Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What's left of Les Halles


I know it's not the best view of Paris I've ever posted here, but it's an interesting one! Why? Because it shows what currently remains of Les Halles area ( Les Halles, used to be the central market of Paris from  1135 till the early 70's, when they transferred it to Rungis, in the suburbs). Since the 70's it has been turned into a huge underground mall with a big pedestrian area on top. Recently they decided to redo the whole place. Those who have been to Paris may have recognized Saint Eustache church on the right, the Bourse du commerce in the very back and... a piece of the Ecoute sculpture, by Henri de Miller. I can't wait till this goes back to "normal".

16 comments:

  1. Well don't I feel like an old lady now? I remember it when it was newly built. Whatever they've planned (I can't remember which design won) will be an improvement. That was one butt-ugly, nasty place.

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  2. "Whatever they've planned (I can't remember which design won) will be an improvement." I agree!!!

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  3. You tell 'em, Mrs. V! I only hope it was a different committee than the one that chose the last design.

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  4. I trust that the current refurbishment will embellish the site (better than the renovation, I hope).

    Another thing I hope is that the "Canopée" works frecuently, I mean, the "fountain" that'll be installed in it...or am I wrong about that?

    ;)

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  5. I hope it'll be better than before the renovation!
    (I made a mistake in my previous comment).

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  6. Bon débarras! Good riddance! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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  7. The park that was there in fact had become somehow forebidding. It nevertheless was a good clue for orientation in Paris, and always helped me find my way.

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  8. Yeah, it was a creepy place, despite all the glass and intended light. I think about what I learned from CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design). A fundamental concept is open space where all is visible, not providing places to hide. Les Halles always seemed to me as the perfect place for thieves and purse-snatchers to hang out because they could be gone and out of sight in a few seconds.

    And compared to Saint Eustache, it was a visible abomination.

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  9. Thanks for a view of the "progress". I was surprised to see the old green metalwork strewn across the ground when I was in Paris last December, but happy to see that something more attractive will take its place. --Katie

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  10. Oh wow! I remember walking around there on my very first visit to Paris in the 1990's. I remember thinking it was odd that there was a seedy shopping mall in Paris. Glad it has better days ahead!

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  11. Great shot, Eric! As far as I'm concerned, it won't be back to "normal" until they return it to the way I remember it from the '60s—rats and all!

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  12. Would have hated to be on clean-up duty for this area! What a mess!

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  13. I remember the original "Les Halles" on one of my first trips to Paris....I wore brown oxfords and was holding my father's hand...so you know it was a while back...LOL!! I was spellbound with the sights, the sounds, the food, the people...I was so very lucky to experience that and still remember it...and my father talking to the elderly women and flirting with them for a better deal...ahhh...les souvenirs!...Sighhh

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