March 11 - 17, 2018: Issue 351


Opera Garnier - The Paris Opera.

By George Repin 

The beauty of Paris owes much to the vast public works programme directed by Baron George-Eugène Haussmann between 1853 and 1870, involving major renovation of the city.  Many of modern Paris’s busiest streets, avenues and boulevards are a result of that renovation.  Medieval neighborhoods that were deemed overcrowded and unhealthy were demolished, new parks and squares were laid out, surrounding suburbs were incorporated into Paris and new sewers, fountains and aqueducts were built.  As a result of fierce opposition from vested interests Haussmann was dismissed in 1870 but planned work on his projects continued until 1927.  The distinctive appearance and street plan of the centre of Paris today is largely in accordance with Haussmann’s work.

Basilica of Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre - said to be the most popular tourist sight.

Another factor influencing the appearance of Paris is that the laws in relation to street-front alignment, building height and building distribution were under strict control from the early 17th Century.  Paris owes its style to distinctive cream-grey “Paris stone” building ornamentation, aligned top-floor balconies and tree-lined boulevards.

Place Pigalle - an entertainment centre.

The Latin Quarter - a concentration of France's intellectual life on the Left Bank.

Unlike many other cities in Europe its fabric has not suffered from catastrophes and wars.

In 1954 the population of Paris was 2,850.000.  It was easy to move around the city comfortably. Tourists were few and there was no feeling of population pressure.  There was little evidence in the streets of Paris of the influx of people from Overseas France, who were French citizens at birth. This changed over time and was evident on subsequent visits to Paris.

(According to the 2012 French census, 585,163 residents of the City of Paris, or 26.2 per cent, and 2,782,834 residents of the Paris Region – Ile-de-France-, or 23.4 per cent were born outside of Metropolitan France (the last figure up from 22.4% at the 2007 census.) In the Paris Region the country of birth of 289,826 people was Algeria.)

The Grand Palais.

Arc-de-Triomphe on the Champs-Elysees.

Eiffel Tower - designed by Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923).

The façade of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris (built 1163-1245).

East end of Notre-Dame de Paris seen across the Seine.

The bouquinistes - second hand book sellers on the bank of the Seine.

The pictures accompanying this article are the “must see sights” in Paris in 1954.  They are, of course, still there – but now there are others. 
Most of the post- World War II presidents have wanted to leave their own monuments in Paris. President Georges Pompidou started the Centre Georges Pompidou (1977) – cultural centre and modern art - Valéry Giscard d’Estaing began the Museé d’Orsay (1986) – Western Art from 1848 to 1914 – François Mitterand – Opéra Bastille (1985-1989); Bibliothèque Nationale de France (1996); Arche de la Défense (1985-1989); Louvre Pyramid (1983-1989); Jacques Chirac (2006) Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac – Indigenous Art and Culture of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.

Today there is more to see in Paris than ever before.

Arc -de-Triomphe du Carousel.

Dome of the Church of the Invalides.

The massive tomb of Emperor Napoleon I in the Church of the Invalides.

