippine Republic; its flag unfurled for the first time while Marcha
Nacional Filipinas was played which became the Philippine National Anthem.
NOTA BENE: According to Dr. Luis C.Dery, an eminent Filipino Scholar:
Expounding the extent of Aguinaldos Philippine Army; the Bangsamoro nations Mindanao,
Sulu, and the rest of its islands never fell under Aguinaldos politico-military control and
In fact as late as August 1898 much of northern Luzon, southern Luzon, the Visayas, and
Mindanao remained outside of the control of Aguinaldos Republic. Thus, several military
expeditions were sent to these places to bring them to recognize the First Philippine


-1898: November 5 After outsmarting and defeating the Spaniards, Gen. Juan Tan Juan
Araneta and Gen. Aniceto L. Lacson declared in Bago Plaza, Negros Occidental the
Independent Republic of Negros
Earlier, Gen. Marciano S. Araneta led the revolutionarios attacked and captured the Spanish
Cuartel General in Mangkasnow La Carlota City; while Don Diego de la Vina and his men
overthrew the Spanish authorities in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental.
-1898: November 6- Don Diego de los Rios, last Governor-General of Spain in the Philippines
formally surrendered to Independent Republic of Negros revolutionary leaders: Gen. Aniceto
Lacson Presidente, and Gen. Juan Araneta-Secretary of War in Bacolod City. The people of
Negros at last won their freedom!!!
-1898: November 17 Gen. Martin Delgado proclaimed at Sta. Barbara, Iloilo the Provisional
Revolutionary Government of the Visayas and Mindanao.
This was later changed by the Iloilo elite to Federal Republic of the Visayas since they did not
want to recognize the supremacy of Aguinaldo and the Tagalogs.
They preferred instead a federal arrangement composed of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao
as a logical substitute because of its indigenous elements.
-1898: December 10 -The Treaty of Paris to end Spanish-American War was signed.Spanish
commissioners argued that Manila had surrendered after the armistice and therefore the
Philippines could not be demanded as a war conquest, but they eventually yielded because
they had no other choice, and the U.S. ultimately paid Spain 20 million dollars for possession
of the Philippines.
-1898: December 23 In Iloilo City, last Capital of the Spanish Empire in Asia; Governor-
Diego de los Rios formally surrendered to the Independent Federal Republic of the Visayas
thru Iloilo Citys Alcalde Jose Ma. Gay.
The Revolutionary Forces led by Gen. Martin Delgado(Gral. en Gefe) and Gen. Pablo Araneta -
Island Commanding General, had by then taken all the towns in Panay and encircled the City.
-1898: December 24 Defeated and after the formal surrender to the Ilonggo Nation in
Negros and in Iloilo; Don Diego de los Rios, semblance of the last Spanish authority in the
archipelago evacuated for Zamboanga on the way home to Spain together with his
-1898: December 25 -Following the departure of the Spaniards, Gen. Martin Delgado and the
Ilonggo Revolutionarios made a triumphal entry into the City of Iloilo with victorious parade
to Plaza Libertad.
-1899: January 21 Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the Malolos Republic with a
Constitution drafted by Gregorio Araneta- Secretary General and other illustrados of the
Malolos Congress.
-1899: January 23 -The First Philippine Republic with Emilio Aguinaldo as President was
formally inaugurated and the Constitution ratified in Malolos, Bulacan.


-1898: December 27 Just two days after gaining Independence, a 3,000-strong American
Military Force led by Gen. Henry Miller arrived in four US warships (USS: Baltimore-Boston-
Concord & Petrel) to Iloilo harbor to demand the surrender of the City. When the Ilonggos
refused, the Americans began the bombardment of Iloilo upon expiration of their deadline.
-1899: February 2 An American naval force appeared along the coastline of Negros to
engage the islanders. Gen. Aniceto Lacson-President of the two month acquired
Independence, seeing no chance of winning against the new invaders opted not to fight and
ceded control when guarantees of property rights were made.
-1899: February 6 US Congress ratified Treaty of Paris:After an intense fight in the United
States Senate, the treaty was finally ratified by a margin of just one vote. The ratification of
the treaty indicated that the United States was committed to take possession of the Philippine
islands and that it would oppose the Filipino independence movement.
-1899: February 14 American troops landed at Iloilo and took it by storm. Thus, started
another Ilonggo Nations war for freedom; this time against American invaders.
-1899: February 22 The Fall of Iloilo to the Americans. Ilonggo troops fought the Americans
in pitched battles in towns around Iloilo City. The resistance continued even after the
surrender Gen. Martin Delgado.
-1899: March 19 The Queen Regent of Spain ratified the Treaty of Paris.
-1899: Apr 11 Exchange of treaty ratifications in Washington by both Spain and the United
States.It was only at this point in time the treaty was actually formalized and became
internationally binding; officially ending the Spanish-American War. Thus, consummation of
the anomalous Philippine purchase.
-1899: May 1 US Secretary of State John Hays handed to French Ambassador Jules Cambon
the amount due to Spain under the Treaty of Peace (Paris) at the US State Department.
-1901: February 2 Surrender of the Panay Forces to the Americans.The Ilonggos resisted
but, weary of war and poorly armed, they were soon overwhelmed by the new and well-
armed enemy.
Many of the leaders surrendered and relative peace was restored.
-1902: Jul 4 President Theodore Roosevelt officially ended the Philippine-American War by
issuing the Peace Proclamation and Granting of Pardon/Amnesty to the Insurrectionists who
in reality were patriots.
-1907: Dionisio Papa Isio Sigobeyla was captured by the Americans in the hinterlands of
After the arrival of the Americans and the surrender of Gen. Aniceto Lacson; Papa Isio, a
babaylan declared himself the head of the Revolutionary Government of Negros. He fought
the American troops for about eight more years.
-1925: In Central Iloilo-Panay: Florencio Entrencherado, obsessed by the Napoleonic saga
declared himself Emperor of the Philippine. While his declaration was treated as a joke at
first, within a year his stand against heavy taxation and foreign interference had gained him
several thousands of peasant followers. -1927: In May Entrencherado was captured and
imprisoned in Manila, where he died two years later. His armed followers staged an uprising,
and burned haciendas of abusive American and local landowners in several towns.

The Art History Archive -

Architecture in the Era of

By Emily Kirkman -
During a time of
industrial change
and cultural
Paris became the
new home for
overcrowding the
ancient districts
and spreading
disease. The city, which had been untouched since the
Middle Ages, was in dire need of reflecting the new
modern ways and putting an end to the spreading
medical epidemics. The tight confines of Medieval Paris
were hindering the citys potential for growth and desire
to transform into a well-organized urban center.
Napoleon III set about bringing order and structure to
the chaotic, cramped city and putting an end to its'
identity crisis. Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann,
chosen by Napoleon III to lead the project, created new
roads, public parks, public monuments, as well as
installing new sewers and changing the architectural
faade of the city. With the aid of the public, Modernist
Napoleon III set out to undertake one of the largest
urban transformations since the burning of London in
Louis Napoleon III, who became emperor in 1852, had a
great deal of interest in developing Paris into a new
modern city after the Industrial Revolution. Napoleon
had a keen interest in architecture and could often be
found modifying the blueprints of Paris to include the
roads that he wanted to construct. This interest in
modifying the layout of the city would manifest itself into
a project that would encompass all aspects of urban
planning, from streets to sewers, and completely change
the shape of Paris as everyone knew it. As stated by
Anthony Sutcilffe in his book Paris: An Architectural
History, the
with the first
surge of
beginning in
the 1840s
and lasting until the Great Depression of the 1870s.
The Second French Empire, ruled by Napoleon III, had
complete control over the country, and he set out to
begin construction on his plan that would bring Paris into
the modern era and establish its dominance as a
western city. With the induction of Baron Georges
Haussmann as prefect of the Seine, Napoleon had an ally
in the government to carry out the modernization. While
neither one were trained in the arts, both men had ideas
for how they wanted the city to look. Napoleon had a
greater interest in the techniques and new materials that
were to be used, while Haussmann paid more interest to
the aesthetic quality of the modernization project. Yet
both men adhered to the classical style, creating a
metropolis of neoclassical wonder.
In 1853, Haussman had outlined and began construction
on a series of basic projects that had been planned since
the decision had been made to modernize the city. The
projects included creating a north-south axis in the city,
developing the quarters around the Opra, as well as
the annexation of the suburbs to make them outer
arrondissements, the sewer system, and the water
supply. In the early 1860s it is to be known that upon
the completion of the original projects, new projects
were put in to development, including annexing newer
arrondissements, and putting the city into debt.
Haussmann molded the city into a geometric grid, with
new streets running east and west, north and south,
dividing Medieval Paris into new sections. His plan
brought symmetry to the city, something it was lacking
beforehand. No Parisian neighborhood was left
untouched by Haussmans hand. The new streets were
also wider
than most of
, for reasons
of public
health and
During a
time when
the city was filled to the brim with people, disease was a
large risk. The widening of the streets would relieve the
cramped city and allow for the people to get around
more easily. It also allowed for an increase in height of
the buildings, providing more room for the people of
Paris to live and thrive in. Running alongside the new
roads, which had been widened to accommodate the
rising number of people living within the city limits, were
rows of chestnut trees, which allowed Haussmann to
maintain the geometric and symmetrical aesthetic that
he had created with the new roads. And where he
struggled to maintain his visual order, new public spaces
and monuments were erected. In David P. Jordans
article Haussmann and Haussmannisation: The Legacy
for Paris, it is noted that Haussmanns strict plan had its
flaws. Turn off any number of his new streets and you
will find the old Paris: the Avenue de lOpra or the
Boulevard Saint-Germain are good examples. Despite
his desire to create a well organized and symmetrical
city, his lack of skills as an urban planner got the best of
him and he was forced to work around existing streets in
order to adhere to his desire for symmetry in the city.
The existing architecture in Paris proved to be his
greatest enemy when laying out the new roads. The
respect for the ancient monuments outweighed the need
to unify the city completely and the river Seine served as
a natural barrier separating the two sides of Paris and
the roads that once had the ambition to link the
riverbanks. His new roads have been admired since their
unveiling. They not only served as new roadways for
general use, but also as streets leading to the center of
Paris from the train stations scattered throughout the
city, as well as roads that led to the monuments that
were found
the city. He
was also
for isolating
from the
to the city.
The next step in Haussmanns plan for the new Paris was
to divide the city into arrondissements, or districts. The
decision to divide Paris into these new districts came
about in 1853, at the same time as the decision to
modernize the city completely. The plan implied the
destruction of the old, heterogenous quarters in the city
center and the creation of large new quarters implicitly
dividing the population by economic status. The original
plan called for twelve districts, but in 1860, Paris
annexed surrounding communities and was divided into
twenty districts. The districts started inward, on the
banks of the Seine, and spiraled outwards. With the
division of the city into arrondissements came the need
for a new water and sewer system. When construction
on the new Paris began, the city was still served by a
medieval network of sewers clustered around the city
centre. Aided by his chief engineer Eugene Belgrand,
Haussmann developed and began construction in 1857
on a larger sewer system that could handle the large
amounts of wastewaters coming from the growing city
that would be funneled into the Seine downstream from
With the
popularity of
in the richer
came a need
to funnel
waste into
the sewer
system as
well. The
proposal to
human feces
into the
sewers that
would mix
with the
storm water
and flow into
the Seine
was an idea
Haussmann objected to. To maintain the order of the
water and the urban space, Haussmann viewed it as
necessary to keep the clean water separate from the
dirty water. His objections to human excrement entering
the sewer system were not only related to the
contamination of the underground city; he feared that
the dilution of human waste in water would reduce its
value as a fertilizer, and thereby disrupt the organic
economy of the city. By keeping the wastewater and
contaminated water separate, the human waste could be
used as fertilizer for crops to help support the economy
and allow for agricultural employment opportunities for
those moving to the big city. Also by utilizing the new
sewer system for human waste, the city would become
cleaner and more sterile, eliminating the smell of rotting
waste and lowering the threat of disease from living in
cramped, contaminated quarters. Cleaning up the city
also led way
to the
cleaning of
the people.
Now that the
people were
living in
areas, they
also had to be clean, ushering in an idea of modern
narcissism. It would be uncivilized to live in such a clean
environment when you yourself are dirty and uncouth.
The revamping of the sewer system was an integral part
of bringing the city of light out of the Dark Ages and into
the Modern era.
Quite possibly one of the largest stages of the project,
second only to the new roads, was the architecture. To
accompany the new streets and provide visual unity to
the entire city, Haussmann and his team of architects
constructed a unifying architectural faade that changed
the shape of Paris. As well as coating the city with a
unifying style, they also constructed new public
buildings, such as LOpra , as well as many other
buildings. During the 18th century and the time of the
Enlightenment, architects were no longer content to see
their buildings glorify the state, the monarchy, or one
specific stratum of society: they aspired to create
monuments that would celebrate human greatness,
inculcate worthy remembrance, teach moral values. The
buildings became expressive and mimicked nature,
ignoring the classical norms they once followed. The
Baroque and Rococo styles of architectural design were
short lived, with people once again wanting a return to
the historical classical style that was so prominent
throughout Europe. By the fin of the 18th siecle,
neoclassicism was becoming the dominant style in both
painting and architecture. With the widening of the
Parisian streets, Haussmann and his crew were able to
add an extra story of height to the buildings that lined
the roads. The additional height increased the amount of
living space within the city limits, easing up on the
overcrowding, but not changing the affordability of the
housing. The change in height can be seen best in the
apartment buildings found rampant throughout the city.
They are noted by their simple decoration and adherence
to the classical style. An emphasis on the horizontal can
be seen in the faade, following the horizontal of the
streets they sat next to, adding to the symmetry and
geometric unity that Haussmann wanted the new Paris
to have. By using a much more austere and modern
style for the faade, the cost for the buildings could be
kept low and the buildings would appear timeless in a
changing city. The apartment buildings were typically five
stories with the ground floor and the in between floors
having thick walls. The second story usually had a
balcony with elaborate stonework, while the third and
fourth floors resembled the second floor without the
balcony. The fifth floor or top floor generally had an
undecorated balcony that traveled the length of the
building. The facades were also constructed out of large
stone blocks, adding to the simplicity of the structure
and the lack of decoration made the building seem larger
than it actually was. Inspired by the Industrial
Revolution, the new apartment buildings mimicked the
products produced by the factories. Each item was the
same and could be built quickly by those with only a
small amount of knowledge of architecture or design.

With the rise of the nouveux riches
came the need for htels or living
spaces for the rich within the city. Unlike
the simple, austere apartment houses,
no expense was spared on decoration
and they were constructed in the most
fashionable districts within Paris. They
were not neoclassical in style like the
apartments, but a mixture of early
Renaissance and the ornate baroque
style. The htels were symbols of wealth
and status and the rising modernity in
ment buildings throughout the city and build rich hiotels, but he also established a corps of
architects for the city. They were responsible for designing all the municipal buildings
throughout the city. From train stations to government offices, the projects architects built
interactive Neoclassical monuments that would stand proud in the citys squares and
emphasize the importance of modernity.
Most notable are the train stations, which linked Paris to the rest of France. They were an
integral part in the rise of the Parisian population, and also allowed not only the rich, but
everyone, to take day trips and explore the countryside surrounding the city. The stations
were simply designed, with a high central vault, adorned with glass and iron tracery, similar
to that of the wheel that propels the train along. The train stations were tall and classical in
style, decorated with arcades and balustrades, all while emphasizing the speed and power
of the steam engine. To many, the trains represented the new modern time, recognized
around the world as one of the greatest products of Industrialization.
LOpra Paris, designed by Charles Garnier, is known as one of the greatest public works to
come out of this time period. Built in 1861, the opera house unifies not only the city and
the quarter that it rests in, but the people of Paris as well. With the newfound industry and
technology, the new rich now had free time and could enjoy things like traveling to the
countryside for a day or taking in an afternoon performance. The new opera house gave
them a place to go and be seen. The building itself is a neoclassical wonder, with Baroque
elements, drawing
influence from the reigns
of previous French rulers.
The faade of the building
is divided into two levels.
The lower entrance level
has an arcade of arches
adorned with sculpture,
while the second level is
faced with Corinthian
paired columns. The
building is adorned with
carved decoration as well
as a central dome that is
richly decorated on the
interior. Two smaller domes flank the wings of the building adding the magnificent grandeur
of this richly detailed public building. It sits alone in a diamond, with three square plazas
surrounding it, isolating the building and emphasizing its importance in modern life. The
Paris Opera House is much more richly decorated than any other building built during this
time period, but it catered to the rich and those with the time to come spend time within its
walls. The building served no governmental purpose, but was instead a site of leisure and
pleasure, preserved within its architectural design. It is seen even today as a symbol of the
nouveux riches and the rise of modernity.
With this magnificent transformation of Paris into a modern city, came a big budget.
According to the article Money and Politics in the Rebuilding of Paris, 1860-1870,
Haussmann calculated in 1869 that the cost of rebuilding Paris since the projects beginning
in 1851 was to be 2,500,000,000 francs. As an equivalent expenditure in New York City at
present, forty-four times the expenditures in the budget of 1955-1956, would be
$78,000,000,000! Haussmann and Napoleon III did not forsee the project costing this
much and had not raised the amount of money needed to pay for all of their construction.
With the addition of new elements to the project, the budget only soared. Many people
living in Paris during the time felt that Haussmann and crew had lied to them about the
costs of the renovations and felt that the city had been paralyzed by the never ending
construction. With the removal of Haussmann from his office as prefect of the Seine in
1870, the Third Republic took control of the government and the debts that Napoleon and
Haussmann had gotten the city into.
Since the
undertaking of
modernization of
Paris in the
name has
ubiquitous with
urban planning.
With the help
and approval of
Napoleon III,
Haussmann was
able to transform
an entire city in a
period of twenty
years. The once
Medieval city was
now a modern
power house with
room to grow.
The redistricting
of the city,
building of new
public spaces and
places, as well as
new public works
buildings and a
new sewer
system all added
to the grandeur
of the city.
Haussmann not
only improved
the appearance
of Paris, but also
the health of the people. By widening the streets and building more housing, he eased the
overcrowding and lowered the threat of disease. The new sewer system also helped create
a cleaner Paris by channeling the waste water and human waste away from the city to ease
on the smell and the dirt that would make Paris seem uncivilized. Haussmanns new
buildings proved to be more functional and stronger than the previous buildings in Paris.
Georges Haussmann has become known as one of the first great urban planners in history
and has inspired many others to take on such arduous tasks as rebuilding a preexisting city.
And yet Haussmanns greatest success was leaving us with a legacy known as Paris.

