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Are you a fan of historical monuments and beautiful architecture and ever wonder if Paris department stores have characters and historical values? Let INSIDR take you on a time-traveling journey to the oldest Paris department store dated back in 19th century and know more about the stories behind! Welcome to Paris Galeries Lafayette Haussmann!
HOW THE PARIS DEPARTMENT STORE 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 the oldest department store – Galeries Lafayette took place and gradually became what Théophile Bader has dreamt of : a “luxury bazaar“!
THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE OLDEST PARIS DEPARTMENT STORE
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 THE OLDEST PARIS DEPARTMENT STORE ON YOUR OWN!
Join the guided Heritage Tour at 10 am 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 information. Now you can give your friends a history class from what you learned whilst shopping!
(Reservation is required.)
AND TODAY THE PARIS DEPARTMENT STORE…
To continue the endeavors in art and heritage, in 2001, the Paris department store – Galerie des Galeries located on the first floor of the main building was established. It is a cultural space dedicated to sharing 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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