Paris Cityscape Part 1

The cityscape of Paris is determined by the course of the Seine and the historical north-south axis that cuts the river at right angles at the Île de la Cité. The “Grands Boulevards” encompass the old town center, the three-part division of which (Cité, Ville, Université [Quartier Latin]) is still understandable today. The center of the younger district adjoining it in the west is the Place Charles de Gaulle with the Arc de Triomphe (completed in 1836) and the avenues radiating from it in a star shape. On the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, new exclusive residential areas have been emerging since the end of the 19th century.

According to thesciencetutor, as the political and artistic center of France, Paris has important buildings from every epoch that are exemplary of new art movements, but at the same time continue the French tradition. Important architectural works of the Middle Ages have been preserved on the Île de la Cité: Notre-Dame-de-Paris, the last of the early Gothic cathedrals in France and the high Gothic Sainte-Chapelle (consecrated in 1248; stained glass windows from the middle of the 13th century in the upper church), which as part of the former royal palace of Louis IX. (today Palais de Justice with Conciergerie) kept the crown of thorns of Christ acquired in 1239 as a relic.

The trapezoidal Place Dauphine, whose axis crosses with the Pont Neuf (oldest surviving bridge in Paris, begun in 1578), was created under Henry IV, whose bronze equestrian statue is the reference point for the uniformly designed rows of houses that delimit this square. On the left bank of the Seine, Saint-Germain-des-Prés with the oldest church tower in Paris (11th century) and the Hôtel de Cluny (1485 following) survived the destruction caused by the French Revolution and the abandonment of the old city in the era of Prefect Haussmann. On the right bank, in the Marais, are the Hôtel de Sens (begun in 1475; with an art history library), the Hôtel Carnavalet (16th century, now the City Museum) and the Place des Vosges (1605–12; Place Royale until 1792) Closed residential quarter of the aristocratic society (including the Maison de Victor Hugo there), highlight of the urban developments under Henry IV: arcades, French doors and high roofs structure the unchanging brick fronts. Later squares tie in with this tradition of geometrical floor plans and identical house types, especially Place Vendôme (started in 1699 under Louis XIV based on plans by J. Hardouin-Mansart; Napoleon I. 1806-10 built based on the model of the Trajan Column to commemorate the Battle of Austerlitz) and Place de la Concorde (formerly Place Louis XV., Laid out by A.-J. Gabriel from 1755, between 1836 and 1854 by J. I. Hittorf with the complex two fountains completed; since 1836 with the Luxor obelisk, 13th century BC, in the middle).

The city palaces (hôtels) are one of the special features of Paris. An example is the Hôtel de Sully (1625–27, by J. Androuet Ducerceau) with its corps de logis between the garden and the Cour d’Honneur. The same elements of traditional French palace construction are used in the spacious Palais du Luxembourg. Likewise, the Louvre today gives the appearance of a uniformly designed complex; according to changing plans, its building history spans the 12th to 19th and 20th centuries. The Palais-Royal was built north of the Louvre. In the 17th century, the Île Saint-Louis, which is adjacent to the Île de la Cité, was also built on with aristocratic palaces (e.g. Hôtel Lambert, started in 1640 by L. Le Vau). On the left bank of the Seine were built in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century there were also numerous city palaces, most of which are now used by government authorities. This development was decisively influenced by the establishment of the Hôtel des Invalides (1670–76, today with the Army Museum) under Louis XIV to accommodate several thousand war invalids.

The sacred building of the 17th century was mainly influenced by Roman models. Dome churches dominate the city skyline. They owe their creation to large donors: Richelieu founded the Église de la Sorbonne (started in 1635, J. Lemercier), Anna of Austria the Val-de-Grâce church (1645, F. Mansart), Mazarin the chapel of the Collège des Quatre Nations (1662 ff., Le Vau; today Institut de France), Louis XIV. The Invalides (1677–1706 based on plans by Hardouin-Mansart; tomb of Napoleon I). The dome of the Panthéon is the first outstanding work of the Classicisme.

In the 18th century, the Palais de Soubise (begun in 1705, with rococo furnishings from 1732) and the Hôtel de Rohan, both of which now house the National Archives, were built in the Marais. The building complex of the École Militaire with the Champ de Mars (Marsfeld) stretching to the Seine was created in 1750–82. The Rue de Rivoli, which runs parallel to the right of the Seine (planned since 1801, completed in 1854), became the new boulevard with a uniform house front with arcades. In 1803, the Père-Lachaise cemetery was laid out in the east of the city, where numerous tombs of famous people are located.

The designs of Roman antiquity were preferred by Napoleon I. In order to glorify his victories, a. in the Tuileries of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (1806-08). To the fame of the army, the La Madeleine church was rebuilt in the form of a Roman temple (1806–42, by P. Vignon); This corresponds in its axis on the left bank of the Seine to the twelve-column portico of the Palais Bourbon (seat of the National Assembly; original construction 1722-28).

Paris Cityscape 1