I. Summary of Napoleon III

Napoleon III, Emperor of the Second French Empire

We are all familiar with the name of Napoleon, the French general who came to power by way
of coup d' etat and overthrew the First Republic, thus ending the French Revolution and
the ostensibly egalitarian democratic republic it gave birth to. Napoleon is best known for his
classic, bicorn hat, posing for paintings with his hand over his stomach, and conquering most of
Europe during a 20 year-long conflict named after him, the Napoleonic Wars. After his defeat by
the British and Prussians at Waterloo in 1815, he was exiled to a lonely island in the south
Atlantic named St. Helena, where he died in 1821. What most people don't know is that the
Bonaparte Dynasty didn't end with him. It was revived in the mid-19th century by his nephew,
Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, later known as Napoleon III.
Napoleon III was not a military genius like his famous uncle, but he did initiate many sweeping
social, legal, political and foreign policy reforms in France, undoing the republican reversals and
foreign policy setbacks suffered under the Bourbon and Orleanist Restorations of 1815-1851.
Under his watch, France was no longer in a state of constant geopolitical conflict with Britain,
which led to decreased military spending, a balancing of the national debt and finances and
increased efforts for national economic greatness. The rising threat of Prussia/Germany in the
east caused France and Britain to become close, albeit still suspicious, allies (memories of
Napoleon I always lurked beneath the surface). During this time, France experienced
rapidindustrialization (with the help of British investment) as well as revitalized efforts to acquire
colonies abroad, particularly in Algeria and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in Southeast Asia and
the Pacific, particularly in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Polynesia.
Although Napoleon I conquered most of Europe, his reign simultaneously experienced the
complete divestment of French colonial territory in the New World (namely, the highly lucrative
territories of Louisiana and Haiti), thus robbing its access to cheap North American commodities
like fur and timber as well as Carribean sugar and slave-labor. Because France still
retained lingering feelings of national resentment over these losses, as well as the fact that
he wanted to undo this blot upon the reputation of his uncle, Napoleon III was committed to
restoring a strong French imperial presence in the Western Hemisphere.
As such, Napoleon III created the penal colony of Devil's Island, off the coast of French Guiana
in South America. Here, rather than spend money on jails and protecting the civil rights of
imprisoned French citizens, they were sent thousands of miles away to a cheap place where
they could be brutalized and used as slave labor on sugar cane plantations. The outpost would
also serve as a military base of sorts, where agents and operatives could co-ordinate actions
with naval installations in the Lesser Antilles, from which Napoleon III hoped to launch various
planned conquests in the region.
These policies led to Napoleon III's successful invasion and occupation of Mexico, organized
under the pretext of protecting French investors, due to the fact that Mexico defaulted on its
enormous national debt to France. Because the United States was experiencing severe domestic
turmoul during this time, due to rising political instability and the Civil War, it could not enforce
the Monroe Doctrine, rendering it unable to intervene. As such, Napoleon III installed a puppet
Emperor in Mexico by the name of Maximillian. Through Maximillian, (an Austrian Hapsburg and
Archduke) Napoleon III provided the Confederate States of America with countless forms of
covert military and financial assistance. He even went so far as to build numerous blockade-
running vessels for the CSA in France, because he was promised exclusive shipping rights for
southern cotton, if the CSA was able to win.
In any event, Maximillian's rule in Mexico was a total failure, aside from bringing accordian
music and numerous Vienese-style lager beers to the region, the most famous of which became
known as "Corona."In any event, the Mexicans eventually revolted and overthrew Maximillian,
an event celebrated in Mexico during the holiday of Cinco de Mayo.
In Europe, Napoleon III gave enormous military and financial assistance to Garibaldi and Louis
Cavour, King of Sardinia (of the House of Savoy) in their attempt to remove Austrian influence
from Italy (Austria owned much of the Italian Piedmont as well as Venice, Florence and various
other artistically endowed cities in the region) and unify the entire peninsula under a single
government. Resulting French tensions with Austria and its fellow German ally, Prussia (which
had been building), led to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. This led to the widespread
destruction of much of Paris (particularly the poorer areas), the collapse of the Second Empire,
the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871, the establishment of a unified German Empire under
Prussian leadership (the so-called "Second Reich"), and Napoleon III's exile to Great Britain.
From this period up until the Vichy Regime of 1940-1944, France would be democratic and
governed by the Constitution of the so-called "Third Republic."
Despite Napoleon III's enormous impact on 19th century international affairs, he will perhaps
most famously be remembered for totally redesigning the ugly, crowded and congested city of
Paris and turning it into the most beautiful city on earth.
What follows is an analysis of the class-bias and authoritarian intentions underlying this massive
policy. It is a story that provides us with many lessons today, as we grapple with issues of
declining democratic mores, increasing socio-economic divisions and the role played by urban
renewal, urban redesign and gentrification upon the same.
II. Urban Reform, Renewal and Redesign in Second Empire Paris
Historically, the crowded, dense medieval city streets of Paris were always spatially and
geographically conducive to rebellion. They could be barricaded, turning entire sectors of the
city into veritable fortresses from which large mobs could gather, organize and mobilize for
assaults upon monarchist/authoritarian strongholds within Paris, such as the Bastille in 1789.

A narrow, medieval street in Paris. These streets were the norm, rather than the exception, in the Paris
that existed prior to the Second Empire. The ease with which the working-classes could barricade such
streets wasn't lost on the governing elites.

Throughout the Bourbon Restoration, numerous mini-revolutions, rebellions and insurrections
took place in Paris, due to the Bourbon and later, Orleanist attempts to rescind various rights won
by the people during the First French Revolution and regime of Napoleon I. There was further
rebellion under the Orleanist regime of Charles X, because he was in thrall to big bankers, who
were destroying the French economy and causing its industry, agriculture and manufacturing to
spiral downwards into an irreparable decline.

Although these later, post-Napoleonic rebellions, most famously illustrated in Victor Hugo's
book, Les Miserables (later a famous musical), were always suppressed, they were still able to
take advantage of the narrow corridors and winding streets of Paris, with secret alleyways,
tunnels and approaches. Turned over carts, barrels, stones from semi-demolished buildings were
sufficient to totally blockade streets and prevent government infantry, cavalry and artillery from
successfully being brought-to-bear upon pro-democratic patriots. Although subsequent
revolutions and revolts were never as successful as the one in 1789 (elites learned their lesson
fast, especially in regard to the need to infiltrate working-class organizations, acquire intelligence
about the same and used armed force at the initial outbreak of street violence), these narrow,
medieval streets always posed a great challenge to authorities, even if they did, in the end, win
the ultimate victory.

This pre-Second Empire map of Paris shows its narrow streets and lack of broad, central avenues and
boulevards. This prevented troops and police from responding to various, often simultaneous civil
insurrections and emergencies in various parts of the city. The geographical/spatial difficulty faced by
elites in navigating the Parisian streets was a strong factor aiding the republican, pro-democracy patriots
during the French Revolution of 1789.

When Napoleon III became Emperor, one of his big domestic projects was to make Paris a
bastion for order and stability and eliminate, for all time, its geographical and spatial
susceptibility to barricades, urban fortresses, rebellion and armed mobs. To do this, he hired a
famous French architect and engineer, Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann. A keystone in this
concept consisted of renovating the entire design of the city, removing many of the narrow
medieval streets and making them much, much broader. Further, the houses were set back even
further from the sidewalks than previously, which would not only provide sufficient space for
pleasant sidewalk cafes and scenic vistas, but would also allow sufficiently wide angles for state
artillery and rifle fire to be directed through, without being subject to enfilade ambush attacks,
perpetrated by armed mobs hiding from troops around a corner, located at a 90 degree angle
from oncoming state forces (this tactic was used to great effect during the Revolution of 1789).

This map shows the initial broad boulevards imagined by Haussmann, to afford the military rapid transit
throughout the urban center, so as to put-down insurrections with greater speed and ease. Notice how
they serve as spokes radiating outward, from the police and commerce departments. Here, police and
financial powers were planned to occupy the strategic "center" of the city, where they would be well
protected. According to strategic opportunities, the police would thus be able to be sent-out, to the
periphery, to attack rebels and would-be revolutionaries, while affording constant protection to the
financial and economic elites located in the well-protected, island center of the city. This island, too, could
be barricaded and poor people prevented from accessing it, through the construction of efficient bridges.

Further benefits would be accrued through the annihilation of local, close-knit neighborhood
communities in Paris, many of which had their own culture, dialect and insider customs. Here,
each little area, cut-off as it was from the rest of Paris except through a few crucial winding
streets, could become an island-onto-itself. Local economies thrived, neighborhood youth clubs
(that would fistfight or compete athletically with other rival, adjacent neighborhood clubs) and
the ability of police to centrally control such areas was necessarily limited. Local neighborhood
leaders acted like godfathers and were responsible for law and order, garbage pickup and
social welfare. Since many of these towns could only be accessed through a handful of narrow
streets, lookouts could be posted atop dilapidated medieval buildings, who could give the local
godfather sufficient prior notice of oncoming police or military forces, such that they would
have enough time to stop an illegal gambling activity, robbery of an aristocrat or mini-riot.

Total result of Haussmann's reforms. The new arterial avenues and boulevards are marked in red.
It is very hard for us to understand the inherent unruliness of Paris prior to the Haussmann
reforms. Most modern cities have followed the Second Empire reforms of Napoleon III, which
put an emphasis on broad, sweeping boulevards, grids and the like. Although these things make
transportation through the urban-area more efficient, especially in terms of commercial, military
and police traffic, and while they also make directions and finding-ones-way more easier, as it
is more conducive to using a map in such an environment, a good degree of local,
neighborhood social, political and economic independence is lost.

After the Haussmann reforms, local fruit/vegetable sellers were forced to purchase a license.
Previously there were talks about doing this, but the crowded, narrow, labyrinthine Parisian
streets always posed an effective detriment to efficient enforcement. After the re-design of the
city, occupational licenses and rules regarding the regulation of these working-class occupations
proliferated a hundred-fold. No longer would inspectors be afraid of going into bad areas or
closed-off areas to enforce regulations, but could travel to such areas with great speed, with
sufficiently numerous police escort to ensure security (previously, you were lucky if 4 people
walking abreast could squeeze through the narrow streets very easy to block them and hold
them off).

Cimetiere des Innocents: Large working class square in old Paris where the bodies of paupers were buried
in mass graves, above ground. This image from the mid 1500s. By the 1790s, the bones would be placed
in the catecombs, but the place would still serve as a hot-bed of working class agitation and secret

Haussmann used the pretext of sanitation as a means by which to clear many of the working-
class folks from the most densely populated, medievally constructed areas of the city. Saying he
was re-locating them for his own good, thousands were evicted and forced to live in the
outskirts of the city, far away from aristocratic, upper-middle class and middle class areas of the
city. Prior to the reforms, the wealthy, working and middle classes and students lived in close
proximity to each other and had to find a way to navigate social intercourse in a mutually
beneficial manner. When the wealthy were obnoxiously intransigent about this, there were often

This is the Boulevard
Haussmann, in the Ninth Arrondissement in Paris. This road is typical of the new-model streets
designed by Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann. Aside from the uniform building styles, tree-
lined sidewalks and lovely mansard roofs, notice the breadth of the road, and how easily this
can be utilized to facilitate rapid troop/police movements, as well as afford limited opportunities
for barricading.

After the reforms, the majority of the poor were simply pushed to the outskirts of Paris, on the
periphery, where they would be far away from the crucial state buildings, government facilities,
armories and homes of the aristocracy. The western portion of Paris began to be the most
wealthy area and the eastern area, the outskirts of the city, one relatively untouched by the
reforms, became increasingly poor and impoverished, as many of the poor from other parts of
the city were forced to relocate there, either through physical force, or the non-physical, yet no
less coercive nature of strategic pricing and policing.

Cimetier des Innocents, circa 1750. The graves are slowly being moved away and working class dwellings
and agricultural/merchant stands are being established. The space is slowly becoming a public space,
albeit one subject to minimal state control.

At the end of the day, Paris benefited from a widespread decrease in tuberculosis, crime and
rioting. On the other hand, thousands of poor folks were uprooted and they would forever be
unable to exert upon the wealthy and powerful the most basic of their democratic rights: the
political specter and drama afforded by mass-demonstrations and protests in areas closely
proximate to the working and living areas of societys most influential members. By pushing
these folks off to the periphery, they were both out of sight and out of mind.

Cimetiere des Innocents, circa 1850. This is just prior to Napoleon III's ascension as leader of France and
Baron Haussmann's reforms of the Paris landscape. Notice how all remnants of the former cemetary have
been replaced and the area is a thriving working-class, urban marketplace. Still, governmental control is at
a minimum and many conspiracies for insurrection, mob-violence, rebellion and rioting took place here.
Police and military access was still limited, due to the constricting, narrow nature of the roads leading to
this square.

Considering the crucial role Parisian insurrections played in the various pro-democracy revolts in
France, it could be said that the increasing stability of the French state, rather than being a
result of governments growing responsiveness to the people, is instead, perhaps, at least to a
degree, the result of governments increasing ability to remove, relocate and effectively silence
those whom they do not wish to deal with. Rather than being effected through harsh,
oppressive laws impacting free speech and association, these can be done through policies
which impact the geographical and spatial aspects of the social/political/economic landscape,
such that the same result is achieved, albeit through a less politically provocative manner.

What remains of the Cimetiere des Innocents today. This is the same square, presented above, but as you
can see, it has been totally sanitized of working-class people and their disorderly, uncontrollable, raw and
vulgar outdoor meeting-place and market. It is paved and accessible to pedestrian and motor traffic from
four basic directions. There is a major Paris subway station nearby as well as a large, expensive shopping
mall catering to the tastes of the affluent. All that remains is the "La Fontaine des Innocent," which has
existed in this spot, in some form or another, for almost 500 years. It can be located in what is currently
called the La Halles district of the First Arrondissment, in Paris.

The issue for us today is how do we analyze current attempts at urban renewal, urban development and
neighborhood redesign, in light of the abovementioned history of Paris? Attempts to reconstruct and
modify neighborhoods, while often being done under the pretext of sanitation, hygeine, transportation
efficiency, economic revitalization and the like, are often code-words for a socio-economic revision of such
areas and the desire to remove working-class and lower-middle class people from said areas, so as to
make way for middle and upper middle class professionals. In the United States, we have termed this
process "gentrification."
By sanitizing urban spaces for the exclusive utilization of the upper middle classes (and occaisional
working-class consumer, who must travel via public transportation to get there, and when he arrives, only
stays for a limited period of time), do we do a disservice to democracy? By keeping poor people "out of
sight and out of mind" are we less able and less willing to negotiate social space, political space and
economic space with them? Does this minimization of shared contact and shared proximity lead to laws
and priorities that are not representative of overall societal need?
Do we wind up, in effect, causing the detrimental social and economic isolation of our political, social,
intellectual and economic elites, as well as the so-called lower orders? Without constant interaction, do all
classes of society suffer? Ideas from the top do not percolate down and culturally diffuse to the masses. By
that same token, the suffering and concerns of the masses to not percolate up and diffuse to the
governing, Establishment classes.

