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Are you a fan of historical monuments and beautiful architecture and ever wonder if department stores have characters and historical values? Let INSIDR take you on a time-travelling journey to the oldest department store in Paris dated back in 19th century and know more about the stories behind! Welcome to Galeries Lafayette Haussmann!
How it all began…
In 1893, two Alsaciens Théophile Bader & Alphonse Kahn, created a shop selling novelties in Paris.
Thanks to its perfect central location, Parisians near Opera, the Grands Boulevards and Saint Lazare are attracted to drop by for a visit. The internal layout of the magasin had always been very convenient to visitors too, which made it even more encouraging to shop there.
In less than 10 years, the inauguration ceremony of Galeries Lafayette took place and gradually became what Théophile Bader has dreamt of : a “luxury bazaar“!
The main building of Galeries Lafayette Haussmann itself is a piece of art. Designed by French architect Ferdinand Chanut in 1912 with the help of the master glassmaker Jacques Gruber, they created together the iconic dome in the Galeries.
Be stunned by the piece of the l’escalier d’honneur! This Art Nouveau-styled staircase was originally designed by the famous French furniture designer Louis Majorelle a hundred years ago, and had always been the trademark of the main building. Even though it was removed 60 years later, a part of it was nicely kept and shown on the first floor.
Go see it on your own!
Join the guided Heritage Tour at 10am every Tuesday for free! In this 45 minutes, you’ll get the chance to see Le Coupole (that very glamorous dome) and its exterior. You can also have a closer look at the ancient piece of the staircase with detailed informations. Now you can give your friends a history class from what you learnt whilst shopping!
(Reservation is required.)
To continue the endeavors in art and heritage, in 2001, the Galerie des Galeries located on the first floor of the main building was established. It is a cultural space dedicated to share the artistic talents to the crowd. If you are a contemporary art lover, or wish to quench your thirst for fashion, fine art and design, check out the 4 exhibitions showcasing French and international design which take place every year!
If you want to see more of these architectural gems in Paris, you should definitely download our Paris Museums Guide where we share so much more of these photo-worthy spots!
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