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Old July 25th, 2012, 12:12 PM   #261
D.J.
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Originally Posted by skymantle View Post
BUT here is where you contradict yourself because it's not these pre-Haussmannian buildings and atmosphere which makes Paris a world global city, but it's largely the grandeaur of Haussmann's Paris that does, albeit some of the most grand and beautiful buildings such as Garnier's Opera and perhaps some less appealing buildings like the Hotel Dieu.

Put simply, Paris wouldn't be a magnificent, urban masterpiece, top 4 world global city without Haussmann's realisation and for this we should all be infinitely grateful and forget the misplaced nostalgia of a boring, unimpressive pre-Haussmannian, jumbled medieval city that would have left Paris a 3rd or less tier city.
So it couldn't be built some place else? You could build Garner's opera only when you first destroy something. Nice theory. But I can imagine Paris that would remain its old medieval core and have XIX district outside of it. Like in many other tows in Europe.
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Old July 25th, 2012, 05:19 PM   #262
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So it couldn't be built some place else? You could build Garner's opera only when you first destroy something. Nice theory. But I can imagine Paris that would remain its old medieval core and have XIX district outside of it. Like in many other tows in Europe.
That might have worked for other cities but not for Paris, as it was the biggest city in the world. Outside districts would be too far out of the city, leaving basicly a huge medieval slum in the middle. The reasons for the rebuilding weren't just fashion or aesthetics, but social, economic, sanitary and military as well. I agree they should have had more respect for history and preserved some sections of the city worthy of posterity (for example, the city island)... but preserving the entire thing would have been out of the question.
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Old July 25th, 2012, 05:56 PM   #263
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Let's not forget that we are discussing this from a 21st century mindset in which architectural and historical heritage are held in more consideration than in the mid-19th century. I doubt that in the 1850s many Parisians were specifically concerned about the loss of centuries-old buildings.
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Old July 25th, 2012, 06:50 PM   #264
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Let's not forget that we are discussing this from a 21st century mindset in which architectural and historical heritage are held in more consideration than in the mid-19th century. I doubt that in the 1850s many Parisians were specifically concerned about the loss of centuries-old buildings.
One would think the opposite, as this was the time of exaltation of the romantic medieval and gothic past, specially in architecture, with the works of Viollet-le-Duc. I'm actually surprised there was so much disrespect for Paris' medieval cityscape.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 10:04 AM   #265
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So it couldn't be built some place else? You could build Garner's opera only when you first destroy something. Nice theory. But I can imagine Paris that would remain its old medieval core and have XIX district outside of it. Like in many other tows in Europe.
if the Île de la Cité was kept oringinal, that wouldn't destroy Haussmann's idea and project, so there would be enough of medieval paris left for future generations, yet outside the Île de la Cité we would have that Haussmann's urban concept...that would be nice mix i think...i really have no idea why it was so important to have that idea even on Île de la Cité ?
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Old July 31st, 2012, 04:12 PM   #266
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Well said skymantle. When I first read Brisavoine I thought of a troll actually, like : "I don't like this building so nobody can like it so let's destroy it and have this part of Paris rebuilt as it was in the middle ages or else a new modern one". Fatche!

I live in Paris and I'm used to walking in la Cité very often. It's nothing but a dead administrative quarter.
As regards the Hotel Dieu, first, it's far from being that bad looking. Its courtyard offers different points of view, for example:
[IMG]http://i43.************/255ud6s.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i44.************/23sbq7m.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i44.************/2pyqc20.jpg[/IMG]

Second and above all, it's calm, peaceful, as the Hotel Dieu is a hospital ! And one of the most important ones, knowing that it hosts the headquarters of Paris' hospitals or still the biggest emergency department of the first 9 "arrondissements" of the city, not talking about its university. In other words, the centre of Paris couldn't afford to lose its hospital without suffering serious consequences, especially for questionable aesthetic reasons (!).