The primary critique of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette was that their isolated, sanitized fantasy world at
Versailles prevented them from addressing the everyday concerns of their nation prior to the Revolution.
Without these concerns being known by the monarchy, they had no way of addressing them. The resulting
chaos of 1789 was a necessary consequence of such geographically-imposed ignorance.
Are we, perhaps, committing the same mistakes here, by sanitizing our public spaces and
removing/relocating our less privileged and wealthy citizens? In so doing, are we further ruining our
already fragile democracy?
Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space
There has long been a dichotomy between Paris and the rest of the nation or between Paris
and the provinces. Paris is by far the major urban center, with Lyon following. Not until the
1960s did the urban population surpass the rural population. Four-fifths of the population
now lives in urban areas. More than half the urban population lives in suburbs, however. A
movement of population back to rural areas, if not back to farming, has existed since the
1970s. Only 3 percent of the population is employed in agriculture. Regions and cities are
linked through an extensive rail system controlled by Societ Nationale des Chemins de Fer
de France (SNCF). It is headquartered in Paris, with twenty-three regional areas. High-speed
trains (TGV) link Paris with Lyons, Bordeaux, Calais, Strasbourg, and Montpellier/Marseille-
Lyon. Paris is now linked through the English Channel tunnel to the United Kingdom. Several
major highways built during the last few decades have improved movement by car.
Architecture ranges from the grand works of the powerful in the cities, such as the Versailles
palace and the new National Library in Paris, to the vernacular architecture of rural areas.
Buildings dating from the period of state building in the Third Republic are particularly
symbolic of nationalism. The architecture of public primary schools built at the turn of the
century in small towns and villages symbolizes the presence of the nation-state at the local
level. These buildings also house the mayor's office. Churches symbolize the power of the
Catholic Church, from Notre Dame in Paris to the village churches whose steeples once
dominated the countryside. Vernacular rural architecture varies from region to region,
reflecting climate, family forms, and cultural values. Just as each local region had a local
dialect, it had its own style of barns and houses.
The use of space in rural areas varies considerably. There is a stark contrast between the
south, where there is more open socializing outdoors and in cafs and a stricter gender
division of spatial use, and the north, where there is less of an emphasis on these factors. In
southern areas, where men tend to associate in cafs or in the town square, married women
were traditionally not present in such public spheres but were confined to the household.
Across the country, however, there is a strong emphasis on privacy within the walls of the
house or foyer . Personal space and intimacy are connected, and close friends and relatives
have much closeness and physical contact. Acquaintances and intimates are distinguished,
and a high degree of formality is used with acquaintances.
Haussmann's renovation of Paris

Napoleon III instructed Haussmann to bring air and light to the center of the city, to unify the different neighborhoods with
boulevards, and to make the city more beautiful. The avenue de l'Opra, created by Haussmann, painted by Camille

Georges-Eugene Haussmann, the Prefect of the Seine under Napoleon III(nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte)from 1853 until
Haussmann's renovation of Paris was a vast public works program commissioned by
Emperor Napolon III and directed by his the prefect of the Seine, Georges-Eugne
Haussmann between 1853 and 1870. It included the demolition of crowded and unhealthy
medieval neighborhoods, the building of wide avenues, parks and squares, the annexation of
the suburbs surrounding Paris, and the construction of new sewers, fountains and aqueducts.
Haussmann's work met with fierce opposition, and he was finally dismissed by Napoleon III in
1870; but work on his projects continued until 1927. The street plan and distinctive
appearance of the center of Paris today is largely the result of Haussmann's renovation.
Overcrowding, disease, crime and unrest in the center of the
old Paris

The Rue St. Nicolas du Charonnet, one of the narrow Medieval streets near the Pantheon on the Left Bank, in the 1850s.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, the center of Paris was overcrowded, dark,
dangerous, and unhealthy. In 1845 the French social reformer Victor Considerant wrote:
"Paris is an immense workshop of putrefaction, where misery, pestilence and sickness work in
concert, where sunlight and air rarely penetrate. Paris is a terrible place where plants shrivel
and perish, and where, of seven small infants, four die during the course of the year."[2] The
street plan on the Ie de la Cit and in the neighborhood called the quarter des Arcis,
between the Louvre and the Hotel de Ville, had changed little since the Middle Ages. The
population density in these neighborhoods was extremely high, compared with the rest of
Paris; in the neighborhood of the Champs-lyses, there was one resident for every 186
square meters; in the neighborhoods of Arcis and Saint-Avoye, in the present Third
Arrondissement, there was one inhabitant for every three square meters.[3] In 1840, a doctor
described one building in the le de la Cit where a single room five meters square on the
fourth floor was occupied by twenty-three persons, both adults and children.[4] In these
conditions, disease spread very quickly. Cholera epidemics ravaged the city in 1832 and 1848.
In the epidemic of 1848, five percent of the inhabitants of these two neighborhoods had
Traffic circulation was another major problem. The widest streets in these two neighborhoods
were only five meters wide; the narrowest were only one or two meters wide.[4] Wagons,
carriages and carts could barely move through the streets.[5]
The center of the city was also a cradle of discontent and revolution; between 1830 and
1848, seven armed uprisings and revolts had broken out in the centre of Paris, particularly
along the Fabourg Saint-Antoine, around the Hotel de Ville, and around Montagne Saint-
Genevieve on the left bank. The residents of these neighborhoods had taken up paving
stones and blocked the narrow streets with barricades, and had to be dislodged by the

The Rue des Marmousets, one of the narrow and dark medieval streets on the le de la Cit, in the 1850s. The site is
near the Hotel de Dieu.

The Rue du March aux fleurs on the le de la Cit, before Haussmann. The site is now the place Louis-Lpine.

The rue du Jardinet on the Left Bank, demolished by Haussmann to make room for the Boulevard Saint Germain.

The Rue Tirechamp in the old quarter des Arcis, demolished during the extension of the Rue de Rivoli

The Bievre river was used to dump the waste from the tanneries of Paris; it emptied into the Seine.

Barricade on rue Soufflot during the 1848 Revolution. There were seven armed uprisings in Paris between 1830 and
1848, with barricades built in the narrow streets.
Earlier attempts to modernize the city

The second-hand clothing market, the March du Temple, in 1840, before Haussmann.
The urban problems of Paris had been recognized in the 18th century; Voltaire complained
about the markets "established in narrow streets, showing off their filthiness, spreading
infection and causing continuing disorders." He wrote that the facade of the Louvre was
admirable, "but it was hidden behind buildings worthy of the Goths and Vandals." He
protested that the government "invested in futilities rather than investing in public works." In
1739 he wrote to the King of Prussia: "I saw the fireworks which they fired off with such
management; would rather they started to have a Hotel de Ville, beautiful squares,
magnificent and convenient markets, beautiful fountains, before having fireworks."
The 18th century architectural theorist and historian Quatremere de Quincy had proposed
establishing or widening public squares in each of the neighbourhoods, expanding and
developing the squares in front the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the church of Saint Gervais,
and building a wide street to connect the Louvre with the Hotel de Ville, the new city hall.
Moreau, the architect in chief of Paris, suggested paving and developing the embankments of
the Seine, building monumental squares, clearing the space around landmarks, and cutting
new streets. In 1794, during the French Revolution, a Commission of Artists drafted an
ambitious plan to build wide avenues, including a street in a straight line from the Place de la
Nation to the Louvre, where the Avenue Victoria is today, and squares with avenues radiating
in different directions, largely making use of land confiscated from the church during the
Revolution, but all of these projects remained on paper.
Napoleon Bonaparte also had ambitious plans for rebuilding the city. He began work on a
canal to bring fresh water to the city and began work on the Rue de Rivoli, beginning at the
Place de la Concorde, but only was able to extend it to the Louvre before his downfall. If
only the heavens had given me twenty more years of rule and a little leisure, he wrote while
in exile on Saint Helena, one would vainly search today for the old Paris; nothing would
remain of it but vestiges.
The medieval core and plan of Paris changed little during the restoration of the monarchy
through the reign of King Louis-Philippe (18301848). It was the Paris of the narrow and
winding streets and foul sewers described in the novels of Balzac and Victor Hugo- the
famous uprising described in Les Miserables took place in 1832. In 1833, the new prefect of
the Seine under Louis-Philippe, Claude-Philibert Barthelot, comte de Rambuteau, made
modest improvements to the sanitation and circulation of the city. He constructed new
sewers, though they still emptied directly into the Seine, and a better water supply system.
He constructed 180 kilometres of sidewalks, a new street, Rue Lobau; a new bridge over the
Seine, the pont Louis-Philippe; and cleared an open space around the Hotel de Ville. He built
a new street the length of the le de la Cit. and three additional streets across it: rues
d'Arcole, de la Cit, and Constantine. To access the central market at Les Halles, he built a
wide new street (today's Rue Rambuteau), and began work on boulevard Malesherbes. On
the Left Bank, he built a new street, Rue Soufflot, which cleared space around the Pantheon,
and began work on the rue des Ecoles, between the Ecole Polytechnique and the College de
Rambuteau wanted to do more, but his budget and powers were limited. He did not have the
power to easily expropriate property to build new streets, and the first law which required
minimum health standards for Paris residential buildings was not passed until April, 1850,
under Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte.
Louis-Napolon Bonaparte comes to power, and the rebuilding
of Paris begins (18481852)

Napoleon III in 1855
King Louis-Philippe was overthrown in the July Revolution of 1848. On 10 December
1848, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, won the first direct
presidential elections ever held in France with an overwhelming 74.2 percent of the votes
cast. He was elected largely because of his famous name, but also because of his promise to
try to end poverty and improve the lives of ordinary people.[12] Though he had been born in
Paris, he had lived very little in the city; from the age of seven, he had lived in exile in
Switzerland, England, and the United States, and for six years in prison in France for
attempting to overthrow King Louis-Philippe. He had been especially impressed by London,
with its wide streets, squares and large public parks. In 1852 he gave a public speech
declaring: "Paris is the heart of France. Let us apply our efforts to embellishing this great city.
Let us open new streets, make the working class quarters, which lack air and light, more
healthy, and let the beneficial sunlight reach everywhere within our walls.[13] As soon as he
was President, he supported the building of the first subsidised housing project for workers in
Paris, the Cit-Napoleon, on the Rue Rochechouart. He proposed the completion of the Rue
de Rivoli from the Louvre to the Hotel de Ville, completing the project begun by his uncle
Napoleon Bonaparte, and he began a project to build a large new public park, the Bois de
Boulogne, modelled after Hyde Park in London but much larger, on the west side of the city.
He wanted both these projects to be completed before the end of his term in 1852, but
became frustrated by the slow progress made by his prefect of the Seine, Berger. The prefect
was unable to move the work forward on the Rue de Rivoli quickly enough, and the original
design for the Bois de Boulogne turned out to be a disaster; the architect, Jacques Ignace
Hittorff, who had designed the Place de la Concorde for Louis-Philippe, followed Louis-
Napoleon's instructions to imitate Hyde Park designed two lakes connected by a stream for
the new park, but forgot to take into account the difference of elevation between the two
lakes. If they had been built, the one lake would have immediately emptied itself into the
At the end of 1851, shortly before Napoelon's term expired, neither the Rue de Rivoli nor the
park had progressed very far. He wanted to run for re-election in 1852, but was blocked by
the new Constitution, which limited him to one term. A majority of members of parliament
voted to change the Constitution, but not the two-thirds majority required. Prevented from
running again, Napoleon staged a coup d'tat on 2 December 1851 and seized power. His
opponents were arrested or exiled. The following year, on December 2, 1852, he declared
himself Emperor, under the title Napoleon III.
Haussmann begins work - the Croise de Paris (185359)

The Rue de Rivoli, shown here in 1855, was the first boulevard built by Haussmann, and it served as the model for the

The boulevards and streets built by Napoleon III and Haussmann during the Second Empire are shown in red. They also built
the Bois de Boulogne, Bois de Vincennes, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Parc Montsouris, and dozens of smaller parks and
Napoleon III dismissed Berger as the Prefect of the Seine and sought a more effective
manager. His minster of the interior, Victor de Persigny, interviewed several candidates, and
selected George Eugene Haussmann, the prefect of Bordeaux, who impressed Persigny with
his energy, audacity, and ability to overcome or get around problems and obstacles. He
became Prefect of the Seine on 22 June 1853, and on 29 June the Emperor showed him the
map of Paris and instructed Haussmann to arer, unifier, et embellir Paris: to give it air and
open space, to connect and unify the different parts of the city into one whole, and to make it
more beautiful.
Haussmann went to work immediately on the first phase of the renovation desired by
Napoleon III; completing the grand croise de Paris, a great cross in the centre of Paris that
would permit easier communication from east to west along the rue de Rivoli and rue Saint-
Antoine, and north-south communication along two new Boulevards, Strasbourg and
Sebastopol. The grand cross had been proposed by the Convention during the Revolution,
and begun by Napoleon I; Napeoleon III was determined to complete it. Completion of the
rue de Rivoli was given an even higher priority, because the Emperor wanted it finished
before the opening of the Paris Universal Exposition of 1855, only two years away, and he
wanted the project to include a new hotel, the Hotel du Louvre, the first large luxury hotel in
the city, to house the Imperial guests at the Exposition. .
Under the Emperor, Haussmann had greater power than any of his predecessors. In February
1851 the French Senate had simplified the laws on expropriation, giving him the authority to
expropriate all the land on either side of a new street; and he did not have to report to the
Parliament, only to the Emperor. The French parliament, controlled by Napoleon III, provided
fifty million francs, but this was not nearly enough. Napoleon III appealed to the Pereire
brothers, Emile and Isaac, two bankers who had created a new investment bank, Crdit
Mobilier. The Pereire brothers organised a new company which raised 24 million francs to
finance the construction of the street, in exchange for the rights to develop real estate along
the route. This became a model for the building of all of Haussmann's future boulevards.
To meet the deadline, three thousand workers laboured on the new boulevard twenty-four
hours a day, under electric lights at night. The rue de Rivoli was completed, and the new
hotel opened in March, 1855, in time to welcome guests to the Exposition. The junction was
made between the Rue de Rivoli and rue Saint-Antoine; in the process Haussmann created a
new Place du Carrousel, opened up a new square, Place Saint-Germain-l-Auxerois facing the
colonnade of the Louvre; reorganized the space between the Hotel de Ville and the place du
Chatelet.[19] Between the Hotel and Ville and the Bastille, he widened the rue Saint-Antoine;
he was careful to save the historic Hotel de Sully and Hotel de Mayenne, but many other
buildings, both medieval and modern, were knocked down to make room for the wider street,
and several ancient, dark and narrow streets, rue de l'Arche-Marion, rue du Chevalier-le-Guet
and rue des Mauvaises-Paroles, disappeared from the map.
In 1855, work began on the north-south axis, beginning with Boulevard de Strasbourg and
Boulevard Sebastopol, which cut through the center of some of the most crowded and
unhealthy neighborhoods in Paris, where the cholera epidemic had been the worst, between
the rue Saint-Martin and rue Saint-Denis. "It was the gutting of old Paris," Haussmann wrote
with satisfaction in his Memoires: of the neighborhood of riots, and of barricades, from one
end to the other." The boulevard Sebastopol ended at the new Place du Chtelet; a new
bridge, the pont-au-Change, was constructed across the Seine, and crossed the island on a
newly built street. On the left bank, the north-south axis was continued by boulevard Michel,
which was cut in a straight line from the Seine to the Observatory, and then, as the Rue
d'Enfer, extended all the way to route d'Orleans. The north-south axis was completed in 1859.
The two axes crossed at the Place du Chtelet, making it the center of Haussmann's Paris.
Haussmann widened the square, moved the Fontaine du Palmier, built by Napoleon I, to the
center; and built two new theaters, facing each other across the square; the Cirque Imprial
(now the Chtelet Theater) and the Theatre Lyrique (now theTheater de la VIlle).
The second phase - a network of new boulevards (1859

The tree-lined avenue de l'Imperatrice (now Avenue Foch) was designed by Haussmann as the grand entrance to theBois de

The new avenue des Gobelins on the left bank opened a view to the Panthon.

Haussmann's Boulevard Saint-Germainwas designed as the main east-west axis of the left bank.

