The Sassy Guide to the City of Light
As an American living in Paris for nearly 9 years, I have plenty of words of wisdom to share about this glorious, yet sometimes frustrating, city. Each weekday this month I will share my thoughts on some of the best stuff to do in Paris. Today's letter, H, is for Haussman Architecture.
Strolling through the streets of Paris, you'll notice most of the buildings have the same look and feel to them. It's one of Paris's greatest charms. Certain streets have a unique feel, and yes, I like those too, but I just love that you can be walking in various parts of town and it still feels like Paris.
That's due mainly to the Haussmann style of architecture, implemented from 1853-1870 (though some of his projects continued even after Napoleon III fired him 1870). Monsieur Haussmann essentially renovated the entire city, from infrastructure like sewers and aqueducts to aesthetically pleasing aspects like housing and parks.
We can also thank him for some of the wide avenues that traverse the city nowadays. I love the quaint winding side streets - don't get me wrong - but Haussmann's renovations were necessary at a time when the city was plagued with disease, overcrowding, and crime. By opening up parts of the city, he improved the flow and made the city less dangerous.
Today when you tour Paris, you can enjoy the results of his work while still darting through the occasional tiny cobblestoned rue. It's the best of both worlds.
Check out the full series:
Paris A to Z: A is for Pont Alexandre III
Paris A to Z: B is for Boulangerie
Paris A to Z: C is for Chateau de Vincennes
Paris A to Z: D is for Drinks
Paris A to Z: E is for Eiffel Tower
Paris A to Z: F is for Fondue
Paris A to Z: G is for La Grande Epicerie
Paris A to Z: H is for Haussmann Architecture
Paris A to Z: I is for Ile St. Louis
Paris A to Z: J is for Jim Morrison's Grave
Paris A to Z: K is for Kir Royale
Paris A to Z: L is for The Long Hop
Paris A to Z: M is for Métro
Paris A to Z: N is for Notre Dame
Paris A to Z: O is for Musée d'Orsay
Paris A to Z: P is for Promenade Plantée
Paris A to Z: Q is for Quaint Shops
Paris A to Z: R is for Romance
Paris A to Z: S is for Sacre Coeur
Paris A to Z: T is for Trousseau
Paris A to Z: U is for Un Reve
Paris A to Z: V is for Vin
Paris A to Z: W is for Walking
Paris A to Z: X is for Expats
Paris A to Z: Y is for Court Yards
Paris A to Z: Z is for Zen in the City