The small but lively Beaubourg quarter, brimming with art galleries and cafés, has become a major tourist attraction since the construction of the Centre Georges Pompidou. This inside-out hulk of modern architecture has become the focus of the area and is France’s third most visited site after the Musée du Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. Les Halles was the marketplace of Paris for 800 years, its glass-covered pavilions packed with butchers, fishmongers and fruit and vegetable stalls; novelist Emile Zola called it “the belly of Paris”. In 1969, the market was demolished and moved to the suburbs to alleviate traffic congestion. Sadly, the soulless underground shopping mall, Forum des Halles, replaced it, but there are still a few old-time bistros and specialist food shops that survive to recall its former character.

Georges Pompidou

Georges Pompidou (1911–74) had the unenviable task of following General de Gaulle as President of France, from 1969 until his death. During his tenure he initiated many architectural developments in Paris, including the controversial but ultimately successful Pompidou Centre, and the less popular scheme to demolish the Les Halles market.

  1. Centre Georges Pompidou

    Stravinsky fountains
  2. Forum des Halles

    Ten years after the original market was demolished, the so-called “largest urban hole in Europe” was filled with this controversial shopping complex. This largely underground maze caters to the young, with music shops and boutiques. Outside, buskers, young people and tourists throng the steps and gardens (not a place to linger at night). Separate metal and glass buildings house the Pavillion des Arts and the Maison de la Poésie, centres for art and poetry respectively. Today, it’s more of a sore spot than a hotspot and French architect David Mangin has been commissioned to oversee its renovation, although a start-date has not yet been decided.

    Forum des Halles

    Fashion in Les Halles
  3. St-Eustache

    With its majestic arches and pillars, St-Eustache is one of the most beautiful churches in Paris. Although Gothic in design, it took 105 years to build (1532– 1637) and its interior decoration reflects the Renaissance style of this time. The church was modelled on Notre-Dame, with double side aisles and a ring of side chapels. The stained-glass windows made from sketches by Philippe de Champaigne (1631) and the ornate tomb of politician Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619–83) are highlights. Don’t miss the naive sculpture in Chapelle St-Joseph which recalls Les Halles’ market days.

    • 2 impasse St-Eustache, 75001

    • Open 9:30am–7pm Mon–Fri, 10am–7pm Sat, 9:15am–7pm Sun

    • Free

  4. Bourse du Commerce

    The circular building which houses the Commodities Exchange was erected as a grain market in 1767 and remodelled in the 19th century. It was first covered with a wooden dome, then by subsequent structures of iron and copper. Under today’s glass dome, activity in the world commodities market proceeds at a leisurely pace compared to the way other financial centres operate.

    • 2 rue de Viarmes, 75001

    • Open 9am–6pm Mon–Fri (identification papers are required to visit)

  5. Le Défenseur du Temps

    The “Defender of Time”, Paris’s modern public clock, stands in the grim Quartier de l’Horloge (Clock Quarter) shopping area. This fantasy mechanical sculpture of brass and steel by Jacques Monastier is 4 m (13 ft) high and weighs one tonne. When the clock strikes the hour, the warrior fends off a savage cockerel, crab or dragon (representing air, water and earth) with his sword, with accompanying sound effects. At noon, 6pm and 10pm he vanquishes all three (when the clock is working).

    • Rue Bernard-de-Clairvaux, 75003

    Le Défenseur du Temps

  6. Fontaine des Innocents

    The Square des Innocents is a Les Halles crossroads and a hang-out for street performers and young people. It was built atop a cemetery in the 18th century, and two million human remains were transferred to the Catacombs at Denfert-Rochereau. The Renaissance fountain, the last of its era built in the city, was designed by Pierre Lescot and carved by sculptor Jean Goujon in 1547. It originally stood against a wall on rue St-Denis, and was later moved to the new square, when the fourth side was added .

