25.1.11

Paris skyscrapers (?)

Basically there are no skyscrapers in Paris… with a few exceptions. To keep the skyline, there is a general limit set to 25 m (82 ft), with - depending on the area of Paris - an allowance of max. 37 m (121 ft). The most striking exceptions to the general rules are obviously the Tour Montparnasse (210 m = 690 ft) (see previous post), inaugurated in 1973 and the hotel Concorde Lafayette (137 m = 450 ft), opened in 1974, both much criticized. In 1975 it was decided never to allow such exceptions again, although some fairly high buildings (close to 100 m = 328 ft) were e.g. constructed close to Place d’Italie (“Italie 13”) and on the Seine banks (“Front de Seine” see previous post) in the 1970’s.
Now there are again talks about some allowance for higher buildings, but close to the Paris borders – not in the city centre. Space for offices and living are needed in a living city and there is no space left. Paris is actually a relatively small city, surface-wise, with only some 2 million inhabitants … the remaining about 10 millions are living in the suburbs, what is referred to as “Ile-de-France”.
I thought it may be interesting to show you the small Paris, split up in its 20 arrondissements.
The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Invalides Dome, the Pantheon, Sacré Coeur … were obviously constructed before the rules became too strict!
So the skyscrapers we see on the top picture are actually outside Paris, although Paris is part of the name the area has got – “Paris La Défense” (see previous post). Constructed during the last 50 years – here is a view in the opposite direction.
The top photo was taken from the temporary (Christmas holidays) Ferris wheel on Place de la Concorde. Together with Virginia, we took a tour or two the day before she returned to Alabama.
To compare with the top photo, here is also a non-zoomed photo …
... and another one taken in the opposite direction – the Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre.

30 comments:

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

So glad that you were able to get those wonderful shots from the ferris wheel... the one of the Tuileries with its winter face is my favorite... The visability was so poor when Holly and I were there in December that we did not ride. I am not sure that we would have even seen the ground! That will be for another trip - yay!

Bises,
G

Virginia said...

Merci cher ami for gently suggesting that I had bon courage to make that trip up!!! After I caught my breath and opened my eyes, I was so glad I listened. What a wonderful way to see Paris!!! I"ve still got my photos to share and a really nice one of YOU with your camera and your Paris below. :)
V

Studio at the Farm said...

Peter, your photos this time are amazing! I really thought the first one, with l'Arc de Triomphe, was a simulation. Another good posting. Thank you.

Olivier said...

des vues magiques de la ville lumière, superbe l'arc de triomphe avec la défense derriere

Thérèse said...

Ta premiere photo attire l'oeil et la reflexion. Encore une belle etude de ce beau Paris!

ALAIN said...

J'aime bien la place de la Concorde vue de haut J'espère que Paris ne ressemblera pas un jour à La Défense...

Synne said...

How interesting - I never knew the height regulations were this strict. Paris is of course a very low-built city now that I think about it! I love the fun facts and the panoramic views you share with us!

Bettina said...

What beautiful photos, Peter.
Virginia you are very brave to go up in the ferris wheel, I wouldn't dare.

Nathalie said...

Bonne idée de monter là-haut pour faire des photos, mais il faut du courage. La seule fois où je suis montée à la grande roue d'Avignon j'ai commencé par rester recroquevillée au fond les yeux fermés pendant une minute entière avant de trouver le courage d'ouvrir les yeux et de prendre des photos. J'étais terrorisée (et toute seule, sans gentil Peter pour me réconforter !). Un bon souvenir finalement parce que j'y ai fait quelques très bonnes photos mais je n'ai nulle envie de recommencer...

Cezar and Léia said...

Wonderful pictures, I love the contemporaneousness feeling, the modern face of Paris , and the reflections in those huge buildings!
Hugs
Léia

Ruth said...

It's very nice and helpful to get these panoramic views of Paris, and from such heights. And will the Ferris Wheel be outlawed? :)

I've never seen the Tuileries from this view, and not in winter either. I like seeing all the trees, even the ones on the Champs-Élysées, leafless. It's a beautiful alternative to summer, when I focus on other things.

Adam said...

The Tuileries - never my favourite place - really does look quite sad from up there in winter.

If we didn't have high places, we'd never have such views. Sometimes we need a bit of perspective!

SusuPetal said...

That top photo, just amazing!

amatamari© said...

Beautiful all the post but the ferris wheel ... oh well I want to go there!
:-)
Magnificent series: my favorite picture is the view of roofs and
there, the Eiffel Tower...
:-)
Thanks for sharing! A hug!

Virginia said...

Nathalie needs you to give her courage when she visits Paris the next time Peter. I hope I"m there and we can all three make the trip.! :) I"m very brave NOW! HA
Bettina can join us as well!
V

claude said...

Pour sûr que le Petit Paris est plus beau que le Grand. C'est le Paris que j'aime.
Dis donc, tu as eu la même idée que moi d'aller chez Ricola avant d'aller chez Delophe. IL faut savoir de quoi on parle des fois.

lasiate said...

j'aime beaucoup l'étrangeté de la 1 dans cette lumière froide

claude said...

Chez les oiseaux, Peter, en général les femelles sont moins colorées que les males.
Sauf chez le chardonneret et le pic vert.

Cergie said...

Vraiment pas mal ta top picture (ton titre pourrait être celui d'un film non sous-titré et livré en VO dans une salle d'art et d'essai). Quelle bonne idée de l'avoir prise depuis la grande roue cela donne un point of view vraiment original
La Défense et l'Arc de Triomphe je les prends plutôt ds l'autre sens tu sais bien pourquoi, parce que les 12 colonnes de Cergy et bla bla bla...

Tanya said...

it's so neat to see the old buildings residing with the new!

Maria O. Russell said...

La tour Montparnasse was brand new when I went there on my sister's wedding day. The top floor had a wonderful cocktail lounge. I remember the champagne and the music were excellent. Your pictures are so perfect Peter! Mil gracias.

Delphinium said...

Paris est petit?? ah bon? Pour moi c'est immense. Mais bon c'est vrai, moi je descends de l'alpage quand je vais à Paris. Par contre je ne suis jamais allée à la Défense, j'aimerais bien une fois mais un jour où je peux y voir plein de bonshommes en cravate. :-)

Shammickite said...

When I visited Paris 5 years ago, OlderSon and I visited the Louvre one afternoon while YoungerSon went to see the modern buildings of Paris.... the ones I can see beyond the Arc de Triomph in your first picture. We all had a wonderful afternoon and swapped stories over dinner in the Rive Gauche.

Scheherazade said...

Lovely photos as always. I think the height limits are a good thing even though there is a shortage of space. It gives Paris a much more human visage, more liveable than cities that are swallowed up by high-rises.

Starman said...

I think it's a great "law" because it keeps the original (or nearly original) city intact. It would be such a shame to lose the beautiful buildings that represent the true Paris to us.

Jack said...

I hope Paris will stick with the height limits. It has a unique look, and there is plenty of space on the outer ring for any skyscrapers that developers think they need to build. Paris should be Paris.

caterpillar said...

Some day, some day I'll visit Paris...your pictures are truly amazing...

Simony said...

Peter, you have here great, great pictures!! Great information and impressive new angles of the city and surrounding areas. I always love your maps,too.

Trotter said...

That first picture is a true trompe-l'oeil... Amazing ferriswheel; but, at least some yearsago, it was too cold to get up there... ;)

DawnBreak said...

Contrast between clasic and modern view. I have been to Paris ten years ago. And the night in Paris is...romantic.