We are about to cross one of the most significant avenues of Paris – the Avenue de l'Opéra. Pay attention that unlike most avenues in the city, there are no trees. Let us see the short story of this place to understand the fact. Once a huge hill extended to the west of the avenue. At the time of Joan of Arc, cannons were placed on it to attack the Porte Saint-Honoré – the city gate. Then the hill was lowered and become a slum unhealthy district with narrow, dangerous passages. In the 19th century, Napoleon, the third, decided to give Paris a new street planning. He invited architect Haussmann to build the streets longer to carry out the greatest military parades and wider to prevent the possibility of potential revolutioners close them with the barricades. The main avenue is supposed to connect between the northern part – nowadays a Grand Opera and the Louvre. Charles Garnier, the opera architect, agreed with Haussmann to leave the avenue with no trees to emphasize the great architecture.
The photo shows a reproduction of a painting by Pissarro depicting Opera Avenue from the Louvre hotel window.
Photo by Camille Pissarro - The Yorck Project (2002) 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei (DVD-ROM), distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH. ISBN: 3936122202., Public Domain