The préfecture de police is of the utmost importance to the centre of Paris as well. The "quai des orfèvres" is besides a reference in the history of our police which numerous parisian and French people wouldn't accept to be deprived of because 2 or 3 people would regret the middle ages.

By the way, both the police judiciaire and the tribunal de grande instance should move to the Batignolles (17th arrondissement) within 2017. But the building shouldn't be destroyed. It is said to welcome the museum of the préfecture the police.

As far as I'm concerned, I prefer our current Paris by far. Notre Dame now can be seen from the Seine river and offers stunning points of view nobody could have dreamt of when it was built. Moreover, it gives any parisian and any tourist the possibility to breathe right in the middle of the historical centre of Paris, where Notre Dame is enhanced more than ever.
That's right. Clearing the area in front and around Notre dame in the cite made much sense, not only for the visual reasons you've outlined but also because such a grand and imposing building requires a large open space in front of it for pedestrians as well as being able to access and admire it as a focal point, and not to be straightjacketed in a dense, cluttered environment.

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At last, Paris has left the middle ages for... ages and I see no reason why we should regret it. For that's notably its panache its elegance and its modernity that have made it first beautiful then worldwide famous until now, despite a few "architectural mistakes". A masterpiece sometimes may require several tries and these tries may be part of what may help understand and appreciate the whole masterpiece even more.
True. Hey, if people want quaint medieval atmosphere they can go to countless other French towns with their uniform medieval character, such as lovely La Rochelle, etc...and like I said already, imho there exists enough medieval Paris streets for that type of atmosphere anyway, adding another dimension to this great city, even if it is its original urban fabric.

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So it couldn't be built some place else? You could build Garner's opera only when you first destroy something. Nice theory. But I can imagine Paris that would remain its old medieval core and have XIX district outside of it. Like in many other tows in Europe.
Sweete, what you're claiming here is called conjecture. Could've, should've, what if... blah blah blah. The fact of the matter is that Paris is the magnificent metropolis it is because of its Haussmannian overhaul, not because of its lost medieval character (dark ages, disorderly, unsanitary). It is an ode to classicism (enlightened, progressive) and beyond...and what a classic beauty she transformed into. It's grand boulevards, concentric vistas and other progressive constructions, no less sewerage and metro included, are the reasons it's considered to be one of the most beautiful, breathtaking urban masterpieces of the world.
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Old August 2nd, 2012, 02:17 PM   #267
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Sweete, what you're claiming here is called conjecture. Could've, should've, what if... blah blah blah. The fact of the matter is that Paris is the magnificent metropolis it is because of its Haussmannian overhaul, not because of its lost medieval character (dark ages, disorderly, unsanitary). It is an ode to classicism (enlightened, progressive) and beyond...and what a classic beauty she transformed into. It's grand boulevards, concentric vistas and other progressive constructions, no less sewerage and metro included, are the reasons it's considered to be one of the most beautiful, breathtaking urban masterpieces of the world.
The fact that Paris wouldn't be magnificent city with medieval core is also a conjecture. I claim it would be even more magnificent with both. Yet you bring some ideological revelations about "medieval times" as dark, disordered and etc. If Paris was disordered it only means it was overpopulated, and it was because french state was too centralised. Because of its need of controlling everything it created a "monster city" in a core of the country that, in irony, couldn't be controlled. And Haussmann was another french maniac of over-control.

Rationally planned "medieval" (the term was invented in XVIII century) city you can see in almost any town in Germany or Poland even today. I also cant say that sanitary conditions were somewhat better in XVIII century. And here we move to another point. These were times of Positivism (sewerage system and metro...) and Romanticism already. Haussmann (and Napoleon III) with his revolutionary thinking was in fact backwarded 50 years. And of course style of these buildings is not neoclassical.
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Old August 4th, 2012, 07:48 AM   #268
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The fact that Paris wouldn't be magnificent city with medieval core is also a conjecture.
No sweetie, there is no doubt that Paris with Haussmann's overhaul made it a magnificent city. That's why Paris is so loved and revered today, and therefore it's not conjecture but a tangible, palpable, visible fact. It's not a case of what if, could've, should've...it actually is magnificent becasue of its transformation as we see it today, and as they say 'the proof is in the pudding'.

