Thursday, October 09, 2008

La Grande Halle De La Villette

In the sprawling Parc de la Villette, I think the only surviving building from the old days is the Grande Halle. By the old days, I mean the days when this northeastern corner of Paris was home to the city's slaughterhouses and wholesale meat markets.

The main entrance to la Grande Halle. I believe the marquis is referring to actor/singer Jacques Higelin who must have been appearing there.

The hall is where cattle were slaughtered and sold between 1869 and 1974. Since then, after these functions were moved out of the city (presumably to Rungis, where the Paris central markets were also moved around this time), the Grande Halle has become a concert hall and exhibition space and incorporated into the larger park.

The park now includes the huge science and industry museum, a very futuristic I-max theater, a Zénith concert venue, and the Cité de la Musique, as well as public gardens, walkways, and other curiosities.

I took this photo when much of the site was still under construction, but the park and some of the attractions were already open and operating. The field of view in the original slide was vast, with too much sky above and too much paving below the hall and fountain. Now that I've scanned the image, I can select just what my eye saw back then and eliminate the extra stuff from the frame.

This is part of a series of color slides that I took in Paris in the late 1980s. They are images that I didn't like much back then for one reason or another. I'm using Photoshop to try to give them a new life.


  1. Been there - when we go to Paris we usually stay not that far from this parc.

  2. susan, yes, I remember you or simon did a post on that hotel. It looked like a nice one.


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