Paris - Ile De France Section

Grande Halle de la Villette - Parc de la Villette

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Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris former Cattle Market

The Grande Halle de la Villette is located by the south entrance to the Parc de la Villette which was developed on the site of Paris' former slaughterhouses.

The Grande Halle de la Villette is the former cattle market or Halle aux Boeufs.

It faces the Fontaine aux Lions de Nubie that marks the centre of Place de la Fontaine aux Lions and served as an animal trough.

The architects Mérindol Jules and Louis-Adolphe Janvier designed this impressive building, which was the largest of three cattle markets.

The Halle aux Boeufs was inaugurated in 1867. It remained in use until the closure of the slaughterhouses on March 17, 1974.

The cattle market was held twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays.

The other two cattle markets, Halle aux Moutons (sheep) and Halles aux Veaux (calves and pigs), stood on each side of the Halle aux Boeufs.

The Halle aux Veaux was in such a state of disrepair that it was pulled down during the rehabilitation of the site in the 1980s.

The Halle aux Moutons, on the other hand was in excellent condition.

The department of Seine-St-Denis bought it and dismantled it in the hope of rebuilding somewhere else.

Sadly this has not yet happened and the metal structure is to this day still stored in a hangar. Financial or space issues, no one really knows, however, it would be nice to see it rebuilt in a not too distant future!

Multi-purpose venue

The Grande Halle de la Villette is an iron and cast iron structure that boasts impressive dimensions.

It is 245m long, 85m wide and 19m tall, and has an area of 26,000 m2!

It was fully restored by the architects Bernard Reichen et Philippe Robert from 1983 and 1985, and a second time from 2005 and 2007.

It has been converted into a multi-purpose venue that accommodates temporary exhibitions dedicated to foreign cultures, urban art, entertainment and trade shows.

It also contains an information counter, a library and a restaurant.

The Grande Halle de la Villette was listed Historical Monument on March 2, 1979.

Directions: 19th district - Rue Jean-Jaurès
Metro: Porte de Pantin
Coordinates: Lat 48.890138 - Long 2.391719

Photo Wikimedia Commons: Halle aux Boeufs in 1867
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