Boulevard des Italiens 30/05/2012 10h12
For the first time I used the upper-deck of a l'Open Tour 'hop on - hop off bus' to see the city of Paris in a different perspective.
Boulevard des Italiens
The boulevard des Italiens is one of the four 'grands boulevards' in Paris, a chain running east west and also including boulevard de la Madeleine, Boulevard des Capucines and boulevard Montmartre. The origin of the name is the théâtre des Italiens built on it in 1783, shortly before the French Revolution (now replaced by the Opéra-Comique).
Its former names were :
[-] boulevard Neuf (=New boulevard)
[-] boulevard du Dépôt (boulevard of the barrack), because of a barrack installed in 1764 on the corner of rue de la Chaussée d'Antin
[-] boulevard de la Chaussée d'Antin
[-] boulevard Cerutti with the name of an hôtel on the boulevard (during the French Revolution)
[-] le petit Coblence ("little Koblenz") after 1795, since many émigrés returning to France during the French Directory gathered on it (Koblenz had been a popular exile destination for them)
[-] boulevard de Gand, on one side of the boulevard, under the second Bourbon Restoration, from 1815 to 1828 in memory of Louis XVIII's exile in Ghent during the Hundred Days.
Throughout the 19th century the boulevard was a meeting place for the
elegant elite of Paris (a role that lasted until the First World War).
It was to replace Muscadins and Merveilleuses at the time of the Directoire, Gandins at the Restauration, Dandies during the reign of Louis-Philippe 1st, women in crinolines during the Second Empire.
That time was also a major epoque for several famous Cafés: Café de Paris, café Tortoni (the café Tortoni in Buenos Aires takes its name from that in Paris), café Frascati, café Français, Maison dorée among others. Upon completion of boulevard Haussmann in the 1920s these establishments disappeared to be replaced by other buildings, particularly financial ones.
Length: 390 meters
Width: 35 meters
Quartier(s): Gaillon, Chaussée-d'Antin
[ Source: Wikipedia - Boulevard des Italiens ]