Sunday, April 17, 2005
Trains leaving Paris from the Saint Lazare train station (8th arrondissement) - taken from the Place de l'Europe.
Gare Saint Lazare is the oldest station in Paris. It was built between 1842 and 1853 by the architect Eugene Flachat to serve the Paris to Saint-Germain line. It was the first train line to be built in Paris (it was 19 kilometres long and trains could run on it as fast as... 40 Kilometres per hour!).
As with all new inventions, trains were very controversial at that time; Francois Arago - a French politician - claimed that travelling by train would trigger nervous diseases and that human eyes would surely not be able to adapt to the quick change of scenery when looking out the windows! Jules Michelet, a famous writer and historian mentioned that people would become ill - and possibly die - because of the sudden climate change when travelling at such a high speed...