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I claim it would be even more magnificent with both.
Conjecture. Besides, it still does have both, albeit to a smaller degree in relation to its medieval component, which quite pleasantly adds allure and interest to the ambience and urban fabric of the city, as I already pointed out.

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Yet you bring some ideological revelations about "medieval times" as dark, disordered and etc.
Uhm, have you seen the pictures of medieval Paris? No doubt it was disordered, unorganised, unsanitary, debilitative etc.

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If Paris was disordered it only means it was overpopulated, and it was because french state was too centralised. Because of its need of controlling everything it created a "monster city" in a core of the country that, in irony, couldn't be controlled. And Haussmann was another french maniac of over-control.
Firstly, it was overpopulated for the tight area it occupied as a city stuck with a medieval plan, thus the rationale to re-plan, improve and re-organise it better. Secondly, social and physical management (its 'flow' if you like), which is a more appropriate word than control and also a civilising factor of any society, indeed motivated the reasoning for its Haussmannian transformation. And finally, the 'monster city' that it has become is only a recent modern phenomenon and not necessarily a consequence of its planned transformation. Sure, it allowed it be able to accommodate more people in an orderly way, but that's only a positive aspect of its transformation, not a negative one.

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Rationally planned "medieval" (the term was invented in XVIII century) city you can see in almost any town in Germany or Poland even today.
Not medieval, but renaissance more correctly I would have thought.

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Originally Posted by D.J. View Post
I also cant say that sanitary conditions were somewhat better in XVIII century.
Can't you...more conjecture perhaps?

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The tight confines of Medieval Paris were hindering the city’s 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 façade 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 1666.

http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/art...ral-Paris.html
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Originally Posted by D.J. View Post
:And here we move to another point. These were times of Positivism (sewerage system and metro...) and Romanticism already. Haussmann (and Napoleon III) with his revolutionary thinking was in fact backwarded 50 years.
I have doubts about this, but if you like, please provide evidence of this sweeping statement as I don't pretend to know-it-all and am open to debate.

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And of course style of these buildings is not neoclassical.
Well...how can I put this. The Arch de Triomphe doesn't look calssical to you? True, the Haussmannian apartments can't be labelled as strictly neoclassical in themselves, but they do take inspiration from classicism, that's quite obvious.

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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.

...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.14 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.

http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/art...ral-Paris.html
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Old August 7th, 2012, 02:20 AM   #269
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Nice medieval city it was!
Ultimately, the changes sometimes controversial of haussmann were indispensable. because once 300 years ago, Paris had a huge delay from london on health, hygiene, brightness. 300 years ago Paris was a huge cesspool, an open garbage can. one can criticize the gigantic work of haussmann, haussmann destroyed many treasures but he destroyed many more dilapidated and dirty buildings.
there are still many places in Paris that have not been destroyed by haussmann: montmartre-sacre coeur, butte aux cailles in the 13th, a lot of paved alleys everywhere, low houses like small villages at the limits of paris in the 19th, 20th districts/arrondissements, walkways, etc.
i will post later pics.
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Old September 9th, 2012, 06:45 PM   #270
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I would have loved to have a bit more of medieval Paris left, but I can't complain. Unlike in other places (see the second city in my location), what has replaced it is now regarded as historical and classy (which it is). But when I do feel the need of the old I do set up a trip to Bruges, Strasbourg or other similar places.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 10:39 PM   #271
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I have one question.
I was in Paris 2 weeks ago and of course i was in Notre-Dame.Inside the church,i saw pictures how the church looked through its history,now i'm working on some presentation about Notre-Dame and i would like to have this pictures but i can't find them anywhere on internet,so does anyone know what pictures i mean on?
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Old November 24th, 2012, 04:13 PM   #272
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it's a fact that the destruction in the center of paris (i mean île notre dame area and the area around the city hall) was a disaster...
the new hotel dieu is just awful and i regret old streets...
fortunately, barcelone with the gotic area and rome with the baroque area, had not destroyed their historical district... napoleon III should have say NO to his friend haussmann
for the rest of city, of course, the haussmann work is beautiful... but don't forget that they destroyed so much beautiful buildings, i mean hotels particuliers and chuches

