The failed attempt to restore Bourbon monarchy resulted in rebellions and barricades across Paris in 1830 and a subsequent instalment of the July Monarchy. The period marked the beginning of the industrial growth of Paris, with railway tracks and train stations being actively built. The population of Paris exceeded 1 million, but the vast majority was living in slums. Establishing the scene of that historic period, Victor Hugo settled his character, a poor boy named Gavroche, on the Place de la Bastille, where Napoleon I once wanted to erect an elephant-shaped fountain. Today the July Column stands on the square.
King's hesitation to implement reforms resulted in another revolution in 1848 and creation of the Second Republic, headed by Napoleon I's nephew Louis-Napoleon. In 1852 the French voted in favour of the Empire, and Napoleon III was crowned Emperor of the French. The new emperor appointed Georges-EugГЁne Haussmann as prefect of the Seine department in order to rebuild the city of Paris, to get rid of the medieval quarters and create wide boulevards instead. Hausmann studied urban planning in Saint Petersburg; his 7-storey buildings made of white Parisian limestone are indistinguishable from each other save for different window grids. Having been influenced by the beauty of Saint Petersburg, Hausmann initiated a very ambitious urban replanning campaign. The old structure of the city was left intact only in the Latin Quarter and the district of Marais.
One of the masterpieces of the Napoleon III period is Palais Garnier. In 1867 Russian Emperor Alexander II visited Paris and the Saint Alexander Nevsky cathedral that was built on his own initiative, where Alexander prayed to thank God for sparing his life in the assassination attempt in the Bois de Boulogne.
In 1870, after the defeat in the war against Prussia and captivity, Napoleon III was decrowned, and the Third Republic was declared. The Paris Commune refused to surrender Paris to German forces, and their uprising was swift and fierce. Street fighting ruined the city hall and the Tuileries Palace. The communards were executed, and for repentance of their sins the SacrГ© Coeur basilica was erected on the Montmartre.
In 1885 all riches of French monarchs were sold, and the city began to see structures of metal and glass: the Eiffel Tower, the railway stations of Gare de Lyon and Gare d'Orsay, the beautiful bridge Pont Alexandre III. At the beginning of the 20th century Paris turned into an acknowledged cultural hub of Europe. Picasso, Chagall, Stravinsky, Hemingway all lived and created their masterpieces here. MusГ©e dвЂ™Orsay and MusГ©e Rodin have also been opened.
The article by Irina Sukharnikova, translation by Ekaterina Ryabova; specially for Sweet Home Abroad