    • Rues St-Denis & Berger, 75001

  7. Eglise St-Merry

    Formerly the parish church of the Lombard moneylenders, St-Merry was built between 1520 and 1612, and reflects the Flamboyant Gothic style. Its name is a corruption of St-Médéric, who was buried on this site in the early 8th century. The bell in the church’s northwest turret, thought to be the oldest in Paris, dates from 1331 and hung in a chapel which once stood on the site. Other highlights include the decorative west front, the 17th-century organ loft, beautiful stained glass and carved wood panelling.

    • 76 rue de la Verrerie, 75004

    • Open noon–6:45pm daily

    • Free

  8. St-Germain l’Auxerrois

    When the Valois kings moved to the Louvre palace in the 14th century , this became the church of the royal family. On 24 August 1572, the tolling of its bell was used as the signal for the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, when thousands of Huguenots who had come to Paris for the wedding of Henri of Navarre to Marguerite of Valois were murdered. The church features a range of architectural styles, from its flamboyant Gothic façade to its Renaissance choir. Try and visit on Sunday afternoon when there are organ recitals.

    • 2 pl du Louvre, 75001

    • Open 8am–8pm daily

    • Free

    St-Germain l’Auxerrois
  9. Musée de la Poupée

    This delightful museum has a superb collection of 300 rare French dolls, including unglazed hand-painted porcelain dolls which were manufactured between 1850 and 1950. Many are imaginatively displayed in tableaux which portray various scenes, such as dolls having tea or playing with nursery toys. The museum also runs a doll hospital where doll doctor Véronique Derez works miracles on dolls of all ages.

    • Impasse Berthaud, 75003

    • Open 10am–6pm Tue–Sun

    • Closed public hols

    • Admission charge

  10. Tour St-Jacques

    The late Gothic tower, dating from 1523, is all that remains of the church of St-Jacques-la-Boucherie, once the largest medieval church in Paris and a starting point for pilgrims on their journey to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. In the 17th century the physicist Blaise Pascal used the tower for barometrical experiments. The church was pulled down after the Revolution. The tower reopened to the public in 2009 after a lengthy restoration. Visitors can explore the gardens around the base, but are not allowed to climb up the tower.

    • Pl du Châtelet, 75004

Top search
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Can You Eat Crab Meat During Pregnancy?
- 4 Kinds Of Fruit That Can Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- Some Drinks Pregnant Women Should Say No With
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy
- Why Do Pregnant Women Have Stomachache When Eating?
- Top Foods That Pregnant Women Should Be Careful Of
- 6 Kinds Of Vegetable That Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- London's Top 10 : Best Places to Eat - Top 10 Places to Eat with a View
- London's Top 10 : London on Foot
- Terrace Talk
- Swiss Quality, Italian Lifestyle
- St. Moritz - Top of the World
- Life on the Edge (Part 2)
- Life on the Edge (Part 1)
- Berlin - Around Town : Charlottenburg & Spandau (part 5) - Restaurants
- Berlin - Around Town : Charlottenburg & Spandau (part 4) - Cafés
- Berlin - Around Town : Charlottenburg & Spandau (part 3) - Shops & Markets
- San Francisco - Around Town : Downtown (part 2) - North Beach Sights,Downtown Shopping
- San Francisco - Around Town : Downtown (part 1)
- Washington, D.C - Around Town : Around Capitol Hill (part 3) - Places to Eat
- Washington, D.C - Around Town : Around Capitol Hill (part 2) - Best of the Rest
- Washington, D.C - Around Town : Around Capitol Hill (part 1)
- Rome's Top 10 : Pizzerias
- Rome's Top 10 : Cafés and Gelaterie
- Let the Games Begin London (Part 3)
- Let the Games Begin London (Part 2) - The Olympics
- Let the Games Begin London (Part 1)
Top keywords
Miscarriage Pregnant Pregnancy Pregnancy day by day Pregnancy week by week Losing Weight Stress Placenta Makeup Collection
Top 5
- 5 Ways to Support Your Baby Development
- 5 Tips for Safe Exercise During Pregnancy
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 2)
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 1)
- Is Your Mental Health Causing You to Gain Weight (part 2) - Bipolar Disorder Associated with Weight Gain