Paris - Ile De France Section

Centre Pompidou - Beaubourg - Historic Paris

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Beaubourg, one of Paris' oldest neighbourhoods

The Centre Pompidou was initially called Centre Beaubourg.

It was renamed in order to pay tribute to the late president Georges Pompidou, who initiated its construction.

The Centre Pompidou is located in Beaubourg, one of Paris' historical neighbourhoods.

However, the redevelopment of Les Halles market eradicated the original print of this popular district.

This doesn't sound very glamorous, but Beaubourg developed in the 12th century on land serving as garbage dump for the market!

Locals therefore sarcastically nicknamed their village Beau Bourg - beautiful village.

The Centre Pompidou backs onto Rue Beaubourg, the former village main street.

Rue Saint-Martin and Rue Quincampoix are the other two main streets.

A quick stroll in the old Quartier Beaubourg

Rue Saint-Martin is one of the oldest streets in Paris.

It replaced the antic road that ran through the Marais and linked the Grand Pont to the Abbey of Saint-Martin-des-Champs.

Rue Quicampoix was formed in 1851 with the merging of two ancient streets.

It is bordered with elegant 17th and 18th centuries buildings.

Amazingly, the area located between Beaubourg - Les Halles and the Seine was relatively unaffected by Haussmann's renovation of Paris in the 1850's.

It had therefore retained its maze of alleys, passages and cul-de-sac and is one of the few remaining medieval areas in Paris!

However, the controversial redevelopment of the district began in the 1970's.

Centre Pompidou - National Art and Culture Centre in Beaubourg

Many historic buildings, which should be listed or protected, are gradually sacrificed and replaced with hideous structures.

One of them is the Centre Pompidou, the joint creation of English and Italian architects.

More than 30 years after its construction, it is still subject to controversy!

Here, no stone, no wood and no noble materials, but steel, synthetic glass and coloured plastic!

Multi-coloured pipes crisscross the building and make it look like a gigantic Lego.

The colour-coded floors, escalators and galleries are visible from the outside.

The corridors are therefore red, the water pipes green, the ventilation system blue and the electric cables yellow!

It simply fails to fit among the surrounding buildings.

Parisians tolerate it, but don't like it.

The Centre Pompidou was inaugurated in 1977.

It groups various foundations: The Industrial Creation Centre (CCI); The Institute of Musical Acoustic Research and Coordination (IRCAM); The Film Library and the National Museum of Modern Art, while the Public Library was transferred to the new premises of the Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris.

Directions: 4th district
Metro: Rambuteau on Line 11
Coordinates: Lat 48.860642 - Long 2.352245

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