Les Halles in Paris

Friday, 12 August 2016 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Paris / Île-de-France, Shopping
Reading Time:  5 minutes

© Zoeunibail/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Zoeunibail/cc-by-sa-4.0

Les Halles de Paris, usually simply Les Halles (The Halls), was Paris‘s central fresh food market. Located in the heart of the city, it was demolished in 1971 and replaced with the Forum des Halles, a modern shopping mall built largely underground and directly connected to the massive RER and métro transit hub of Châtelet-Les-Halles. The shopping mall welcomes 150,000 visitors daily. Since 2010, a major reconstruction of the mall is under progress. The new version was inaugurated in 2016. The mall remains open during works. In 2013, the Forum des Halles was still the second most visited shopping mall in France with 39.2 million visitors.

Les Halles was the traditional central market of Paris. In 1183, King Philippe II Auguste enlarged the marketplace in Paris and built a shelter for the merchants, who came from all over to sell their wares. The church of Saint-Eustache was constructed in the 16th century. The circular Halle aux Blés (Corn Exchange), designed by Nicolas Le Camus de Mézières, was built between 1763 and 1769 at the west end of Les Halles. Its circular central court was later covered with a dome, and it was converted into the Bourse de Commerce in 1889. In the 1850s, Victor Baltard designed the famous glass and iron buildings, Les Halles, which would last until the 1970s. Les Halles was known as the “Belly of Paris”, as it was called by Émile Zola in his novel Le Ventre de Paris, which is set in the busy marketplace of the 19th century. Unable to compete in the new market economy and in need of massive repairs, the colourful ambience once associated with the bustling area of merchant stalls disappeared in 1971, when Les Halles was dismantled; the wholesale market was relocated to the suburb of Rungis. Two of the glass and cast iron market pavilions were dismantled and re-erected elsewhere; one in the Paris suburb of Nogent-sur-Marne, the other in Yokohama, Japan.

© Zoeunibail/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Benjamin Laible/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Jmex/cc-by-sa-4.0 Halles de la gare - Central train station © Gene.arboit/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Elekes Andor/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Elekes Andor/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Elekes Andor/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Elekes Andor/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Elekes Andor/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Halles de la gare - Central train station © Gene.arboit/cc-by-sa-3.0
Gare de Châtelet – Les Halles is Paris’s most used rail station, serving 750,000 travelers on an average weekday. The buildings and their surroundings have been criticized for their design. In 2002 Mayor Bertrand Delanoë announced that the City of Paris would begin public consultations regarding the remodeling of the area, calling Les Halles “a soulless, architecturally bombastic concrete jungle”. A design competition for the Forum and gardens was held, with entries from Jean Nouvel, Winy Maas, David Mangin, and Rem Koolhaas. Mangin’s design for the gardens, which proposed replacing the landscaped mounds and paths of the 1980s design with a simplified pattern of east-west pedestrian promenades and a large central lawn, was selected. The plan also includes extending the pedestrianized area further east to include all the streets bordering the gardens. Another competition was held for the redesign of the Forum. Ten teams submitted plans, and the proposal by Patrick Berger and Jacques Anziutti was selected in 2007. Their design includes a large undulating glass canopy which will cover the redesigned Forum. STIF and RATP began plans for the remodeling of the Châtelet-Les-Halles station in 2007, and the following year Berger and Anziutti were awarded a contract for redesign of the station.

The station redesign includes new entrances on Rue Berger, Rue Rambuteau, and Place Marguerite de Navarre, an expanded RER concourse, and improved pedestrian circulation. Construction began in 2010 on a project which includes the gardens, Forum, and station. The clients are the City of Paris, RATP, which operates the Paris Metro, and La Société Civile du Forum des Halles de Paris, which operates the Forum.

Read more on parisinfo.com – Quartier des Halles and Wikipedia Les Halles (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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