For Fall Break, the Art and Archaeology Department graciously took the Junior Seminar class to Paris. Some highlights include the Place des Vosges, The Louvre, and a trip to the Palais Garnier to see a ballet. As someone who is interested in urbanism and city planning, I found it very meaningful to be able to walk through the streets of Paris, thinking about the interventions made into the urban fabric, from Herni IV and Baron Haussmann to Renzo Piano and I. M. Pei.
We started our trip in the Place des Vosges, the oldest planned square in Paris, designed by Henri IV and his architects in the 17th century. Intended to be for the middle class, it quickly became one of the chicest places to live in Paris.
That same afternoon, we headed to the Louvre Museum. Pictured is a gallery in the Decorative Arts Department. Apart from the terrifically ornamented ceiling, the room holds Napoleon’s crown jewels, among other treasures.
Here is another shot from the same visit to the Louvre. The famous pyramid was designed by I. M. Pei, and caused quite a stir when it was first built. Now, it has been incorporated into the skyline of Paris, and is one of the city’s most well-known landmarks.
On one of our walks through the city, we came upon the Centre Pompidou, a prominent Modern and Contemporary Art museum in Paris. Designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, it is one of the more contemporary architectural interventions.
A view of the Rive Gauche from the tip of the Île de la Cité. The architecture seen is typical of a 19th-century style, and reminiscent of Baron Haussmann’s designs for the city. We spent the morning in this park, admiring the natural life of a large metropolis like Paris.
On one of the last nights, we were taken to the Palais Garnier to see a ballet performance. The building was designed by Charles Garnier in the 19th century. The ceiling of the auditorium was painted by Marc Chagall, and the chandelier was featured in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.