The le de la Cit transformed by Haussmann: new transverse streets (red), public spaces (light blue) and buildings (dark
In the first phase of his renovation Haussmann constructed 9.467 kilometers of new
boulevards, at a net cost of 278 million francs. The official parliamentary report of 1859 found
that it had "brought air, light and healthiness and procured easier circulation in a labyrinth
that was constantly blocked and impenetrable, where streets were winding, narrow, dark and
unhealthy." It had employed thousands of workers, and most Parisians were pleased by the
results. His second phase, approved by the Emperor and parliament in 1858 and begun in
1859, was much more ambitious. He intended to build a network of wide boulevards to
connect the interior of Paris with the ring of grand boulevards built by Louis XVIIIduring the
restoration, and to the new railroad stations which Napoleon III considered the real gates of
the city. He planned to construct 26.294 kilometers of new avenues and streets, at a cost of
180 million francs. Haussmann's plan called for the following:
On the right bank:
The construction of a large new square, place du Chateau-d'Eau (the modern Place de
la Republique). This involved demolishing the famous theater street known as "le boulevard
du Crime, made famous in the film "Les Enfants du Paradis; and the construction of three
new major streets: the boulevard du Prince Eugne (the modern boulevard Voltaire); the
boulevard Magenta and rue Turbigo. Boulevard Voltaire became one of the longest streets in
the city, and became the central axis of the eastern neighborhoods of the city. It would end at
the Place du Trone (the modern Place de la Nation).
The extension of boulevard Magenta to connect it with the new railroad station, the Gare
du Nord.
the construction of boulevard Malesherbes, to connect the place de la Madeleine to the
new Monceau neighborhood. The construction of this street obliterated one of the most
sordid and dangerous neighborhoods in the city, called la Petite Pologne, where Paris
policemen rarely ventured at night.
A new square, place de l'Europe, in front of the Gare Saint-Lazare railway station. The
station was served by two new boulevards, rue de Rome and rue Saint-Lazaire. In addition,
the rule de Madrid was extended and two other streets, rue de Rouen (the modern rue
Auber) and rue Halevy, were built in this neighborhood.
Parc Monceau was redesigned and replanted, and part of the old park made into a
residential quarter.
The rue de Londres and rue de Constantinople, under a new name, avenue de Villiers, was
extended to porte Champerret.
The Etoile, around the Arc de Triomphe, was completely redesigned. A star of new avenues
radiated from the Etoile; avenue de Bezons (now Wagram); avenue Kleber; avenue
Josephine (now Monceau); avenue Prince-Jerome (now Mac-Mahon and Niel); avenue
Essling (now Carnot); and a wider avenue de Saint-Cloud (Now Victor Hugo).
Avenue Daumesnil was built as far as the new Bois de Vincennes, a huge new park being
constructed on the east edge of the city.
The hill of Chaillot was leveled, and a new square created at the Pont d'Alma. Three new
boulevards were built in this neighborhood: avenue d'Alma (the present George V); avenue
de l'Empereur (the present Avenue du President-Wilson), which connected the places
d'Alma, d'Iena and du Trocadero. In addition, four new streets were built in that
neighborhood: rue Francois Premier, rue Pierre Charron, rue Marbeuf and rue de
On the left bank:
Two new boulevards, avenue Bosquet and avenue Rapp, were constructed, beginning
from the pont d'Alma.
The avenue de la Tour Maubourg was extended as far as the pont des Invalides.
A new street, boulevard Arago, was constructed, to open up Place Denfert-Rochereau.
A new street, boulevard d'Enfer (today's boulevard Raspail) was built up to the intersection
The streets around the Patheon on Montagne Sainte-Genevieve were extensively changed.
A new street, avenue des Gobelins, was created, and part of rue Mouffetard was
expanded. Another new street, rue Monge, was created on the east, while another new
street, rue Claude Bernard, on the south. Rue Soufflot, built by Rambuteau, was entirely
On the le de la Cit:
The island became an enormous construction site, which completely destroyed most of the
old streets and neighborhoods. Two new government buildings, the Tribunal de Commerce
and the Prefecture de Police, were built, occupying a large part of the island. Two new streets
were also built, the boulevard du Palais and the rue de Lutce. Two bridges, the pont Saint-
Michel and the pont-au-Change were completely rebuilt, along with the embankments near
them. The Palais du Justice and place Dauphine were extensively modified. At the same time,
Haussmann preserved and restored the jewels of the island; the square in front of
theCathedral of Notre Dame was widened, the spire of the Cathedral, pulled down during the
Revolution, was restored, and Sainte-Chapelle and the ancient Conciergerie were saved and
The grand projects of the second phase were mostly welcomed, but also caused criticism.
Haussmann was especially criticized for his taking large parts of the Jardin du Luxembourg to
make room for the present-day boulevard Raspail, and for its connection with the boulevard
Saint-Michel. The Medici Fountain had to be moved further into the park, and was
reconstructed with the addition of statuary and a long basin of water. Haussmann was also
criticized for the growing cost of his projects; the estimated cost for the 26.29 kilometers of
new avenues had been 180 million francs, but grew to 410 million francs; property owners
whose buildings had been expropriated won a legal case entitling them to a larger payments,
and many property owners found ingenious ways to increase the value of their expropriated
properties by inventing non-existent shops and businesses, and charging the city for lost
The Annexation of 1860- Paris is enlarged to its modern

Haussmann presents Emperor Napoleon III the documents for the annexation of the Paris suburbs
On January 1, 1860, Napoleon III officially annexed the suburbs of Paris out to the ring of
fortifications around the city. The annexation included eleven communes; Auteuil, Batignolles-
Monceau, Montmartre, La Chapelle, Passy, La Villette, Belleville, Charonne, Bercy, Grenelle
and Vaugirard, along with pieces of other outlying towns. The residents of these suburbs
were not entirely happy to be annexed; they did not want to pay the higher taxes, and
wanted to keep their independence, but they had no choice; Napoleon III was Emperor, and
he could arrange boundaries as he wished. With the annexation Paris was enlarged from
twelve to twenty arrondissements, the number today. The annexation more than doubled the
area of the city from 3,300 hectares to 7,100 hectares, and the population of Paris instantly
grew by 400,000 to 1,600,000 persons. The annexation made it necessary for Haussmann to
enlarge his plans, and to construct new boulevards to connect the new arrondissements with
the center. In order to connect Auteil and Passy to the center of Paris, he built rues Michel-
Ange, Molitor and Mirabeau. To connect the plain of Monceau, he built avenues Villers,
Wagram, and boulevard Malesherbes. To reach the northern arrondissements he extended
boulevard Magenta with boulevard d'Ornano as far as the Porte de la Chapelle, and in the
east extended the rue des Pyrnes.
The third phase, and mounting criticism (18691870)
The third phase of renovations was proposed in 1867 and approved in 1869, but it faced
much more opposition than the earlier phases. Napoleon III had decided to liberalize his
empire in 1860, and to give a greater voice to the parliament and to the opposition. The
Emperor had always been less popular in Paris than in the rest of the country, and the
republican opposition in parliament focused its attacks on Haussmann. Haussmann ignored
the attacks and went ahead with the third phase, which planned the construction of twenty
eight kilometers of new boulevards and at an estimated cost of 280 million francs.[24]
The third phase included these projects on the right bank:
The renovation of the gardens of the Champs-lyses.
Finishing the place du Chteau d'Eau (now Place de la Republique), creating a new avenue
des Amandiers and extending avenue Parmentier.
Finishing place du Trone (now Place de la Nation) and opening three new boulevards:
avenue Phiippe-Auguste, avenue Taillebourg, and avenue de Bouvines.
Extending rue Caulaincourt and preparing a future Pont Caulaincourt.
Building a new rue de Chteaudon and clearing the space around the church of Notre-
Dame de Lorette, making room for connection between the gare Saint-Lazaire and the
gare du Nord and gare de l'Est.
Finishing the place in front of the Gare du Nord. Rue Maubeuge was extended from
Montmartre to the boulevard de la Chapelle, and rue Lafayette was extended to the porte
de Pantin.
The place de l'Opera had been created during the first and second phases; the opera itself
was to be built in the third phase.
Extending boulevard Haussmann from the place Saint-Augustin to rue Taitbout, connecting
the new quarter of the Opera with that of Etoile.
Creating place du Trocadero, the starting point of two new avenues, the modern President-
Wilson and Henri-Martin.
Creating place Victor Hugo, the starting point of avenues Malakoff and Bugeaud and rues
Boissire and Copernic.
Finishing the Rond-Point of the Champs-lyses, with the construction of avenue d'Antin
(now Franklin Roosevelt) and rue La Botie.
On the left bank:
Building boulevard Saint-Germain from the pont de la Concorde to rue du Bac; building
rue des Saints-Pres and rue de Rennes.
Extending rue de la Glacire and enlarging place Monge.[32]
Haussmann did not have time to finish the third phase, as he soon came under intense attack
from the opponents of Napoleon III.
The Downfall of Haussmann (1870) and the completion of his
work (1927)
In 1867, one of the leaders of the parliamentary opposition to Napoleon, Jules Ferry, ridiculed
the accounting practices of Haussmann as Les Comptes fantastiques de Haussmann, or "The
fantastic accounts of Haussmann", a play on the name of the popular opera of the day, "The
Tales of Hoffmann." In the parliamentary elections of May 1869, the government candidates
won 4.43 million votes, while the opposition republicans won 3.35 million votes. In Paris, the
republican candidates won 234,000 votes to 77,000 for the Bonapartist candidates, and took
eight of the nine seats of Paris deputies. At the same time Napoleon III was increasingly ill,
suffering from gallstones which were to cause his death in 1873, and preoccupied by the
political crisis that would lead to the Franco-Prussian War. In December 1869 Napoleon III
named an opposition leader and fierce critic of Haussmann, Emile Ollivier, as his new prime
minister. Napoleon gave in to the opposition demands in January 1870 and asked Haussmann
to resign. Haussmann refused to resign, and the Emperor reluctantly dismissed him on 5
January 1870. Eight months later, during the Franco-German War, Napoleon III was captured
by the Germans, and the Empire was overthrown.
In his memoires, written many year later, Haussmann had this comment on his dismissal: "In
this eyes of the Parisians, who like routine in things but are changeable when it comes to
people, I committed two great wrongs; over the course of seventeen years I disturbed their
daily habits by turning Paris upside down, and they had to look at the same face of the
Prefect in the Hotel de Ville. These were two unforgiveable complaints."
Haussmann's successor as prefect of the Seine appointed Jean-Charles Alphand, the head of
Haussmann's department of parks and plantations, as the director of works of Paris. Alphand
respected the basic concepts of his plan. Despite their intense criticism of Napoleon III and
Haussmann during the Second Empire, the leaders of the new Third Republic continued and
finished his renovation projects.
1875- completion of the Paris Opera
1877- completion of boulevard Saint-Germain
1877- completion of avenue de l'Opera
1879- completion of boulevard Henri IV
1889- completion of avenue de la Republique
1907- completion of boulevard Raspail
1927- completion of boulevard Haussmann [36]
Green space - the parks and gardens of Haussmann

The Bois de Boulogne (18521858) was inspired by Hyde Park in London, and was designed to provide rest and relaxation
for families of all classes of Parisians.
Prior to Haussmann, Paris had only four public parks; the Jardin des Tuileries, the Jardin du
Luxembourg, and the Palais Royal, all in the center of the city, and the Parc Monceau, the
former property of the family of King Louis Philippe, in addition to the Jardin des Plantes, the
city's botanical garden and oldest park. Napoleon III had already begun construction of the
Bois de Boulogne, and wanted to build more new parks and gardens for the recreation and
relaxation of the Parisians, particularly those in the new neighborhoods of the expanding
city. Napoleon III's new parks were inspired by his memories of the parks in London,
especially Hyde Park, where he had strolled and promenaded in a carriage while in exile; but
he wanted to build on a much larger scale. Working with Haussmann, Jean-Charles Alphand,
the engineer who headed the new Service of Promenades and Plantations, whom Haussmann
brought with him from Bordeaux, and his new chief gardener, Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps,
also from Bordeaux, he laid out a plan for four major parks at the cardinal points of the
compass around the city. Thousands of workers and gardeners began to dig lakes, build
cascades, plant lawns, flowerbeds and trees. construct chalets and grottoes. Haussmann and
Alphand created the Bois de Boulogne (18521858) to the west of Paris: the Bois de
Vincennes (18601865) to the east; theParc des Buttes-Chaumont (18651867) to the north,
and Parc Montsouris (18651878) to the south. In addition to building the four large parks,
Haussmann and Alphand redesigned and replanted the city's older parks, including Parc
Monceau, and the Jardin du Luxembourg. Altogether, in seventeen years, they plated six
hundred thousand trees and added two thousand hectares of parks and green space to Paris.
Never before had a city built so many parks and gardens in such a short time.
Under Louis Phiilippe, a single public square had been created, at the tip of the Ile-de-la-Cit.
Haussmann wrote in his memoires that Napoleon III instructed him: "do not miss an
opportunity to build, in all the arrondissements of Paris, the greatest possible number of
squares, in order to offer the Parisians, as they have done in London, places for relaxation
and recreation for all the families and all the children, rich and poor.". In response
Haussmann created twenty-four new squares; seventeen in the older part of the city, eleven
in the new arrondissements, adding 150,000 square meters of green space. Alphand termed
this small parks "Green and flowering salons." Haussmann's goal was to have one park in
each of the eighty neighborhoods of Paris, so that no one was more than a ten minutes walk
from such a park. The parks and squares were an immediate success with all classes of

The Bois de Vincennes(18601865) was (and is today) the largest park in Paris, designed to give green space to the
working-class population of east Paris.

Haussmann built theParc des Buttes Chaumont on the site of a former limestone quarry at the northern edge of the

Parc Montsouris (18651869) was built at the southern edge of the city, where some of the old catacombs of Paris
had been.

Parc Monceau, formerly the property of the family of King Louis-Philippe, was redesigned and replanted by
Haussmann. A corner of the park was taken for a new residential quarter (Painting by Gustave Caillebotte).

The Square des Batignolles, one of the new squares that Haussmann built in the neighborhoods annexed to Paris in
The architecture of Haussmann's Paris

The Palais Garnier or Paris Opera (1875), then the largest theater in the world, begun by Napoleon III but not finished until
1875. The style was described by its sarchitect,Charles Garner, simply as "Napoleon III."

The hexagonal Parisian street kiosk, introduced by Haussmann
Napoleon III and Haussmann commissioned a wide variety of architecture, some of it
traditional, some of it very innovative, like the glass and iron pavilions of Les Halles; and
some of it, such as the Opera Garnier, commissioned by Napoleon III, designed by Charles
Garnier but not finished until 1875, difficult to classify. Many of the buildings were designed
by the city architect, Gabriel Davioud, who designed everything from city halls and theaters to
park benches and kiosks.
His architectural projects included:
The construction of two new railroad stations, the Gare du Nord and the Gare de l'Est;
and the rebuilding of the Gare de Lyon.
Six new mairies, or town halls, for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th and 12th arrondissements,
and the enlargement of the other mairies.
The reconstruction of Les Halles, the central market, replacing the old market buildings
with large glass and iron pavilions, designed by Victor Baltard. In addition, Haussmann
built a new market in the neighborhood of the Temple, the March Saint-Honor; the
March de l'Europe in the 8th arrondissement; the March Saint-Quentin in the 10th
arrondissement; the March de Belleville in the 20th; the March des Batignolles in the
17th; the March Saint-Didier and March d'Auteuil in the 16th; the March de Necker in
the 15th; the March de Montrouge in the 14th; the March de Place d'Italie in the 13th;
the March Saint-Maure-Popincourt in the 11th.
The Paris Opera (now Palais Garnier), begun under Napoleon III and finished in 1875; and
five new theaters; the Chtelet and Thtre Lyrique on the Place du Chtelet; the Gat,
Vaudeville and Panorama.
Five lyces were renovated, and in each of the eighty neighborhoods Haussmann
established one municipal school for boys and one for girls, in addition to the large
network of schools run by the Catholic church.
The reconstruction and enlargement of the city's oldest hospital, the Htel-Dieu de Paris on
the le-de-la-Cit.
The completion of the last wing of the Louvre, and the opening up of the Place du
Carousel and the Place du Palais-Royale by the demolition of several old streets.
The building of the first railroad bridge across the Seine; originally called the Pont
Napoleon III, now called simply the Pont National.
Since 1801, under Napoleon I, the French government was responsible for the building and
maintenance of churches. Haussmann built, renovated or purchased nineteen churches. New
churches included the Saint-Augustin, the Eglise Saint-Vincent de Paul, the Eglise de a Trinit.
He bought six churches which had been purchased by private individuals during the French
Revolution. Haussmann built or renovated five temples and built two new synagogues, on rue
des Tournelles and rue de la Victoire.
Besides building churches, theaters and other public buildings, Haussmann paid attention to
the details of the architecture along the street; his city architect, Gabriel Davioud, designed
garden fences, kiosks, shelters for visitors to the parks, public toilets, and dozens of other
small but important structures.

The pavilions of Les Halles, the great iron and glass central market designed by Victor Baltard (1870). The market was
demolished in the 1970s, but one original hall was moved to the park at La Vilette, where it can be seen today.

The Church of Saint Augustin (18601871), built by the same architect as the markets of Les Halles, Victor Baltard,
looked traditional on the outside but had a revolutionary iron frame on the inside.

The Fontaine Saint-Michel (18581860), designed by Gabriel Davioud, marked the beginning of Boulevard Saint-

The Thtre de la Ville, one of two matching theaters, designed byGabriel Davioud, which Haussmann had
constructed at the Place du Chatelet, the meeting point of his north-south and east-west boulevards.

The Hotel-Dieu de Paris, the oldest hospital in Paris, next to the Cathedral of Notre Dame on the le de la Cit, was
enlarged and rebuilt by Haussmann beginning in 1864, and finished in 1876. It replaced several of the narrow,
winding streets of the old medieval city.

The Prefecture de Police (shown here), the new Palais de Justice and the Tribunal de Commerce took the place of a
dense web of medieval streets on the western part of the le de la Cit.

The Gare du Nord railway station (186164). Napoleon III and Haussmann saw the railway stations as the new gates
of Paris, and built monumental new stations.

The new mairie, or town hall, of the 12th arrondissement. Haussmann built new city halls for six of the original twelve
arrondissements, and enlarged the other six.

Haussmann reconstructed The Pont Saint-Michel connecting the le-de-la-Cit to the left bank. It still bears the
initial N of Napolon III.

The first railroad bridge across the Seine (185253), originally called the Pont Napoleon III, now called simply
the Pont National.

A kiosk for a street merchant on Square des Arts et Metiers (1865).

A chalet de ncessit, or public toilet, with a facade sculpted by Emile Guadrier, built near the Champs Elysees.
The Haussmann building

Place Saint-Georges.

