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December 9, 2021

Fascinating Photos of Les Halles in the 1950s

Les Halles was Paris' central fresh food market. In the 1850s, Victor Baltard designed the famous glass and iron structure which would house les Halles for over a century and became one of the sights of Paris; this would last until the 1970s. Now entirely a food market, the remodeled market was known as the “Belly of Paris”, as Émile Zola called it in his novel Le Ventre de Paris, which is set in the busy marketplace of the 19th century.

Unable to compete in the new market economy and in need of massive repairs, the colourful ambience once associated with the bustling area of merchant stalls disappeared in 1971, when Les Halles was dismantled. It was replaced by the Westfield Forum des Halles, a modern shopping mall built largely underground and directly connected to the massive RER and métro transit hub of Châtelet–Les Halles.

Take a look at the market in the 1950s through 28 fascinating black and white photographs below:

(via Flashbak)


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