Les Halles de Paris – The City’s Great Food Market in Photographs (c.1950)

'He enjoyed the great piece of heaven that he had in front of him, of this immense development of Les Halles, which gave him, in the middle of the strangled streets of Paris, the vision wave of a seaside, with the dead and slate waters of a bay, scarcely shuddering from the distant rolling of the swell' - Emile Zola

Les Halles de Paris

 

These photographs from 1950 take us in and around Les Halles de Paris, the city’s fresh food market in the first arrondissement. Nicknamed “Le Ventre de Paris” (The Belly of Paris) by the writer Emile Zola, Les Halles de Paris was built by Haussmanian architect Victor Baltard. It was demolished in 1971 when most Parisians were on their summer holidays and replaced by the unloved Forum des Halle, a soulless concrete carbuncle squatting atop a subterranean rail hub. It’s the kind of vandalism that costs millions and earns the overseers gongs and impressive pensions.

 

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles

1971

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

 

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris

Les Halles de Paris