Boulevard Haussmann, lined by typical Haussmann buildings
The most famous and recognizable feature of Haussmann's renovation of Paris are the
Haussmann apartment buildings which line the boulevards of Paris. Street blocks were
designed as homogeneous architectural wholes. He treated buildings not as independent
structures, but as pieces of a unified urban landscape.
In 18th century Paris, the architecture still existing before Haussmann, buildings were usually
narrow (often only six meters wide); deep (sometimes forty meters) and tall - as many as five
or six stories. The ground floor usually contained a shop, and the shopkeeper lived in the
rooms above the shop. The upper floors were occupied by families; the top floor, under the
roof, was originally a storage place, but under the pressure of the growing population, was
usually turned into a low-cost residence. In the early 19th century, before Haussmann, the
height of buildings was strictly limited to 22.41 meters, or four floors above the ground floor.
The city also began to see a demographic shift; wealthier families began moving to the
western neighborhoods, partly because there was more space, and partly because the
prevailing winds carried the smoke from the new factories in Paris toward the east.
In Haussmann's Paris, the streets became much wider; growing from an average of twelve
meters wide to twenty-four meters; and in the new arrondissements, often to eighteen
meters wide.
The interiors of the buildings were left to the owners of the buildings, but the facades were
strictly regulated, to assure that they were the same height, color, material and general
design, and were harmonious when all seen together.
The reconstruction of the rue de Rivoli was the model for the rest of the Paris boulevards.
The new apartment buildings followed the same general plan:
ground floor and basement with thick, load-bearing walls, fronts usually parallel to the
street. This was often occupied by shops or offices.
mezzanine or entresol intermediate level, with low ceilings; often also used by shops or
second, piano nobile floor with a balcony. This floor, in the days before elevators were
common, was the most desirable floor, and had the largest and best apartments.
third and fourth floors in the same style but with less elaborate stonework around the
windows, sometimes lacking balconies.
fifth floor with a single, continuous, undecorated balcony.
mansard roof, angled at 45, with garret rooms and dormer windows. Originally this floor
was to be occupied by lower-income tenants, but with time and with higher rents it came
to be occupied almost exclusively by the concierges and servants of the people in the
apartments below.
The Haussmann faade was organized around horizontal lines that often continued from one
building to the next: balconies and cornices were perfectly aligned without any noticeable
alcoves or projections. At the risk of the uniformity of certain quarters, the rue de
Rivoli served as a model for the entire network of new Parisian boulevards. For the building
faades, the technological progress of stone sawing and (steam) transportation allowed the
use of massive stone blocks instead of simple stone facing. The street-side result was a
"monumental" effect that exempted buildings from a dependence on decoration; sculpture
and other elaborate stonework would not become widespread until the end of the century.
Before Haussmann, most buildings in Paris were made of brick or wood and covered with
plaster. Haussmann required that the buildings along the new boulevards be either built or
faced with cut stone, usually cream-colored limestone, which gave more harmony to the
appearance of the boulevards. He also required, using a decree from 1852, that the facades
of all buildings be regularly maintained, repainted, or cleaned, at least every ten years. under
the threat of a fine of one hundred francs.
Underneath the streets of Haussmann's Paris - the renovation
of the city's infrastructure

The new water pipes and sewers built under the Boulevard Sebastopol.
While he was rebuilding the boulevards of Paris, Haussmann simultaneously rebuilt the dense
labyrinth of pipes, sewers and tunnels under the streets which provided Parisians with basic
services. Haussmann wrote in his memoires: "The underground galleries are an organ of the
great city, functioning like an organ of the human body, without seeing the light of day; clean
and fresh water, light and heat circulate like the various fluids whose movement and
maintenance serves the life of the body; the secretions are taken away mysteriously and
don't disturb the good functioning of the city and without spoiling its beautiful exterior."
Haussmann began with the water supply. Before Haussmann, drinking water in Paris was
either lifted by steam engines from the Seine, or brought by a canal, started by Napoleon I,
from the river Ourcq, a tributary of the river Marne. The quantity of water was insufficient for
the fast-growing city, and, since the sewers also emptied into the Seine near the intakes for
drinking water, it was also notoriously unhealthy. In March 1855 Haussmann
appointed Eugene Belgrand, a graduate of the cole Polytechnique, to the post of Director of
Water and Sewers of Paris.
Belgrand first addressed the city's fresh water needs, constructing a system of aqueducts that
nearly doubled the amount of water available per person per day and quadrupled the number
of homes with running water. These aqueducts discharged their water in reservoirs situated
within the city. Inside the city limits and opposite Parc Montsouris, Belgrand built the largest
water reservoir in the world to hold the water from the River Vanne.
At the same time Belgrand began rebuilding the water distribution and sewer system under
the streets. In 1852 Paris had 142 kilometers of sewers, which could carry only liquid waste.
Containers of solid waste were picked up each night by people called vidanguers, who carried
it to waste dumps on the outskirts of the city. The tunnels he designed were intended to be
clean, easily accessible, and substantially larger than the previous Parisian
underground. Under his guidance, Paris's sewer system expanded fourfold between 1852 and
Haussmann and Belgrand built new sewer tunnels under each sidewalk of the new
boulevards. The sewers were designed to be large enough to immediately evacuate rain
water, the large amount of water used to wash the city streets, and waste water from both
industries and individual households. as well as the water that collected in basements when
the level of the Seine was high. Before Haussmann the sewer tunnels, those featured in
Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, were cramped and narrow, just 1.8 meters high and 75 to 80
centimeters wide. The new tunnels were 2.3 meters high and 1.3 meters wide, large enough
for men to work standing up. These flowed into larger tunnels, which carried the waste water
to even larger collector tunnels, which were 4.4 meters high and 5.6 meters wide. A channel
down the center of the tunnel carried away the waste water, with sidewalks on either side for
the agouties, or sewer workers. Specially designed wagons and boats moved on rails up and
down the channels, cleaning them. Belgrand proudly invited tourists to visit his sewers, and
to ride in the boats under the streets of the city.
The underground labyrinth built by Haussmann also provided gas for heat and for lights to
illuminate Paris. At the beginning of the Second Empire, gas was provided by six different
private companies, and there were just nine thousand gas lights in the city. Haussmann
forced them to consolidate into a single company, theCompagnie Parisienne d'Eclairage et de
Chauffage par le Gaz, with rights to provide gas to Parisians for fifty years. Consumption of
gas tripled between 1855 and 1859. In 1850 there were only 9000 gaslights in Paris; by 1867,
the Paris Opera and four other major theaters alone had fifteen thousand gas lights. Almost
all the new residential buildings of Paris had gaslights in the courtyards and stairways; the
monuments and public buildings of Paris, the arcades of the Rue de Rivoli, and the squares,
boulevards and streets were illuminated at night by gaslights. For the first time, Paris was the
City of Light.
Critics of Haussmann's Paris
"Triumphant Vulgarity"
Haussmann's renovation of Paris had many critics during his own time. Some were simply
tired of the continuous construction. The French historian Lon Halvywrote in 1867, "the
work of Monsieur Haussmann is incomparable. Everyone agrees. Paris is a marvel, and M.
Haussmann has done in fifteen years what a century could not have done. But that's enough
for the moment. There will be a 20th century. Let's leave something for them to do." Others
regretted that he had destroyed a historic part of the city. The brothers Goncourt condemned
the avenues that cut at right angles through the center of the old city, where "one could no
longer feel in the world of Balzac.". Jules Ferry, the most vocal critic of Haussmann in the
French parliament, wrote: "We weep with our eyes full of tears for the old Paris, the Paris of
Voltaire, of Desmoulins, the Paris of 1830 and 1848, when we see the grand and intolerable
new buildings, the costly confusion, the triumphant vulgarity, the awful materialism, that we
are going to pass on to our descendants."
The 20th century historian of Paris Ren Hron de Villefosse shared the same view of
Haussmann's renovation: "in less than twenty years, Paris lost its ancestral appearance, its
character which passed from generation to generation... the picturesque and charming
ambiance which our fathers had passed onto us was demolished , often without good
reason." Hron de Villefosse denounced Haussmann's central market, Les Halles, as "a
hideous eruption" of cast iron. Describing Haussmann's renovation of the le de a Cit, he
wrote: "the old ship of Paris was torpedoed by Baron Haussmann and sunk during his reign.
It was perhaps the greatest crime of the megalomaniac prefect and also his biggest
mistake...His work caused more damage than a hundred bombings. It was in part necessary,
and one should give him credit for his self-confidence, but he was certainly lacking culture
and good taste...In the United States, it would be wonderful, but in our capital, which he
covered with barriers, scaffolds, gravel, and dust for twenty years, he committed crimes,
errors, and showed bad taste."
The Paris historian, Patrice de Moncan, in general an admirer of Haussmann's work, faulted
Haussmann for not preserving more of the historic streets on the le de la Cit, and for
clearing a large open space in front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, while hiding another
major historical monument, Sainte-Chapelle, out of sight within the walls of the Palais de
Justice, He also criticized Haussmann for reducing the Jardin de Luxembourg from thirty to
twenty-six hectares in order to build the rues Medici, Guynemer and Auguste-Comte; for
giving away a half of Parc Monceau to the Pereire brothers for building lots, in order to
reduce costs; and for destroying several historic residences along the route of the Boulevard
Saint-Germaine, because of his unwavering determination to have straight streets.
The debate about the military purposes of Haussmann's boulevards

During the Paris Commune, the Communards built an impressive fort where the Rue de Rivoli met the Place de la Concorde.
The army used side streets to move around it, and captured it from behind.
Some of Haussmann's critics said that the real purpose of Haussmann's boulevards was to
make it easier for the army to maneuver and suppress armed uprisings; Paris had
experienced six such uprisings between 1830 and 1848, all in the narrow, crowded streets in
the center and east of Paris and on the left bank around the Pantheon. Emile Zola described
them that way in his novel, La Cure; "Paris sliced by strokes of a saber: the veins opened,
nourishing one hundred thousand earth movers and stone masons; criss-crossed by
admirable strategic routes, placing forts in the heart of the old neighborhoods. Haussmann's
critics wrote that the purpose of the wide avenues was to facilitate troop movements, to clear
open fields of fire, and to prevent the building of barricades in the narrow streets. Some real-
estate owners demanded large, straight avenues to help troops manoeuvre. These critics
argued that small number of large, open intersections allowed easy control by a small force.
In addition, buildings set back from the center of the street could not be used so easily as
fortifications. The argument that the boulevards were designed for troop movements was
repeated by 20th century critics, including the French historian, Ren Hrron de Villefosse,
who wrote, "the larger part of the piercing of avenues had for its reason the desire to avoid
popular insurrections and barricades. They were strategic from their conception. " This
argument was also popularized by the American architectural critic,Lewis Mumford.
Haussmann himself did not deny the military value of the wider streets. In his memoires, he
wrote that his new boulevard Sebastopol resulted in the "gutting of old Paris, of the quarter
of riots and barricades." He admitted he sometimes used this argument with the Parliament
to justify the high cost of his projects, arguing that they were for national defense and should
be paid for, at least partially, by the state. He wrote: "But, as for me, I who was the promoter
of these additions made to the original project, I declare that I never thought in the least, in
adding them, of their greater or lesser strategic value." The Paris urban historian Patrice de
Moncan wrote: "To see the works created by Haussmann and Napoleon III only from the
perspective of their strategic value is very reductive. The Emperor was a convinced follower
of Saint-Simon. His desire to make Paris, the economic capital of France, a more open, more
healthy city, not only for the upper classes but also for the workers, cannot be denied, and
should be recognised as the primary motivation."
There was only one armed uprising in Paris after Haussmann, the Paris Commune from March
through May 1871, and the boulevards played no important role. The Communards seized
power easily, because the French Army was absent, defeated and captured by the Prussians.
The Communards took advantage of the boulevards to build a few large forts of paving
stones with wide fields of fire at strategic points, such as the meeting point of the Rue de
Rivoli and Place de la Concorde. But when the newly organized army arrived at the end of
May, it avoided the main boulevards, advanced slowly and methodically to avoid casualties,
worked its way around the barricades, and took them from behind. The Communards were
defeated in one week not because of Haussmann's boulevards, but because they were
outnumbered by five to one, they had fewer weapons and fewer men trained to use them,
they had no hope of getting support from outside Paris, they had no plan for the defense of
the city; they had very few experienced officers; there was no single commander; and each
neighborhood was left to defend itself.
As Paris historian Patrice de Moncan observed, most of Haussmann's projects had no little or
no strategic or military value; the purpose of building new sewers, aqueducts, parks,
hospitals, schools, city halls, theaters, churches, markets and other public buildings was, as
Haussmann stated, to employ thousands of workers, and to make the city more healthy, less
congested, and more beautiful.
Social disruption
Haussmann was also blamed for the social disruption caused by his gigantic building projects.
Thousands of families and businesses had to relocate when their buildings were demolished
for the construction of the new boulevards. Haussmann was also blamed for the dramatic
increase in rents, which increased by three hundred percent during the Second Empire, while
wages, except for those of construction workers, remained flat, and blamed for the enormous
amount of speculation in the real estate market. He was also blamed for reducing the amount
of housing available for low income families, forcing low-income Parisians to move from the
center to the outer neighborhoods of the city, where rents were lower. Statistics showed that
the population of the first and sixth arrondissements, where some of the most densely
populated neighborhoods were located, dropped, while the population of the new 17th and
20th arrondissements, on the edges of the city, grew rapidly.
1861 1866 1872
Haussmann's defenders noted that he built far more buildings than he tore down: he
demolished 19,730 buildings, containing 120,000 lodgings or apartments, while building
34,000 new buildings, with 215,300 new apartments and lodgings. French historian Michel
Cremona wrote that, even with the increase in population, from 949,000 Parisians in 1850 to
1,130,500 in 1856, to two million in 1870, including those in the newly annexed eight
arrondissements around the city, the number of housing units grew faster than the
Recent studies have also shown that the proportion of Paris housing occupied by low-income
Parisians did not decrease under Haussmann, and that the poor were not driven out of Paris
by Haussmann's renovation. In 1865 a survey by the prefecture of Paris showed that 42
percent of the housing in the city was occupied 780,000 Parisians, or 42 percent of the
population, those with the lowest income who did not pay taxes. Another 330,000 Parisians
or seventeen percent, paid less than 250 francs a month rent. Thirty-two percent of the Paris
housing was occupied by middle-class families, paying rent between 250 and 1500 francs.
Fifty thousand Parisians were classified as rich, with rents over 1500 francs a month, and
occupied just three percent of the residences.
Other critics blamed Haussmann for the division of Paris into rich and poor neighborhoods,
with the poor concentrated in the east and the middle class and wealthy in the west.
Haussmann's defenders noted that this shift in population had been underway since the
1830s, long before Haussmann, as more prosperous Parisians moved to the western
neighborhoods, where there was more open space, and where residents benefited from the
prevailing winds, which carried the smoke from Paris's new industries toward the east. His
defenders also noted that Napoleon III and Haussmann made a special point to build an
equal number of new boulevards, new sewers, water supplies, hospitals, schools, squares,
parks and gardens in the working class eastern arrondissements as they did in the western
A form of vertical stratification did take place in the Paris population due to Haussmann's
renovations. Prior to Haussmann, Paris buildings usually had wealthier people on the second
floor (the "etage noble"), while middle class and lower-income tenants occupied the top
floors. Under Haussmann, with the increase in rents and greater demand for housing, low-
income people were unable to afford the rents for the upper floors; the top floors were
increasingly occupied by concierges and the servants of those in the floors below. Lower-
income tenants were forced to the outer neighborhoods, where rents were lower.
The Legacy of Haussmann

Haussmann's boulevards crisscross Paris, seen from the top of the Tour Montparnasse.
The Baron Haussmann's transformations to Paris improved the quality of life in the capital.
Disease epidemics (save tuberculosis) ceased, traffic circulation improved and new buildings
were better-built and more functional than their predecessors.
The Second Empire renovations left such a mark on Paris' urban history that all subsequent
trends and influences were forced to refer to, adapt to, or reject, or to reuse some of its
elements. By intervening only once in Paris's ancient districts, pockets of insalubrity remained
which explain the resurgence of both hygienic ideals and radicalness of some planners of the
20th century.
The end of "pure Haussmannism" can be traced to urban legislation of 1882 and 1884 that
ended the uniformity of the classical street, by permitting staggered facades and the first
creativity for roof-level architecture; the latter would develop greatly after restrictions were
further liberalized by a 1902 law. All the same, this period was merely "post-Haussmann",
rejecting only the austerity of the Napoleon-era architecture, without questioning the urban
planning itself.
A century after Napoleon III's reign, new housing needs and the rise of a new
voluntarist Fifth Republic began a new era of Parisian urbanism. The new era rejected
Haussmannian ideas as a whole to embrace those represented by architects such as Le
Corbusier in abandoning unbroken street-side facades, limitations of building size and
dimension, and even closing the street itself to automobiles with the creation of separated,
car-free spaces between the buildings for pedestrians. This new model was quickly brought
into question by the 1970s, a period featuring a reemphasis of the Haussmann heritage: a
new promotion of the multifunctional street was accompanied by limitations of the building
model and, in certain quarters, by an attempt to rediscover the architectural homogeneity of
the Second Empire street-block.
The Parisian public now has a generally positive opinion of the Haussmann legacy, to the
extent that certain suburban towns, for example Issy-les-Moulineaux and Puteaux, have built
new quarters that even by their name claim "Quartier Haussmannian", the Haussmanian
heritage. These quarters are, in reality, but a pastiche of early 20th-century post-Haussmann
architecture, with its bow windows and loggias.

