Metropolitain


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If someone asks me what it is in Paris that is very typical and different from other cities - I would say it is metro. Metropolitain is the symbol of the city, notable for its station architecture, influenced by Art Nouveau.


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The first line opened on July 19, 1900, during the Exposition Universelle world's fair and now Paris is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow metro.


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The Métro's original art nouveau entrances are iconic symbols of Paris, and 83 survive. Designed by Hector Guimard in a style that caused some surprise and controversy in 1900, there are two main variants:

* The most elaborate feature glass canopies. Two still exist, at Porte Dauphine:


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and Abbesses :


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* The rest have a cast-iron balustrade decorated in plant-like motifs, accompanied by a "Métropolitain" sign supported by two orange globes atop ornate cast-iron supports in the form of plant stems.


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Image by Arek


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Image by Arek

Later stations and redecorations have brought increasingly simple styles to Métro entrances.

* Classical stone balustrades were chosen for certain early stations in prestigious locations (Franklin D Roosevelt, République)


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*Simpler metal balustrades accompany a "Métro" sign crowned by a spherical lamp in other early stations (Saint-Placide).


Image by Irene Suchocki

*Minimalist stainless-steel balustrades (Havre — Caumartin) appeared from the 1970s and signposts with just an "M" have been the norm since the war (Olympiades, opened 2007).


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A handful of station entrances have entirely original architecture (Saint-Lazare), and a number are integrated into residential or standalone buildings (Pelleport). But I like so much more the old art nouveau stations - so exquisite, unique and modernist!

7 comments:

The Whispering Poppies said...

Ohhhh! Tres chic! =)

I've never seen Paris in person before, but my brother and SIL have been several times (it is their favorite city next to Amsterdam). I just LOVE those old Metro signs!!!!

lou said...

I enjoyed reading your post, thanks for sharing!

Love Lou xxx

Diatton said...

I have heard about the wonderful Metro in Paris but i have never seen it. But it's like i just saw it with these magnificent photos you posted!

And something else Olga that you can't imagine! You asked me if there are Greeks in your country. Well, i have already fixed such a post (before you asked me) but i have planned it for 26 of June (next Friday). So, i hope you won't forget it and you 'll see it.

It was a great coincidence my friend! It's like you read my mind (eventhough our languages are differenτ)!

Floss said...

I loved those photos, Olga, but the one that got the biggest reaction from my boys was your guinea pig! What a cutie... I'm so glad that they're better.

Are you ready to (blog) party this weekend?

juanitatortilla said...

For some reason, I like the font used for "Metropolitan".

Olga said...

Thanks all for your remarks here :)

Diatton - yet another coincidence.. I was planning to post about Eric Satie one day too! Looking forward to the post about Greeks in Belarus ;)

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