Previous Reflections by George Repin 

The Nineteen Thirties  Remembering Rowe Street  The Sydney Push  Saturday Night at the Movies  Shooting Through Like A Bondi Tram  A Stop On The Road To Canberra  City Department Stores - Gone and Mostly Forgotten  An Australian Icon - thanks to Billy Hughes  Crossing The Pacific in the 1930s  Hill End  The Paragon at Katoomba  Seafood In Sydney  How Far From Sydney?  Cockatoo Island Over The Years  The Seagull at the Melbourne Festival in 1991  Busby's Bore  The Trocadero In Sydney  Cahill's restaurants Medical Pioneers in Australian Wine Making  Pedal Power and the Royal Flying Doctor Service  Pambula and the Charles Darwin Connection  Gloucester and the Barrington Tops  A Millenium Apart  Have You Stopped to Look?  Gulgong  Il Porcellino  Olympia  Durham Hall  Sargent's Tea Rooms Pie Shops and Street Photographers The Ballet Russes and Their Friends in Australia  Hotels at Bondi  Alma Ata Conference - 1978 Keukenhof - 1954 The Lands Department Building and Yellowblock Sandstone  The Goroka Show - 1958  A Gem On The Quay  Staffa  The Matson Line and Keepsake Menus Kokeshi Dolls  The Coal Mine At Balmain  The Hyde Park Barracks  The Changing Faces Of Sydney From Pounds and Pence to Dollars and Cents Nell Tritton and Alexander Kerensky  Making A Difference In Ethiopia William Balmain  J C Bendrodt and Princes Restaurant Azzalin Orlando Romano and Romano's Restaurant  Waldheim  Alcohol in Restaurants Before 1955  King Island Kelp  The Mercury Theatre   Around Angkor - 1963   Angkor Wat 1963  Costumes From the Ballets Russe Clifton at Kirribilli  Chairman Mao's Personal Physician  The Toby Tavern The MoKa at Kings Cross  The Oceaographic  Museum  in Monaco  The Island of Elba  Russian Fairy Tale Plates  Meteora  Souda Bay War Cemetery Barrow, Alaska  Cloisonné  Tripitaka Koreana Minshuku The Third Man Photographs and Memories  Not A Chagall!  Did You Listen? Did You Ask?  Napier (Ahuriri, Maori) New Zealand  Borobudur  Ggantija Temples Plumes and Pearlshells  Murano  University of Padua  Ancient Puebloe Peoples - The Anasazi   Pula  The Gondolas of Venice Cinque Terre  Visiting the Iban David The Living Desert Bryce Canyon National Park   Aphrodisias   The Divine Comedy Caodaism  Sapa and local Hill People  A Few Children  Cappadocia  Symi Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre   Aboriginal Rock Art on Bigge Island    ANZAC Cove (Ari Burnu) 25 April, 1997  Hotere Garden Oputae  Children of the Trobriand Islands  Page Park Market - Rabaul  Rabual   Kotor, Montenegro   Galleries of Photographs I   Lascaux  Galleries of Photographs II   The Cathedral of St. James – Šibenik, Croatia  Ivan Meštrović  - Sculptor   Delphi   Gallery of Photographs III  The Handicrafts of Chiang Mai Raft Point  San Simeon - "Hearst Castle"  Floriade - The Netherlands - 1982  Russian New Year  Mycenae  "Flightseeing" Out Of Anchorage Alaska  The White Pass and Yukon Route  Totem Poles  Tivkin Cemetery  Krka National Park - Croatia   Tavistock Square and the BMA  Orthodox Easter  Wieliczka Salt Mine  A Walk on Santorini  Indonesian Snapshots Ephesus - The Library of Celsus  Ephesus - Some Places Of Interest  Waimea Canyon and the Kalalau Valley United Nations Headquarters 1958  A Miscellany of Flower Images Gardens Bath St. David's In Wales   Zion National Park Nicholas Himona - Artist  Kraków  Lilianfels  Collonges-La-Rouge  Gingerbread Houses   Cape Sounion   Delos  Wroclaw  Colonial Williamsburg  Gruyères   Strasbourg  Coventry Cathedral  The Roman Theatre at Aspendos  Turkish Carpets The Duomo of Orvieto  Rovinj  The City Walls of Dubrovnik Monaco - Snapshots   Bonifacio, Corsica  Autumn in New England USA  The Great Ocean Road  Pompeii  Didyma  Lawrence Hargrave 1850-1915  The Corinth Canal  Malta  Snapshots of Amsterdam Café Central - Vienna  The Forbidden City - Beijing, China  A Ride on the Jungfrau Railway - 1954   Snapshots in the Highlands of Scotland 1954

Copyright George Repin 2018. All Rights Reserved.