Paris as Metropolis
Paris as a model has been reproduced around the world and in the Grand Paris, in which it revealed a clear misconception of
the Haussmannian type and became vulgarized. Paris and the Grand Paris are a reflection on two opposing systems, with
the first one remaining frozen in a socio/economic bourgeois capital, which is a product of the nineteenth century rather
than that of the new social economic/political model of a knowledge economy. In order for Paris to compete in this
knowledge economy it can no longer act as an old model. Paris of the twenty-first century must accommodate diversity,
adaptability and flexibility. Paris today reveals the inefficiency and rigidity of the Haussmannian typology, which over the
century has become obsolete. To counter this situation, this research proposes to challenge the Haussmanian block by
considering Paris as a heterotopia. According to Rem Koolhaas, Le Corbusier and his Plan Voisin was the ideal and last
interesting attempt in Paris to challenge the block typology that has dominated since the Haussmannian reform. How then,
can the Haussmannian block can be reconceived as an exception to create a new norm and generate a new Paris?
The Haussmannian Heritage

The majority of urban planning of cities is defined by the ideas of norms and rules, similarly that of Paris. The norm is by
definition considered stable. This thesis proposal, however, does not consider the norm as the end of an equation but rather
as the beginning of something else: the exceptions. Hence, the reestablishment or rethinking of a norm will become
instrumental and useful to generate exceptions. The research will then problematize how the shift from a Norm to an
Exception occurs as a necessary mechanism of either the planning and the concepts of cities to be affected and challenged.
The thesis posits that the moment of this shift is the precise location where Foucaults concept of heterotopia is formed and
can be identified. This research, based on the dogmatic notions of norm and exception, will therefore try to provide a spatial
definition to Foucaults concept of heterotopia. This differs from existing research, as it will not try to define heterotopia as
another space, but rather to locate it at the precise moment when the shift from norm to exception occurs. The concept of
heterotopia will further be used as the potential emplacement for the city of Paris to generate a design proposal, an
environment defined by a new social and economic diagram.
The Compositional Facades of the Necropolis

The research question will be explored by three essays, each one discussing the different aspects of the normative and
attempting to get closer to a spatial definition of the concept of heterotopia. The first essay entitled, The Metropolis versus
the Necropolis, will link the concept of norm and exception to the past and contemporary social and economic diagrams, in
order to explore the potential of the knowledge economy for Paris. This will investigate how economic and political power
might by expressed by heterotopia. The second essay, Paris, the Normative at Different Scales will deal with the question of
large-scale planning and examine how the concepts of norm and exception changes according to the different scales they
are framed at. This will investigate how heterotopia can be discovered within the shift of norms that occur at different scales
of planning. The last and third essay, Paris 2, will be an attempt to posit a norm able to generate exceptions, will be an
attempt to set up a contemporary matrix of exceptions for the city of tomorrow.
Behind the Facades: Voids as Generators of Survival

A shift of polarity of the centre of Paris developed from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century as a consequence of the
industrialization, when it created a capitalist Paris for investors. Three centuries later, Paris can no longer compete with other
metropolises without its agglomerations, which is revealed by its dependency on the Grand Paris. The result is not an
agglomeration that depends on a core city, but on the contrary, a city that depends on the agglomeration. As a consequence,
the Grand Paris becomes the city itself and transforms Paris into a gentrified zone, a necropolis. The project therefore
reconsiders Paris itself as a potential site for a new metropolis.
Site: Urban Fabric for Experimentation

The Grand Paris as Metropolis

The French currency is called the franc, with 100 centimes to the franc. The economy of Paris
is comprised of high finance, banking, and luxury tourist goods. The Champs Elyses and
neighboring streets house many high-fashion couturiers (designers), parfumiers (perfume
shops), and other luxury items. Universities, museums, and cafs cater to tourists and
residents alike. Government employees are numerous as France is a bureaucratic country.
France is also a member of the European Economic Community.

Economy of Paris

Paris is both the political as the business and economical center of France. Paris is a developing city, that didnt stop
growing since its origin. Paris and its suburbs keep developing and more and more districts become part of the city.
Plans are made to decentralize Paris, but until now it didnt really happen yet. Plans to move financial companies out
of the heart of Paris, didnt make it any further then the suburbs of Paris. The economy of Paris is mainly dependent
on the touristic infrastructure. Companies that attract lots of employees are for example car companies as Renault and
Citroen and the electro industry of the city. Paris also makes money of the typical Parisian goods a jewelry, perfume
and Haute Couture. 13% of the Parisians are jobless.
Paris in the global economy
Paris is seen as one of the motors of the global economy. If Paris would have been a country, Paris would be the 17th
largest economy of the world in 2007. This is comparable with the economy in the Netherlands. In 2009 Paris made it
to the most expensive city for products and services. The suburban districts around Paris are 20th of the largest urban
districts of the world. The inhabiting density of Paris is comparable with districts in Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles and

Economy of Paris

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paris as an engine of the global economy: the skyscrapers of La Dfense (in the background), the largest purpose-built
business district of Europe, with 3.35 million m (36 million sq. ft) of office space.[1]
Paris, the capital and largest city of France, is one of the engines of the global economy. In
2009, the GDP of the Paris Region as calculated by INSEE was US$769.7 billion at market
exchange rates.[2] If it were a country, in 2007, the Paris Region would be the 17th-largest
economy in the world, with an economy larger than that of
the Netherlands or Turkey.[3][4] In 2009, an Internet survey also rated Paris as one of the
world's most expensive cities in which to purchase goods and services.[5]
Although in terms of population the urban area of Paris is only approximately the 20th largest
urban area in the world, its GDP is the sixth-largest in the world, after the urban areas
of Tokyo, New York,Los Angeles,Chicago and London. The GDP and income per capita is one
of the highest in the world; the Paris urban area concentrates more than 30% of France's
wealth. In 2009, the GDP per capita (PPP) was $46.800 for 9.82 million people. The average
income was 56.980$ in 2009, 41% higher than in the rest of the country. Paris is one of few
economic areas that didn't have any GDP decrease during the financial crisis in 2008; the
GDP increased all over the period.[6]
The Paris economy is extremely diverse and has not yet adopted a specialization inside the
global economy (unlike Los Angeles with the entertainment industry, or London and New York
with financial services). Today, it is essentially a service economy, with business and financial
services generating nearly half of the Paris region's GDP.[7] Its manufacturing base has
declined since its pre-1970s heyday, generating now less than 10% of the region's
GDP,[7] even though the Paris Region still remains one of the manufacturing powerhouses of
Europe due to the sheer size of its economy, with a shift from traditional to high-tech

1 Paris GDP
1.1 Fortune Global 500 companies
2 Spatial organisation of the Paris economy
3 Sectors of the Paris economy
4 Manufacturing
5 Business services
6 Commerce and finance
7 See also
8 References
9 External links
Paris GDP[edit]
Economically speaking, the agglomeration of Paris is among the largest economic centers in
the world, with the sixth-largest gross metropolitan product in the world in 2008 according to
a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers whose main results are shown in the table below.[6]
2008 GDP
(in billion US$)
(at purchasing power
01- Tokyo 1.479
02- New York 1.406
03- Los Angeles 792
04- London 723
05- Chicago 574
06- Paris 565
07- Osaka-Kobe 417
08- Mexico City 390
09- So Paulo 388
10- Philadelphia 388
Year in, year out, the Paris Region accounts for 28 to 29% of the total GDP of metropolitan
France,[2] although its 2007 population is only 18.8% of the total population of metropolitan
France.[8] According to Eurostat, the GDP of the Paris Region accounted alone for 4.4% of
the total GDP of the European Union (of 27 members) in the year 2005,[9] although its
population is only 2.3% of the total population of the EU27.
Fortune Global 500 companies[edit]
In 2008, Paris hosted the world headquarters of twenty-five Fortune Global 500 companies
(the 500 largest corporations in the world by revenue, ranked every year
by Fortune magazine) with a combined revenue of 1,420 billion US dollars in the fiscal
year 2007-2008. This is more Fortune Global 500 companies and a larger combined revenue
than any city in the world except Tokyo as shown in the table below.[10]
Rank City Country
Number of Global
Global 500
revenues ($ millions, FY
1 Tokyo Japan 47 1,858,608
2 Paris France 38 1,419,933
3 London
22 1,183,769
4 Beijing China 21 943,768
5 New York United States 20 1,166,469
6 Seoul South Korea 13 576,919
7 Toronto Canada 9 229,308
8 Madrid Spain 8 357,927
9 Munich Germany 7 455,821
9 Zurich Switzerland 7 354,657
9 Osaka Japan 7 267,296
10 Houston United States 6 344,028

Twelve Fortune Global 500 companies are also headquartered in the inner and outer suburbs
of Paris, notably in the business district of La Dfense, thus giving a total of thirty-seven
Fortune Global 500 companies whose world headquartered are located within the Paris
Region. Here is a list of these thirty-seven companies:
Fortune Global 500 companies headquartered in the Paris Region (in 2008)[11]
($ millions,
1 11 Total Petroleum Refining 187,280 La Dfense
2 14 AXA
Insurance: Life, Health
162,762 8th arrondissement
3 26 BNP Paribas
Banks: Commercial and
140,727 9th arrondissement
4 32 Carrefour Food and Drug Stores 120,297 Levallois-Perret
5 38 Suez Energy 111,888 8th arrondissement
6 43 Crdit Agricole
Banks: Commercial and
105,003 15th arrondissement
7 68 EDF Utilities (electricity) 89,629 8th arrondissement
8 72
Banks: Commercial and
84,350 9th arrondissement
9 90 Peugeot
Motor vehicles and
82,965 16th arrondissement
10 97 Group BPCE
Banks : Commercials
and savings
13th arrondissement
of Paris
11 130 Orange Telecommunications 61,965 15th arrondissement
12 142
Insurance: Life, Health
53,136 15th arrondissement
13 155 Saint-Gobain
Building materials,
55,684 La Dfense
14 163 Renault
Motor : vehicles and
51,616 Boulogne-Billancourt
15 175
Utilities 47,750 16th arrondissement
16 187 Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals 45,056 13th arrondissement
17 192 Vinci
41,969 Rueil-Malmaison
18 206 Bouygues
41,721 8th arrondissement
19 209 SNCF Railroads 40,575 14th arrondissement
20 217 Foncire Euris
General Merchandisers,
Commercial Real Estate
39,449 8th arrondissement
21 225 Vivendi
38,248 8th arrondissement
22 306 La Poste
Mail, Package, Freight
31,947 15th arrondissement
23 308 Air France-KLM Airlines 31,200 Paris CDG Airport
24 344 Christian Dior Apparel 28,604 8th arrondissement
25 348 Alstom
Industrial Equipment
(power generation,
27,927 Levallois-Perret
26 374
Electronics, Electrical
25,933 Rueil-Malmaison
27 378 L'Oral
Household and Personal
25,821 Clichy
28 420 Groupama
Insurance: P&C
23,144 8th arrondissement
29 421 PPR
General Merchandisers
(luxury goods)
22,907 16th arrondissement
30 433
Food Consumer
20,128 9th arrondissement
31 455 Lafarge
Building materials,
21,415 16th arrondissement
32 461 Alcatel-Lucent
Network and Other
21,186 8th arrondissement
33 470 Sodexo Food Services 20,794 Issy-les-Moulineaux
Note: The Franco-German aerospace company EADS has its dual world headquarters in Paris
and Munich but it is not listed here because
Fortune magazine considered it was located in the Netherlands, which is the place where
EADS was legally incorporated for tax reasons.
Spatial organisation of the Paris economy[edit]
At the 1999 census, there were 5,089,179 persons employed in the Paris aire urbaine (or
"metropolitan area").[12] At the same 1999 census, 4,949,306 people living in the Paris aire
urbaine had a job.[13] The almost 140,000 people difference between these two figures
comes from an outflow of about 60,000 people living inside the aire urbaine who work
outside of it, and an inflow of about 200,000 people living outside of the aire urbaine who
come to work inside it every day. Thus, out of the 5,089,179 people employed in the
Paris aire urbaine in 1999, only about 200,000 people (3.9% of the total) lived outside of it,
which is not surprising since the boundaries of the aires urbaines are based on commuting
Well into the middle of the 20th century, the majority of jobs in the aire urbaine were
concentrated in the city of Paris proper. However, after the Second World War the economic
activity relocated to the suburbs, and the city has been steadily losing jobs to the benefit of
the suburbs, in particular the Hauts-de-Seine (92)dpartement, home of the new La
Dfense business district, to the west of the city proper. Today, the city of Paris is not properly
speaking the economic centre of the aire urbaine since most of the offices are in fact located
in the western half of the city proper and in the central portion of the Hauts-de-
Seine dpartement, forming a triangle between the Opra, La Dfense and the Val de
Seine district. Hauts-de-Seine has become a sort of extension of central Paris, with 873,775
persons employed there in the end of 2005, more than half as many as in the city of Paris
proper (1,653,551 persons employed in the city of Paris in the end of 2005).[14]
As a consequence workers do not just commute from the suburbs to work in the city of Paris,
but also come from the city of Paris to work in the suburbs. Of the 5,416,643 persons
employed in the Paris Region in the end of 2005, only 1,653,551 (30.5%) worked inside the
city of Paris proper, while 3,763,092 (69.5%) worked in the suburbs. However, once adding
Hauts-de-Seine, the previous figures show that City of Paris and Hauts-de-Seine together still
harboured 46.7% of all persons employed in the Paris Region in the end of 2005, which
should help to put into perspective the phenomenon of job relocation to the suburbs: it was
as much a relocation to the suburbs as an extension of central Paris beyond the
administrative borders of the city.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the French government created several villes nouvelles ("new
towns") on the outer ring of the Paris suburbs in order to multi-polarise the economy of the
city. Economically speaking, those villes nouvelles have been a relative success since many
companies are still moving into those areas today. However, they didn't completely fulfil their
role of multi-polarisation: economic activities still remain in a large measure concentrated in
the central core (City of Paris and Hauts-de-Seine) of the aire urbaine, as the above
employment figures show.
Sectors of the Paris economy[edit]
The figures below, extracted from the 1999 census,[15] show the distribution of the
5,089,179 persons employed in the Paris aire urbaine across the different economic sectors in
the year 1999. This will give a sense of the extreme diversity of the Paris economy, marked
nonetheless by the notable dominance of services.
Primary sector: Agriculture, forestry, and fishing: 26,741 persons in employment
(0.5% of total workforce)
Secondary sector: Manufacturing and mining, construction, and utilities: 913,503 p. in
emp. (17.9% of t. wf)
Manufacturing (includes mining and oil and gas extraction): 627,534 p. in emp. (12.3%
of t. wf)
The manufacturing industries employing most people are:
Electronic and electrical equipment, appliances, and components: 112,281 p. in emp.
(2.2% of t. wf)
This branch is made of: computers and peripheral equipment; mobile phones; radio and
television broadcasting and wireless communications equipment; semiconductors and other
electronic components; navigational, measuring, electro-medical, and control instruments;
electrical engines; electric lighting equipment; miscellaneous electrical equipment (cables,
transformers, switchboards, etc.). This branch DOES NOT include household electronic and
electrical appliances (televisions, radios, DVD players, ovens, refrigerators, watches, clocks,
Publishing, printing, and reproduction of recorded media: 87,599 p. in emp. (1.7% of t. wf)
Books, newspapers, magazines, etc. This branch DOES NOT include the motion picture and
sound recording industries, neither does it include the broadcasting industries.
Foodstuff, beverages, and tobacco products manufacturing: 59,862 p. in emp. (1.2% of t.
Machinery and equipment manufacturing: 56,270 p. in emp. (1.1% of t. wf)
This branch is made of: engine, turbine, and power transmission equipment; pumps and
compressors; material handling equipment; ventilation, heating, air-conditioning, and
commercial refrigeration equipment; agriculture, construction, and mining machinery;
machine tools; industrial moulds; industrial machinery (plastics and rubber industry
machinery, textile machinery, etc.); and other general purpose machinery (welding and
soldering equipment, industrial process furnaces and ovens, scales and balances (except
laboratory), etc.). This branch DOES ALSO INCLUDE three industries generally listed under
"Fabricated metal products manufacturing" in Anglo-Saxon classifications: architectural and
structural metals manufacturing; boilers, tanks, and shipping containers; and arms and
Motor vehicles, trailers, and motor vehicle parts manufacturing ("car industry"): 52,149 p.
in emp. (1.0% of t. wf)
Construction: 235,872 p. in emp. (4.6% of t. wf)
Utilities: Electricity, natural gas and water supply: 50,097 p. in emp. (1.0% of t. wf)
Tertiary sector: Services: 4,148,935 p. in emp. (81.6% of t. wf)
The services employing most people are:
Business services (include rental and leasing services): 841,157 p. in emp. (16.5% of t.
Professional and technical services: 509,048 p. in emp. (10.0% of t. wf)
This branch is made of: computer systems design and related services; data processing,
hosting, and related services; software publishing; legal services; accounting, tax preparation,
bookkeeping, and payroll services; management of companies and enterprises; administrative
management and general management consulting; human resources and executive search
consulting; marketing consulting; process, physical distribution, and logistics consulting;
environmental consulting; advertising and related services; and architectural, engineering,
and related services.
Administrative, support, and waste management services: 272,981 p. in emp. (5.4% of t.
This branch is made of: employment services (placement, temporary); investigation and
security services; services to buildings and dwellings; photographic services; office
administrative services; translation and interpretation services; business support services
(call centres, collection agencies, etc.); packaging and labelling services; convention and
trade show organisers; and waste management and remediation services. This branch
DOES ALSO INCLUDE renting and leasing of machinery and equipment without operator
and of personal and household goods, which is generally listed along with "Real estate" in
Anglo-Saxon classifications.
Research and development: 59,128 p. in emp. (1.1% of t. wf)
Commerce: 660,843 p. in emp. (13.0% of t. wf)
Retail trade (except of motor vehicles) and repair: 308,323 p. in emp. (6.1% of t. wf)
Wholesale and commission trade (except of motor vehicles): 276,282 p. in emp. (5.4% of
t. wf)
Sale, maintenance, and repair of motor vehicles: 76,238 p. in emp. (1.5% of t. wf)
Public administrations and defense: 510,972 p. in emp. (10.0% of t. wf)
Health services and social assistance: 451,373 p. in emp. (8.7% of t. wf)
Transportation, storage, and communications: 419,779 p. in emp. (8.2% of t. wf)
This branch is made of: public and private transportation of passengers and freight;
warehousing and storage; travel agencies; post and couriers; and telecommunications.
Education: 334,852 p. in emp. (6.6% of t. wf)
Finance and insurance: 256,722 p. in emp. (5.0% of t. wf)
Accommodation and food services (hotels and restaurants): 202,228 p. in emp. (4.0% of t.
Commerce and finance[edit]
Commerce: 660 843 employees Retail stores (except automobiles) and repair: 308 323
employees Wholesale and commissions (except cars): 276 282 employees Sale, maintenance,
and repair of automobiles: 76,238 employees Public administration and defense: 510 972
Food and Economy
Read more about the Food and Cuisine of France.
Food in Daily Life. Food plays a major role in the country's social life. Wine and cheese are
sources of national pride and reflect regional differences. Meals are ritualized, and full of
social and cultural meaning. There are also political aspects to the meaning of food. For
instance, there has recently been much concern about the quality of "engineered" food and a
rejection of foods that have been genetically altered. Another recent concern has been la
vache folle (mad cow disease); the French have rejected the importation of English beef,
which has been a major issue in the EU.

