There’s more to “Paris” than your usual touristy places. As one might know, it is situated in Île-de-France which literally means island of France or centre of France as it hosts the country’s capital. Just a short lesson on history, Haussmann was commissioned in 1850-60’s to update Paris’ old look and modernize the city. This meant that some buildings were reconstructed, destroyed or rebuilt according to his aesthetic. Part of his plan was to make sure that the buildings had uniform height and similar windows. On a positive note, he updated the look of Paris and made the city organized from chaos and filth. Unfortunately, there were buildings and churches that were forced to be demolished as it did not deem beautiful enough for Haussmann. Legend has it that there were more beautiful cathedrals, far cry from the Notre Dame. He created the “new and improved” Paris while simultaneously “destroying” the old Paris.
So what’s the point of all this blabbering about Haussmann? It’s to point out that there were really interesting architecture in the city that were destroyed. Take for instance an interesting suburb of Paris called Sèvres, southwest of the region and about 30 minutes away.
I was required to visit a doctor for my Student Social Security and through a relative/friend here, she brought me to their family doctor from Sèvres. If not for that, I would have not been able to see this awe-inspiring place. As seen from the photos, it has very interesting structures and house. Although very different from each other, it had a different feel and aura if I may say.
(Just to digress a little bit, yes we have this medical insurance which makes all medical expenses reimbursible. Coming from a developing country, that’s one of the coolest thing being a student here aside from special discounts.)
Fast forward to today, thanks to former president Sarkozy, he initiated this plan of developing the cities outside Paris. He coined the term Grand Paris (Greater Paris) which includes very interesting areas including Versailles and La Defense, to name a few. In a few years time, new transport services will be developed for more efficient traveling to and fro the greater Paris.
Now, if you are visiting Paris and have more than enough time. Take time also to visit the “outside” cities. 🙂
Sources: History of Paris Classes, Wikipedia and heresay. :))