Beaubourg

Beaubourg is a bustling district rich in shopping and culture where both the traditional and contemporary merge

View to the southwest in Beaubourg
View to the southwest in Beaubourg cc licensed photo by alainlm

The Beauborg area is situated between the Louvre and the Palais Royal on its western side and the Marais on its eastern side. It is one of the busiest commercial and cultural centres on the right bank of the Seine.

In this area you will find a massive modern shopping complex called Forum des Halles which was built in 1979 after the historic central meat and vegetable market les Halles where most Parisians came to purchase their food was demolished in 1971. This old marketplace had stood in this very spot for an incredible eight centuries. In 1183 king Philippe ll Auguste enlarged the marketplace, building a shelter for the merchants who travelled from all over to sell their products. The central market was so popular that it became a major point of congestion resulting in it finally being moved to the suburbs of Rungis in the 1960s. This left an unsightly hole where the old market was torn down; a national joke that was first nicknamed the Belly of Paris by the famous author Emile Zola in his novel by the same name. The new Forum des Halles was constructed mostly underground in conjuction with the Châtelet-Les-Halles transit hub, the busiest train station in Paris. Today the Forum des Halles truly is a vast shopping centre which even includes an Olympic size swimming pool, a gym, a cinema complex and much more. If you are unable to find what you are looking for in this shopping centre you most likely will not find it anywhere in Paris.

The Beauborg area is also home to the Centre Pompidou. This is the modern art museum of Paris. It is a rather interesting inside-out construction made, it seems, of pipes, ducts and scaffolds that have all been painted in a variety of entrancing primary colours that catch the eye. The building actually suits the contents. It was heavily criticized when it was first erected but soon became popular enough to silence all nay sayers.

North of Forum des Halles you will find a large wholesale clothing centre. In the northwest you can enjoy a garden filled with palms, papayas and banana trees. There is also a church, the St. Eustache, which was modelled after the Notre Dame cathedral and boasts a world renowned organ with 8000 pipes.

When you put all of these things together, you get an area of bustling commerce that meets the traditional in a splash of seeming chaos and colour. This is truly a place to go visit if you have the time in your itinerary

Nearby attractions: Georges Pompidou Centre and Notre Dame Cathedral

Directions

Metro / RER Line Nearest Station Walking Time
M11Rambuteau Station0 minutes
M1 and 11Hôtel de Ville‎ Station0 minutes
M4Les Halles‎ Station0 minutes
RER A, B or DChâtelet-Les-Halles0 minutes

How to get to Beaubourg by Metro / RER

By Metro: exit at Rambuteau Station and head south along Reu Beaubourg or at Hôtel de Ville‎ Station and head north on Rue du Renard. For Forum des Halles take Metro Line 4 to Les Halles‎ or RER A, B or D to Châtelet-Les-Halles.

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Video showing the area in and around Beauboug

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