Breton girls in costumes for a festival. Each commune generally holds a festival during the
The three main meals are le petit djeuner (break-fast), le djeuner (lunch), and le
dner (dinner). Although the midday meal had great importance in an agricultural economy
and is still the main meal in rural areas, there is a tendency for families to eat the largest
meal in the evening. Breakfast is a light meal of bread, cereal, yogurt, and coffee or hot
chocolate. Lunch and dinner generally involve several courses, at minimum a first course
( l'entree ) and a main dish ( le plat ), followed by cheese and/or dessert. In restaurants, it is
common to have a price that includes all these courses, with a choice of dishes. Children eat
a snack after school, le goter or quatre-heures, which usually includes cookies, bread and
jam or chocolate, and a drink.
Meals involve a succession of courses eaten one at a time. A typical family meal starts with a
soup, followed by vegetables and a meat dish and then a salad, cheese, and dessert. Wine is
commonly served at meals. Children begin to drink wine during family dinners in their early
teens, often drinking wine diluted with water. Most daily food preparation is done by wives
and mothers in family settings even if both spouses work full-time. The need to prepare
wholesome meals that reflect traditional values is an increasing source of stress for working
women who feel pressed for time. Convenience foods are becoming more prevalent, and fast
food is a growing trend.
Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Large family gatherings and dinner parties
involve more elaborate food preparation and more courses than daily family meals. At such
occasions, drink is more important. An apritif is served with small snacks or appetizers
before the meal. Different regions have particularapritifs : pastis is associated with southern
France, and Suze (gentian liqueur) with the Auvergne. Wines complement the courses.
Champagne often is served to mark ceremonial occasions and is drunk after the meal. This is
followed by coffee and a digestif (liqueur). It is not uncommon for ceremonial meals to last
three or more hours. In Normandy, a tradition that involves having a drink of calvados after
each course further lengthens the meal.
Holidays are associated with special foods. Elaborate meals are served on Christmas Eve by
Catholic families who attend midnight Mass. These meals involve salmon, oysters, turkey,
and la bche de nol cake. In many regions, crpes are eaten on 2 February, the Feast of the
Virgin. The ceremonial nature and symbolism of food are evident in rural wedding
ceremonies. Often, mixtures of food and drink are presented to the wedding couple in a
chamber pot in the early hours of the morning after the wedding. These mixtures can include
champagne and chocolate or savory soups with carrots and onion.
In many rural regions, it is still common for families to slaughter a pig each winter and make
sausages, pats, hams, roasts, and chops for freezing. These are ceremonial occasions, and
each person who helps the family is given a portion of the pig.
Basic Economy. The "thirty glorious years" of expansion of industry after World War II
ended with the oil crises of the 1970s. Since then, the country has rebuilt its economy and
has one of the four leading economies in Western Europe. Most of the gross national product
(GNP) comes from services, with industry generating one fourth of the GNP. France is also a
major agricultural nation and is self-sufficient in this sector. Agriculture now accounts for less
than 3 percent of the GNP, however. The major agricultural crop is wheat. High
unemployment has plagued the country since the 1970s, particularly among youth. The
unemployment rate was almost 13 percent in 1997. Inclusion in the EU has had a major
impact on the economy, opening some markets and restricting others. In 2002, France will
convert from the franc to the euro for all financial transactions. After several decades of
nationalization of major industries, France deregulated those sectors in the 1990s, to create a
freer market.
Land Tenure and Property. Until the middle of the twentieth century, agriculture was
dominated by small holdings and family farms. Two factors have affected rural land holdings
since World War II. There has been an acceleration of the rural exodus leading to a strong
migration toward cities, along with aconsolidation of farm lands that had been scattered
through inheritance patterns. This was called le remembrement and was more successful in
some regions than in others.
Commercial Activities. There are many small businesses and shops on city streets, and
street markets thrive in the major cities. In the centers of towns, small shops and specialty
boutiques abound. However, there are also large hypermarchs or grandes surfaces at the
outskirts of most cities that sell food, clothing, and furniture. Prices are fixed in stores for the
most part, but at markets there is still a lot of bargaining. The commercial services of rural
villages have declined during the last twenty years, as a result of depopulation and the
attraction of new chain stores. Increasingly, the butchers, bakers, and grocers have closed
shop, and people make purchases in small shopping markets or travel to the nearest city to
buy less expensive goods.
Major Industries. Industry historically was centered in the northeast and eastern part of
the nation, primarily in Paris, Lille, and Lyon. This has changed with the penetration of
industry into the hinterlands and the south. The leading industries are steel, machinery,
chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aeronautics, electronics, mining, and textiles. Tourism is a
growing industry in the countryside. Food processing and agribusiness are important to the
national economy. The government controls several industrial sectors, including railroads,
electricity, aircraft, and telecommunications. A move toward privatizing these industries has
been under way since the early 1990s.
Trade. Although the country traditionally took a protectionist stance toward trade and did not
play a major role in the world economy, this has changed with the opening of markets
through the European Economic Community and the Common Market. Foreign trade grew
during the 1950s, under de Gaulle, and by the mid-1960s, France was the fourth largest
exporter in the world. Most exports

Men working at a vineyard in France. French wine is a source of national pride and an
important part of both simple and elaborate meals.
today go to Europe rather than to former colonies. During the economic crisis of the 1980s,
the balance of trade favored imports, but in recent years exports have grown. The major
exports are manufactured goods, including cars and luxury items such as clothing, perfume,
and jewelry. Wheat and dairy products are also major exports. The country imports raw
materials such as oil and agricultural products, as well as machinery, chemicals, and iron and
steel products.
Division of Labor. Employment is categorized by the eight PCS (professions and
socioprofessional categories): farmers; artisans, small shopkeepers, and small business
managers; professionals; middle management; white-collar workers; manual workers;
unemployed persons who have never worked; and military personnel. While the nation had a
large agricultural population well into the twentieth century, only 3 percent of the people now
work in that sector, although 10 percent of the population works in either agriculture or
agribusiness. Unemployment (almost 12 percent in 1998) is higher among women and youth.
Labor unions are strong. The current thirty-nine-hour workweek will fall to thirty-five hours in
Social Stratification
Classes and Castes. France is a class-stratified society whose middle class did not develop
significantly until the 1960s. Historically, society was divided among the nobility,
the bourgeoisie , the peasants, and the urban proletariat. The French system was the basis
for much of Karl Marx's analysis of class struggles during the nineteenth century. The
dominant class now is referred to as the bourgeoisie, although this term is difficult to define.
Primarily, this class is considered to be the group that controls education and industry. A
major source of debate is the issue of social mobility for people of different social origins.
Statistics indicate that there is still a strong tendency for children to remain in the
occupational class of their parents. For instance, in 1994, almost 50 percent of the children of
workers became workers; only 9 percent of them became elite workers. Fifty-six percent of
the children of elite workers became elite workers. The school system is blamed for the lack
of social mobility.
Symbols of Social Stratification. Social stratification has two main axes: urban versus
rural and economic class position. The urban upper class generally has ties to provincial seats
of power. The bourgeoisie establish the major tenets of good taste and refinement, of being
"civilized." One's taste in music, art, food, and leisure activities generally reveals one's social
class origins. Symbols of a higher class position include knowing not only about fine art but
about the newest trends in avant-garde art, understanding and being able to purchase fine
wines, and dressing with understatement while revealing refined aesthetic sensibilities. Class
consciousness is very strong. "Symbolic capital" plays a large role in social class, and not only
wealth but family connections and lifestyle determine one's social position and opportunities.
Political Life
Government. France operates under the constitution of the Fifth Republic, which was
established in 1958. The government is highly centralized, although the 1982 act of
decentralization transferred more power to the regions and communes. Paris is the capital
city. The administration of the governmental system is organized through the levels of nation,
region, department, arrondissement, canton, and commune. The commune is the smallest
administrative level. This system of political administration dates back to the French
Revolution. The state controls several state-owned companies in the areas of transportation,
energy, and communications. Thirty percent of the workforce is employed by the state. The
state bureaucracy is complex and is run by an administrative elite trained at the National
School of Administration (ENA).
The executive branch includes the president and the prime minister. The president is elected
for a seven-year term by popular vote. The prime minister is appointed by the president and
serves as head of the government. In recent years, a form of political "cohabitation" has
developed, in which the president and prime minister come from different political parties.
The prime minister selects the ministers and secretaries of state, with approval by the
president. Legislative power resides in a bicameral parliament composed of the Assemble
Nationale (National Assembly) and the Senat (Senate). The deputies of the Assemble
Nationale are elected by popular vote for five-year terms; senators are elected though an
electoral college system for nine-year terms.
The twenty-two metropolitan regions, which recently received a formal role in government,
are each composed of several departments. A region is headed by a regional prefect and
served by elected regional council members who represent the departments. The regional
council elects a president of the council. The department is headed by a prefect, and each
canton elects a council member to serve at that level. Communes elect a mayor and a
municipal council. There are a little over 36,000 communes, and their populations can range
in size from under one thousand to that of a large city. The vast majority of communes are in
the countryside.
Leadership and Political Officials. France is politically divided between the right and the
left. There are five major political parties. To the far right is the Front National (FN), which
has been growing in power since the 1980s under the leadership of Jean-Marie Le Pen. The
two major parties on the democratic right are the Rassemblement pour la Rpublique (RPR)
founded by Jacques Chirac in 1976 and the Union pour la Democratie Franaise (UDF)
founded by Valry Giscard d'Estaing in 1978. On the left, there is the Parti Socialiste (PS) and
the Parti Communiste Franaise (PCF). In 1981, the PS replaced the earlier SFIO, led by
Franois Mitterrand. The Communist Party was formed in 1920.
Political leaders rise to power by gaining election at the local level, and then accruing more
political titles. It is possible for a politician to hold more than one office at different levels
simultaneously, and this is a common method for gaining political support. Election to office
depends on social networks, as well as on the personal charisma of the politician. The
concept of "legitimacy" is crucial; to be viewed as a legitimate candidate is to have local roots
and a strong social network. A successful politician must make good use of symbolism and
ritual in order to embody various ideals. A high degree of formality is associated with political
office, and interactions with elected officials require correct etiquette. One should, for
instance, address a mayor as Monsieur or Madame le Mayor.
Social Problems and Control. The police are a noticeable presence, particularly in urban
areas and transport centers such as airports and subway stations. Visibly armed, they have
the right to stop any person to demand to see documents of identity. The police force is
divided between those who work for the minister of the interior and those who work for the
minister of defense ( gendarmes ). There is also a National Security Police force (CRS) that is
called in during demonstrations and strikes, which occur frequently. An important form of
political protest, demonstrations often disrupt urban streets and highways. Labor unions are
strong, and striking workers regularly stop social services, such as trash pickup and public
transportation, and access to public buildings, such as museums.

People at an outdoor caf in France. Cafs are social centers for men in southern France and
are also popular among tourists.
Major social problems include AIDS, homelessness, and terrorism. The rate of violent crimes
such as homicide is low. Terrorist attacks and bombings occur randomly, if infrequently and
were at their height most recently during the Gulf War. The National Security Police justify
their strong military presence as a deterrent to terrorism.
Military Activity. The president is the commander in chief of the military, and the minister
of defense reports directly to the president. France has an army, navy, and air force. It also
contributes to the United Nations military forces and is in the NATO alliance, although its
relationship to NATO has been precarious at times. France was involved in several armed
conflicts during the twentieth century. After the first and second world wars, it was involved
in colonial wars in Algeria and Indochina. The draft is being phased out and will disappear in
2002. Universal compulsory military service for a period of at least sixteen months has been
mandatory for all eighteen-year-old males and marked an important rite of passage into
Social Welfare and Change Programs
There is an elaborate social welfare program. The social security system was formed in 1946.
It is funded not by the state but by employers and workers directly. There are several plans,
which vary with one's level of employment and professional status. A minimum level of
income is assured for the unemployed and destitute under the RMI (Revenue Minimum
d'Insertin), the unemployment assistance payment that is paid for through taxation. Benefits
of the social security system include family allowances (paid per child), infant allowances for
pregnant women and newborns, single-parent supplements, benefits for sickness and
disability, and unemployment insurance.
Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations
About half the people belong to a voluntary association, including political parties, and there
are 800,000 associations. The 1901 Law of Associations regulates noneconomic activities
such as sports clubs, cultural groups, and other clubs. There are clubs for immigrants, the
elderly, youth, and leisure activities. Much of civic life is organized through associations.
Gender Roles and Statuses
Division of Labor by Gender. Peasant households traditionally had a strict gender division
of labor

