Sorry Paris, but I think you can do much better than this overdue shopping mall! I only come here for a sandwich of Brioche Doree. You should buy a ‘Banquette Americain’, it has a special taste for a normal sandwich. There’s egg, ham, cheese and, I guess, honey mustard sauce on it. Mmm, delicious!
Anyway back to Les Halles. I don’t want to talk about the current state, that’s nothing special. I want to write about the interesting side of this building, the past!
In the 19th century, Forum Les Halles was a place for markets. Commissioned by Napoleon, Georges Eugène Haussmann (French city architect) created a covered place for the market traders in Paris. The dark side of it was that 12.000 people were forced to move. But the location was too perfect to let go. A major advantage was that the halls were close to the Seine. The Seine was at that time the main supply for all the products. It was a huge success. Around the halls arose a whole neighborhood full of lively cafes and restaurants. And nowadays, it still is!
Unfortunately, the apartments were bad in this area. There were only cheap apartments for the hardworking merchants available. Which were poorly heated during the winter, noisy and not so fireproof. Waste water from the toilet? In a bucket and down the stairs. Nasty!
The number of visitors and traders became more and more. Until it became overcrowded! The traffic couldn’t get through anymore. So the halls closed in 1971 and moved to a suburb of Paris.
Although I dislike the mall.. You must have been there for once. So you can imagine how it was back in the days. Score a sandwich and don’t stay there too long. The area around it, is much more fun to visit!