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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Hansen

Virtual Visit: Building Paris, Part 2

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

Now that we have a better understanding of the historical development of Paris' urban plan and the way that its many city walls dictated the form of the arrondissements and the general organization of the modern city, we're going to take a closer look at how events in the 19th century radically restructured many elements of the city that we know today.

Our story will revolve around two major protagonists: Emperor Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann -- two figures who dominated Paris history in the second half of the 19th century. We'll see how their very specific ideas about what a modern city should be and do impacted the form that the city's streets took. We'll also learn how to identify a traditional Haussmannian building form, and appreciate some before-and-after comparisons of Old and New Paris.

As usual, one quick note: the primary venue for this content is the stories feature on my Instagram page. All of the virtual visits will be saved in my story highlights. The purpose of the blog posts is to allow a greater audience (especially those without social media accounts) to benefit from the same content.

Now, let's explore the Haussmannization of Paris!

La voilà! A little look at how Paris was transformed in the 19th century into the city we know today. I hope that the next time you find yourself in Paris, you'll be able to use these historical tools to help you differentiate the existing parts of Old Paris from their Haussmannian counterparts, and to read the history of the city written in its streets.

See you back here later this week for a look at the way the World's Fairs transformed the western part of Paris in the 19th and early-20th century.

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