Napoleon and Paris (1799-1815). Urban metamorphoses

from 15/05/2021 to 01/09/2021
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An open-air exhibition on the railings of the Madeleine Church, telling the story of the transformations that took place in the capital during the First Empire.

French title: “Napoléon et Paris (1799-1815). Métamorphoses urbaines”

Napoleon and Paris (1799-1815). Urban metamorphoses
Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine (1762-1853). "Vue du marché de l'Abbaye St Martin". Plume, aquarelle. Paris, musée Carnavalet.

Presentation of the exhibition
During the revolutionary period, the nationalisation of Church property and part of the nobility’s property enabled the State to become a major landowner. During the First Empire, the new regime was able to undertake important urban reforms that had often been thought of under the Ancien Régime, but never materialised due to a lack of budget. The construction of streets and squares, and urban vistas interspersed with monuments redesigned the capital, serving as a model for later reforms. The ancient model, Egypt and Rome, inspired monumental constructions (such as the Madeleine Church, the Palais Brongniart), glorifying symbols of the new regime. The construction of numerous apartment buildings, with their sober and refined lines, completed this urban structure, without overshadowing it. The construction of the Bassin de la Villette and a network of several canals (Saint-Martin, Saint-Denis, Ourcq), which were finished later, improved the capital’s water supply by building new fountains. Above all, they aimed to reduce river traffic, allowing new urban development: quays, promenades, goods quays supplying foodstuffs to the market halls and the new markets built.

This exhibition was produced by the sub-directorate for heritage and history of the City of Paris.

Where? On the railings of the Madeleine church, 75008 Paris
When? From mid-May 2021
M° La Madeleine

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