Art Nouveau Abbesses Metro station
Abbesses Metro station entrance is located on Place des Abbesses in Montmartre.
Hector Guimard created the Art Nouveau canopies for the newly built Metropolitain, at the turn of the 20th century.
Art Nouveau, or Modern Style, was indeed the architectural and artistic style of the years 1890 to 1910.
It focused on natural forms and structures and used profusion of intertwined flowers and plants to create elegant curves.
The Czech Alphone Mucha is considered the father of this style that was in total breach with the lavish style of the Second Empire, an academic style inspired from the Antiquity.
In 1895, Mucha designed a lithograph poster advertising a theatre play featuring Sarah Bernhardt.
The actress immediately fell in love with this unusual style and signed a six-year contract with him.
Hector Guimard adopted Mucha’s style and became the uncontested master of French Art Nouveau after creating his magnificent Metro entrances.
Art Nouveau lasted less than a generation.
However, UNESCO recognized it as a significant transitional art.
Most Art Nouveau creations are now listed, and 86 of Guimard’s Metro entrances were listed Historical Monuments in 1978.
From Hôtel-de-Ville station to Abbesses Metro Station
Abbesses Metro station entrance is absolutely stunning!
The balustrade is composed of medallions representing leaves, a traditional Art Nouveau theme.
There are only 3 Art Nouveau canopies left in Paris, however, quite a few of these superb balustrades are still around.
Abbesses Metro station entrance looks as if it always been there, but it’s not the case!
It indeed used to be the entrance of the Metro station Hôtel-de-Ville in rue Lobau.
The whole entrance structure was listed in the additional inventory of the Historical Monuments department in 1970, and transferred to Place des Abbesses in 1974.
Abbesses Metro Station – Interior decoration
Abesses Metro station is also known for its decorated underground entrance, which opens on a spiral staircase that takes you to the platforms, 36m below street level.
The station is indeed the deepest of the Metro network, but it is also the only that gives direct access to the centre of Montmartre.
The interior was entirely renovated in 2007.
The RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens – Autonomous Operator of Parisian Transports) took this opportunity to commission several local artists with its decoration.
They photos they created are displayed on the 7 large format panels that adorn the walls of the spiral staircase.
Each panel displays various perspective of the streets and landmarks of Montmartre by day and night time.
Abbesses Metro station is a great introduction to the district.
Directions: 18th District – Place des Abbesses
Metro: Abbesses on Line 12
Coordinates Abbesses Metro Station: Lat 48.884450 – Long 2.338652