see hotel thellusson



see abbaye saint victor



see eglise des feuillants


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Old November 24th, 2012, 07:30 PM   #273
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Not medieval, but renaissance more correctly I would have thought.
No, actually most German towns were founded in medieval times already.

Some even were around in Roman times and followed a distinctive planned Roman grid.

Even my hometown of Neubrandenburg is an example of a strictly planned town from medieval times, from the 13th century. Hardly renaissance times.

Just wanted to point this out. I can't really add anything more to the topic.
I think Paris went both through a great loss and a great gain with Haussmann.
He could have done better by preservation of more medieval quarters, but well...
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Old November 24th, 2012, 09:55 PM   #274
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there are still many places in Paris that have not been destroyed by haussmann: montmartre-sacre coeur, butte aux cailles in the 13th, a lot of paved alleys everywhere, low houses like small villages at the limits of paris in the 19th, 20th districts/arrondissements, walkways, etc.
i will post later pics.
Didn't happen.

Anyone else?
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Old November 25th, 2012, 05:25 PM   #275
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How many people were resettled during the Haussmann reurbanization? And how was it possible from the point of view of property rights? (France was not a despotic regime after all...)
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Old November 25th, 2012, 06:01 PM   #276
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Fascinating thread.

I would assume Kanio that many people living in the cramped housing of the medieval old town were in joy that they could move to new spacious apartments. The wider layout of the city would help to fight outbreaks of diseases as well.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 08:24 PM   #277
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How many people were resettled during the Haussmann reurbanization? And how was it possible from the point of view of property rights? (France was not a despotic regime after all...)
It was done under the Second Empire which certainly wasn't a democratic regime. I don't know about Paris but during the same period, in my hometown of Marseille, a long avenue was pierced through part of the old town resulting in the destruction of over 900 homes. Many of the displaced inhabitants ended up living in a shantytown a couple of miles further which became known as La Californie (because it reminded people of the tent cities that had recently sprang up during the California gold rush at that time).

That street is now known as Rue de la République (formally Rue Impériale) and has beautiful haussmannien buildings lining it on each side, but it was built at a cost to a number of ordinary citizens.
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Old December 29th, 2012, 05:11 PM   #278
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That might have worked for other cities but not for Paris, as it was the biggest city in the world. Outside districts would be too far out of the city, leaving basicly a huge medieval slum in the middle. The reasons for the rebuilding weren't just fashion or aesthetics, but social, economic, sanitary and military as well. I agree they should have had more respect for history and preserved some sections of the city worthy of posterity (for example, the city island)... but preserving the entire thing would have been out of the question.
It reminds me of Le Corbusier's plan Voisin for Paris. Imagine that it has come true:





Downtown Paris, today:


by Alain Bublex
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Old December 29th, 2012, 05:26 PM   #279
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From an aesthetic point of view, surely the transformation was a progress in the city's history. Regarding the artistic value of the medieval centre of a city that was the heart of Europe for several centuries, well, in this respect it was a disaster. By the way, is there a thread about the medieval centre of Vienna? It underwent through a similiar transformation though
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Old December 29th, 2012, 06:49 PM   #280
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I'm not even sure that it was a progress from an aesthetic point of view. Haussmann's work is austere (I'm not talking about post-Haussmann architecture). There is something stagey, like in Brest (Jean-Baptiste Mathon) or Le Havre (Auguste Perret), how to live in a sculpture ? People obviously prefer smaller and authentic streets.
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