It is difficult to grasp the true enormity of Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s renovation of Paris. This massive undertaking was begun and much of it was accomplished before the age of electricity. And although it was commissioned by Emperor Napoléon III, Haussmann’s work was met with fierce opposition, and as a result he was finally dismissed by Napoleon III in 1870.
This development project involved the demolition of entire medieval neighborhoods that were over crowded and plagued with disease. In their place wide avenues, parks and squares, were built along with the construction of new sewers, fountains, aqueducts, bridges, churches, theaters, hospitals, city halls and even public toilets. The street plan and distinctive style of Paris ‘centre ville’ we all know today is largely due to the result of Haussmann’s renovation.
Here is a video we put together. We’re trying to give the viewer a feel of the scope of this grand construction project with a run time of under 3 minutes.