Place de l'Hotel de Ville, the oldest square and until the completion of the places des Vosges and Dauphine the only square in the capital, originally formed a sandy cove down to the river. This “descent” was optimal for grounding and anchoring boats. A port was probably installed in the Carolingian period and followed the imprint of a Gallo-Roman path. Navigation on the Seine was a key issue because the majority of goods arrived in Paris by water. The site and its surroundings made up a large commercial area and the shoreline was divided into different ports, the main port being for wine. Other existing ports included those for coal, wood, and wheat. In the 17th century port Grève, as it was known, began to face competition from other ports on the Seine and lost its monopoly on wine importation. In the 18th century, it found itself in competition with the “Les Halles” market. In the early 19th century, the port was used for grain shipment and later became an important market for apples from Normandy.
Since 1967, the left bank expressway is located on the site of the former port, forming a 13km highway linking St. Cloud to Bercy. The Banks were classified a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1991. Today, Paris would like to develop a walk along the waterfront in order to enhance this unique patrimony. Meanwhile, each summer, Paris-Plage is present along the banks.
Place de l'Hotel de Ville was used for parties organized by the municipality and to celebrate births and marriages of the royal family, but it was also the place for important executions from 1310 to 1830, including those of Ravaillac and La Brinvilliers. During the 19th century the square expanded, finally becoming a vast pedestrian area in 1982 to mark the centenary of the rebuilding of the Hotel de Ville. Hotel de Ville is a major attraction and still a popular place for festive gatherings of all kinds. It is also a convenient starting point for then discovering the Marais.
The first stone of the building commissioned by Francois the 1st was laid on July 15, 1533 by the Italian architect Dominique Cortone, also known as the Boccador. Religious wars slowed the progression of the building. It was not until 1606 that the architect Marin de la Vallée, during the reign of Henry IV, continued the project. Don’t forget to admire a copy of the equestrian statue of Henri IV placed above the central door; the original is housed at the Musée Carnavalet.
During the Fronde revolution, the Hotel de Ville was the center of opposition to the regency of Anne of Austria and Mazarin.
In the early 19th century important extension work was undertaken, and the building surface passed from 4000m2 to 9600m2. The order of the new facade was freely inspired by the Italian Renaissance. The decoration of the interior galleries was entrusted to renowned artists such as Eugène Delacroix and Jean-Dominique Ingres.
After the disaster of Sedan and the abdication of Napoleon III, the Republic was proclaimed at the City Hall on September 4, 1870. A few months later the government withdrew to Versailles, leaving room for the Commune, which in turn was proclaimed on March 28, 1871. The insurgents set fire to the Town Hall when the Versailles troops entered Paris on May 24 1871.
As it was impossible to restore the building due to the calcination of the stones, the municipality organized a contest in 1872-1873 for the reconstruction of the building.
Projects by Théodore Ballu and Antoine Deperthes were selected, bringing back the facade to its original state as realized by Bocador.
The Hotel de Ville, a palace in honor of the republic, is decorated with a profusion of sculptures. The iconography revolves around three themes: allegories, cities of France, and famous men and women.
After admiring the city hall, continue your walk towards the rue Francois Miron, passing the Church of Saint Gervais, whose origins date back to the 6th century but that was built in a 17th century style blending Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders. Note in passing the Elm tree in Place Saint Gervais in memory to a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. It was under the elm tree that justice was done.
Rue Francois Miron, of Roman origin, led to Melun at the time of the Early Roman Empire. Remnants of this period were discovered during the grading of the track in the 19th century. Other surrounding streets such as rue des Barres, rue de l’Hotel de Ville, and rue de Brosse were formed in the middle ages and have retained their route. This area was declared unsafe in 1960 and has been a major project of urban renewal.
2-12 to the Rue Francois Miron existed in medieval houses one story unhealthy. It was destroyed in 1733 to allow the building of houses for the factory Saint Gervais. Note the pattern of the wrought iron railings, still visible today, representing the arms of the parish, that Elm St. Gervais. The Couperins, famous musicians of the 17th lived at this address.
The 10 rue Francois Miron live born Alexandre Ledru-Rollin in 1807, which in 1848 entered the Dan Hotel de Ville to proclaim the Republic. Appointed Minister of the Interior, he restored the popular vote.
22 to 16 in the Rue Francois Miron would be the location of the first gate Baudoyer, open inside the eleventh century, at the intersection of Rue Francois Miron and Rue des Barres.
The Rue Grenier-sur-face water has preserved the original with its cobblestones, its axial stream of lively shops and artisans. It is, in places, very narrow due to the cantilevered houses facing each other. In the background stands the steeple of the church of Saint Gervais.
The street of the town hall, dating from the Middle Ages, was once called "mortelerie", whose etymology derives from Mortelier (meaning mason) because many masons living there. It is no coincidence that the House of the Companions of the duty of the city is established at 80/86 Street. Its origins date back to the 13th century when were built the cathedrals and great cities of Europe.
On the odd side of the street of the town hall, the numbers 89, 91, 95, 103, 107 and 109, the street has retained some tall, narrow houses of 17th and 18th.
The rue des Barres has retained some houses built from the 16th to the 18th century and some traces of earlier remains, including the street number 12, the hotel Maubuisson Abbey dating from the 13th century rebuilt in the 19th century. At the time many religious congregations had "feet on the ground" in Paris to settle affairs in town.
After apenté the maze of winding streets of the neighborhood of Saint Germain heap, join the Seine to enjoy the pubs and terraces nombeux therein. Why not enjoy a traditional dish in Trumilou, dock the city hall or at Julien, on the corner of the rue des Barres and the Pont Louis Philippe, unless a Burgundian dish you try to "Bourguignon's Marais' rue Francois Miron, before continuing to the Ile de la Cité across the bridge of Arcola to join the Flower Market, bloti between the Prefecture and the Commercial Court and the Hotel Dieu. This flower market, installed since 1808 Lepine Place, which is a refreshing bubble discover plants, shrubs and orchids of all kinds. Bird catchers and artists like Sunday to navigate the weekend.