Architectural view of Pierrefont Castle, a reminder of the wars that have punctuated French
that was incorporated into community life, with the family farm being both a kinship unit and
an economic unit. Husband and wife generally worked together, sometimes participating in
different tasks related to agricultural labor. The degree to which gender segregation in daily
life was upheld varied by region. In general, women carried out domestic tasks of
housekeeping, food preparation, and child care; however, they also were involved in farm
labor, such as harvesting and tending young animals. With the growth of industrialization,
family farms involved much less cooperation between husband and wife in economic
activities. A separation of the domestic sphere from the place of work and the growth of
wage earning changed the household division of labor. Women worked outside the home as
washerwomen, factory workers, and domestics. In bourgeois families in the nineteenth
century, husbands controlled wealth and their wives were dependent on them, having limited
autonomy in the raising of the children. Today, almost half of all workers are female and the
dual-career family is becoming the norm. Women continue to face inequalities in the job
market, with lower wages than men for comparable work and more difficult career paths.
Women are rare in the highest-paid professions and dominate in clerical work, social work,
and primary teaching. There have been proposals for a "maternal wage" that would
compensate housewives for their labor.
The Relative Status of Women and Men. The Napoleonic Code of 1803 denied power to
women in marriage, and women did not gain the right to vote until 1944. Only in the 1960s
did wives gain the right to open bank accounts or work without the husband's permission.
The Badinter Law of 1985 established equal rights for women in marriage. The feminist
movement has slowly made advances but continues to struggle. The degree to which farm
women have lower status than males is a subject of debate. Economic and cultural factors
influence the power of women at the level of the family and community.
Marriage, Family, and Kinship
Marriage. Marriage rates and age at marriage are related to socioeconomic class and region.
Overall, the marriage rate is declining and the age at marriage is rising. The average age of
marriage for men is twenty-nine, and that for women is twenty-seven. Women tend to marry
later when they seek higher education. Rural male celibacy has been associated with rural-
urban migration since the 1960s. Geographic homogamy is a strong factor in marriage: Over
half of all marriages involve partners from the same department. There is also a high level of
religious homogamy. The divorce rate has increased in recent years, especially since a 1975
law that made the process easier and faster. One in three marriages ends in divorce. All
marriages are sanctioned by a civil ceremony in the town hall. Religious ceremonies must
follow the civil ceremony, so that frequently wedding parties make the trip between mayor's
office and the church. Payment for the weddings of young people is most often divided
equally between the families of the bride and the groom. There has been a rise in
cohabitation for unmarried couples. A recent law permitting legal unions that are not
marriages for couples has given legal status to cohabitating couples, including homosexual
couples. The PACS ( pacte d'association civile et solidaire ) law, passed in 1999, set up an
intermediate union between marriage and cohabitation. A pacte is easier to dissolve than a
Domestic Unit. The basic domestic unit is called le mnage . This includes all persons living
in the same dwelling. These persons are not necessarily related. There has been a rise in
single-person households since the 1960s. In 1997, 18 percent of all households were
composed of single women, and 12 percent of single men. Most households, however, are
composed of couples with (35 percent) or without (28 percent) children. There were three
types of domestic units traditionally: the patriarchal family, the stem family, and the nuclear
family, which predominates today. In the patriarchal family (a rural model that was prevalent
in parts of central France), siblings stayed at home and their spouses joined the household.
These large families owned property jointly. In the more hierarchical stem family, which was
the most common, there was a pattern of primogeniture. The eldest son would remain in the
parental home, but daughters and younger sons were obliged to seek their fortunes
elsewhere. That pattern persists in some rural communities, although primogeniture has been
illegal since 1804 under the Napoleonic Code. One sibling takes over the farm but "pays off"
the parts of the patrimony due to his or her siblings. The nuclear family was most prevalent
in southern France and has a more egalitarian basis than the stem family. A young couple
would be established in their own household by both sets of parents.
Inheritance. One of the major functions of the domestic unit is the transmission of property
to children. Inheritance involves material and symbolic goods. Most property is held in the
form of immovable goods such as buildings and land. Social inequalities are perpetuated
through unequal access to inheritances among members of different families. Inheritance
occurs not just at the death of the parents but at marriage or the setting up of a household
for a young person, when loans or gifts are extended by parents. Inheritance also involves
"cultural capital," including education, access to various lifestyles, and ways of speaking.
Although the Napoleonic Civil Code established uniform regulation of inheritance and
authority within the family and equal inheritance among siblings, there are regional variations
in the application of the law.
Kin Groups. Kinship is bilateral, with kindreds being recognized as important units of social
support. Kinship was historically more important for the peasantry and bourgeoisie than for
workers or the petite bourgeoisie, who maintained neighborhood ties that were sometimes
stronger than kin ties. Today the family plays a major role in transmitting cultural values,
despite the decline in marriage and increasing geographic mobility. Most people continue to
live in the region in which they grew up even if they move from a village to a city. Weekend
visits to parents and grandparents are common. There is much diversity in the meaning and
strength of kin ties across social class and ethnic lines. Ideologies of kinship, in which certain
family forms are privileged over others, represent a critique of the kinship patterns of the
working classes and immigrants.
Infant Care. Infant care is done primarily by the mother, although fathers and female
relatives participate. In the past, upper-class women sent their children to wet nurses until
they were weaned. Children were swaddled with various methods, depending on the region.
Baptism is an important familial celebration of the birth of an infant.
Child Rearing and Education. State-sponsored schools for early childhood education begin
to take children at the age of three. There are also state-subsidized child care centers for
younger children. Although the influence of the family in childhood socialization is very
important, there are regional and class-based variations in the methods used. In general,
children have been seen as naturally "wild" and in need of learning how to behave in the
proper ("civilized") way through guidance from adults. Peer socialization is as important as
adult socialization, however, and children generally develop a strong peer culture. There are
both public, state-run schools and private (mostly Catholic) schools, which receive some state
aid if they follow the state curriculum. Public education was established as mandatory, free,
and secular by the Ferry laws of the late nineteenth century. Education is controlled by the
Ministry of Education and Research, with the exception of agricultural education, which is
under the Ministry of Agriculture. There are three levels of public schooling: the primary
school, the college, and the lycee. Schooling is mandatory until age sixteen.
Higher Education. Students receive a higher education after they have completed
secondary schooling and successfully taken one of several examinations to earn
a baccalaureat. Historically, higher education was divided between universities and grandes
coles. Decentralization efforts have been under way to counter the domination of Paris over
academic research and teaching. Provincial centers of learning have grown and received
increased funding. About 10 percent of all students are foreign. With the growth of the
European Union, education initiatives have fostered partnerships between French universities
and universities in other European nations.
In French, " etiquette " means both "etiquette" and "ceremony." Social class distinctions
determine the importance of various forms of correct social behavior. In general when people
greet each other, they shake hands or embrace with a kiss on both cheeks (called faire la
bise ). Kissing is only done when two people are close friends or relatives. For the most part,
the embrace is done only the first time in a day in which one sees someone and is not
repeated again until one says good-bye. There is also formality in verbal greetings, so that
one shows respect by adding "Madam," "Monsieur," or "Mademoiselle" to any greeting. There
are important public and private distinctions. In public spaces, one generally does not smile at
strangers or make eye contact with them (for instance, in the subway or bus) and should
keep one's voice low when speaking. Privacy is also maintained in homes, so that doors to
bedrooms and bathrooms are kept closed. When shopping in smaller stores, the buyer
generally greets the proprietor upon entry, and the proprietor helps the client choose the
goods to be purchased. It is less common to have free access in a store, although the growth
of large hypermarkets and shopping malls is changing this custom.
Religious Beliefs. France has been dominated by the influence of the Catholic Church, yet
the constitution declares it to be a "secular" country. Secularism does not reject religion but
attempts to bar any single religion from gaining political control. The minister of the interior is
also the minister of religions, an office established to ensure the representation of various
creeds. About 80 percent of the population is Roman Catholic. The second largest religion in
terms of adherents is Islam. There are about a million Protestants; 700,000 Jews; and
200,000 Orthodox (Russian and Greek) Christians. There is also a significant Buddhist
population. About 15 percent of the population claims the status of a nonbeliever. Religious
practice has diminished during the last fifty years, and less than 10 percent of the population
attends religious services.
The dominance of Catholicism is historically linked to the conversion of Clovis in 496. In most
of the country, communes began as parishes, and most rural villages see the local church
building as a symbol of local identity. The church bell rings to mark deaths, wars, and
weddings. French history is marked by religious struggles between Catholics and Protestants,
especially during the wars of religion in the sixteenth century. Many Protestants fled during
the seventeenth century, when their religious rights were rescinded by Louis XIV.
The French Revolution in the eighteenth century was in part a reaction to the power and
wealth of the Catholic Church. The 1905 law passed during the Third Republic officially
separated church and state. The split between republicans, who supported a secular state,
and antirepublicans, who were conservative and Catholic, was strong at the local level in
Catholic regions such as Brittany during the turn of the century. Anti-Semitism is symbolized
by the Dreyfus Affair, which was sparked at end of the nineteenth century by the false
conviction for spying and imprisonment under a death sentence of a Jewish army officer. This
divided republican and antirepublican factions across the nation. Anti-Semitism was prevalent
during the Vichy regime and has resurfaced with the neofascist Front National.
Folk religion varies by region. Witchcraft beliefs persist in some regions, such as the Vende.
Many Catholic regions combine elements of folk religion and Catholicism in their belief
Religious Practitioners. Because of the strong influence of the Catholic Church, priests are
the most important religious practitioners at the local level.

Characteristic stone buildings in the village of Lot. Privacy is strongly valued in French
The village priest was historically a major presence in rural areas. The triad of priest, mayor,
and schoolmaster was a feature of village life in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Strong anticlerical beliefs, particularly in southern areas, challenged this status. A shortage of
priests has reached a crisis point. Reflecting this shortage as well as the decline in religious
participation, few village churches hold regular services or have a village priest. People must
travel to towns for mass.
France has a variety of religious practices. Immigrants bring new forms of both established
and folk religious practices to urban areas. For Muslim immigrants in particular, religious
practice is an important way to preserve one's identity in an assimilationist society. In rural
areas, folk healers and diviners are consulted. New Age religions are thriving, and herbalists,
massage healers, and other practitioners are growing in influence.
Rituals and Holy Places. France was the site of many pilgrimages during the Middle Ages.
Most regions have historic churches that are visited regularly on holy days, with processions
leading to them. Lourdes is one of the best known pilgrimage sites in the world. Located in
the Pyrenees region in the southwest, it is visited by five million people each year. In 1858,
the Virgin Mary appeared to a young girl, Bernadette Soubirous, at the grotto in Lourdes. This
miracle inspires handicapped and ill people to visit this site and take the waters, which are
believed to have healing qualities. Lourdes has a Web site where one can hear the church
bells and watch the visitors.
Death and the Afterlife. The Judeo-Christian tradition dominates beliefs about the afterlife,
with heaven and hell playing a major role in the cosmology. In traditional rural areas, there
was a fatalist approach to death, and in many regions, such as Brittany, a "cult" of death
especially among older women. Funerals are important events, drawing from the entire
community. The cemetery in France is a symbolic site of memory, often visited by older
female relatives who tend to family plots. Young children often accompany grandmothers for
walks through cemeteries.
Medicine and Health Care
The French system of social security manages health care along with family allowances,
retirement benefits, and unemployment. The national health system covers medical expenses
and hospitalization for French citizens, and is run by a commission composed of
representatives of employers and worker organizations. Most of the time, patients

Only about 3 percent of France's population is employed in agriculture, although people have
been moving back to rural areas to live since the 1970s.
pay out of pocket for services or medications, and are then reimbursed according to a
schedule of rates. Supplemental private health insurance is purchased by many people. There
are both public and private hospitals in France, with the latter charging higher fees. The
health care system is funded by social security payments taken from wages. Health care is
very good in France, since most people have free access to it. Life expectancy is high80.9
years for women and 72.7 for men.
Death resulting from complications of alcoholism remains a major factor in mortality rates in
France, third after heart disease and cancer. The major health issues in France in the past few
decades have been AIDS ( SIDA ) and access to birth control. The rate of AIDS in France
ranks second after the United States among industrialized countries. The HIV virus was first
identified at the Institut Louis Pasteur in Paris, a major scientific research institute.
The sale of birth control and legalization of abortion came much later in France than in other
industrialized nations. The role of the Catholic Church in this is important, as is the influence
of the women's movement on the changes in policy. Birth control was first permitted to be
sold in 1967, and abortion did not become legal until 1975.
Secular Celebrations
France has several civic holidays ( jours feris ), when schools, museums, and stores close.
These public holidays, which include some with a religious origin, are: le Jour de l'An1
January; May Day or Labor Day1 May; World War II Victory Day8 May; Easter (date
varies); Ascension Day (after Easter); Pentecost Monday; Bastille Day14 July; Assumption
Day15 August; All Saints Day or Toussaint1 November; Armistice Day11 November; and
Christmas25 December. Along with Bastille Day, Armistice Day is the most patriotic of these
holidays, marking the end of World War I. There are speeches and parades in local
communities involving local dignitaries and veterans, who place a wreath on the war
Bastille Day is the most important national holiday, celebrated in every commune with town
dances, fireworks, and other festivities. On this day, there is a parade down the Champs-
Elyse in Paris, involving the President and other dignitaries. Bastille Day marks the storming
of the state prison, known as Bastille, by the citizens of Paris during the French Revolution.
Known popularly as the 14th of July ( le quatorze juillet ), Bastille Day celebrates the
overthrow of monarchy and the beginnings of the French Republic.
Each commune in France generally holds a town festival during the year. In some regions,
these incorporate religious and secular symbolisms. There are dances, parades, sports
competitions, and other activities.
The Arts and Humanities
Support for the Arts. There is a great deal of support for the arts in France at the state,
regional, and municipal levels. The French Ministry of Culture funds artists as well as
restoration projects and museums.
Literature. Oral traditions and folktales predominated in pre-modern France. Up until the
mid-twentieth century, rural communities held veilles, in which neighbors gathered in
someone's home around the hearth to trade stories and tales. French written literature is
considered one of the greatest world traditions. The first works of literature in French were
the Chansons de Geste of the eleventh century, a series of epic poems. During the
Renaissance, France's great national literature flourished with works by Franois Rabelais,
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, and Pierre de Ronsard. Enlightenment writers such as Voltaire,
Montesquieu (Charles-Louis de Secondat), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau helped to shape a
national consciousness during this time. Nineteenth-century writers took up themes of
struggles between social classes, clerical and anticlerical forces, and conservatives and
liberals. They also developed a form of realist writing that charted the various regional
differences, and urban-rural splits, in France. Franois-Auguste-Ren de Chateaubriand,
Madame de Stal, George Sand, Victor Hugo, Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle), Honorde Balzac,
and Gustave Flaubert were the great novelists of this period. Poets included Charles-Pierre
Baudelaire, Alphonse-Marie-Louis de Prat Lamartine, Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, and
Stphane Mallarm. Earlier twentieth century writers include Marcel Proust, Anatole France,
Jules Romains, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, Franois Mauriac, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, and
Andr-Georges Malraux. French existentialism during the postwar period is associated with
writers Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir. The so-called "new novel" came to the fore in
the 1950s and its representatives include Nathalie Sarraute and Alain Robbe-Grillet.
France gives several literary prizes each year. These include the Goncourt, the Renaudot, the
Medicis, and the Femina.
Graphic Arts. France's most important graphic art forms are painting, sculpture, and
architecture. The prehistory of French art is also important, including the famous cave
paintings in southwestern France. The nineteenth century period of Romanticism in painting
is associated with Eugne Delacroix and Jean-Auguste Ingres. Paintings of peasant life
flourished during this century, particularly in the work of Jean Courbet and Jean-Franois
Millet. Impressionism, in which color and light became important, is associated with Claude
Monet, (Jean) Pierre Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissaro, Edgar Degas, douard Manet, and
Morissette. Postimpressionism followed later in the century, with works by Henri Matisse, Paul
Czanne, Georges Seurat, and Pierre Bonnard. Great twentieth century painters include
Georges Braque, and Jean Dubuffet. The most famous French sculptor is Auguste Rodin.
Performance Arts. Theater and dance have a strong tradition in France, both in the
classical sense and in the realm of folklife. As in most of France's cultural life, Paris dominates
the grand traditions of theater. France's great dramatists include Pierre Corneille, Jean Racine,
Molire, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas pere and fils, Jean Anouilh, and Jean Genet. The
Comdie Franaise in Paris still presents the classic works of Molire and Racine. Opera is also
popular in France, cutting across social class. Street theater, pageants, and regional theatrical
productions flourish in the provinces. The city of Toulouse is particularly well-known for its
performance arts. French cinema is subsidized more highly by the state than other European
movie industries, and the French have access to more nationally-produced films than their
neighbors. Many French cities hold movie festivals during the year, the most famous being
that in Cannes in early summer.
The State of the Physical and Social Sciences
Most scientific research is supported and sponsored in France through the network of the
CNRS (Center for National Research). Scientific research is also funded by the CNES (French
National Space Agency) and INSERM (the National Institute for Health
and Medical Research). France is among the four world leaders in
scientific funding. The CNRS has funded many laboratories in which winners of Nobel prizes
and Fields medal for mathematics have worked. CNRS (including the research institutes it
funds) and French universities are the major sources of support for scientific research. Very
often, professors and researchers at universities also have appointments at CNRS. There is,
however, a series of exams that one must pass in order to enter into the CNRS.
French ethnographic research in France is funded by the Mission du Patrimoine Ethnologique,
which is part of the Ministry of Culture. The Mission participates in the journal Ethnologie
Francaise and publishes its own journal, Terrain. It also publishes books in association with
the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, an institute for advanced research in Paris. Another
major site for the anthropology of France is LAIOS, the Anthropological Laboratory for the
Study of Institutions and Social Organizations in Paris.

"No one can understand Paris and its history who does not understand that its fierceness is the balance
and justification of its frivolity. It is called a city of pleasure; but it may also very specially be called a
city of pain," claimed G.K. Chesterton, and the over two millenia of history of this cradle of culture and
modern society seem to reflect this statement.

Ancient and Medieval
1st c.
The area of the present day Paris becomes the site of a flourishing Roman settlement
called Lutetia.
3rd c. Lutetia, now renamed to Paris, is Christianized and St Denis becomes its first bishop.
Attila the Hun invades the region. Paris is spared miraculously -- according to legend,
thanks to the prayers of St Genevieve.
508 Frankish king Clovis chooses Paris as the capital of his country.
1140 The first Gothic cathedral is built at St Denis.
1163 The Cathedral of Notre Dame is erected quickly becoming the symbol of the city.
Philippe Auguste builds a fortified castle, that will later become the Louvre. Auguste
also establishes the city's first covered market at Les Halles.
1215 The University of Paris is founded.
1253 The Sorbonne is founded.
16th - 17th Century
1515 -
King Francois I rebuilds the Louvre in the Renaissance style where he courts such
magnificent notables as Leonardo da Vinci and Benvenuto Cellini.
St. Bartholomews Day Massacre: the culmination of a religious conflict during which
thousands of Huguenots are slaughtered, their bodies thrown into the Seine.
1635 Cardinal Richelieu founds the Academie Francaise.
The 'Sun King' Louis XIV establishes his court at the sumptuous new palace of

Paris Chronology
18th - 19th Century
Louis XV commissions the building of the Panthon, the Ecole Militaire and the
future Place de la Concorde.
July 14,
The storming of the Bastille marks the beginning of the French Revolution.
1793 -
The reign of terror. Thousands are executed before the members of the
Revolutionary Tribunal are themselves guillotined one by one.
1804 Napoleon proclaims himself Emperor in the Notre Dame Cathedral.
The Bourbons are restored to the French throne following Napoleons defeat at
1830 A cholera epidemic hits the city, killing 19,000 people.
A huge Egyptian obelisk, a gift from Viceroy Mohammed Ali Pasha, is installed at
the Place de la Concorde.
1837 The first French railway is established linking Paris and St-Germain-en-Laye.
A landmark exhibition takes place at the Salon des Refuss, featuring Impressionist
works by Edouard Manet, Claude Monet and Paul Czanne.
1870 -
The Franco-Prussian War. Revolt in Paris. Paris Commune is suppressed in
bloodshed. Soon after the Third Republic is proclaimed.
The Eiffel Tower, a subject of much controversy, is erected for the Universal
Exposition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.
20th Century - Present
First metro line opens in Paris. The city becomes an international centre of fashion
and nightlife 'the City of Light', and Montmartre, the home of Modern art.
1914 -
World War I. The Germans fail to take Paris, but France suffers heavy casualties.
1918 -
Famous American writers such as Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway settle in
Paris. Major modern artistic and philosophical movements are established, such as
Constructivism, Dadaism, Surrealism and Existentialism.
1940 -
World War II. Paris is under Nazi occupation.
Mass strikes and student demonstrations demanding freedom and reform.
The Centre Pompidou, perceived by some as a brilliant work of architecture and by
others as strikingly ugly, is inaugurated in Beaubourg.
1992 Disneyland Paris, a lavish theme park, opens in Parisian suburbs.



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