As a first intervention at the bilingual high school of Blagoevgrad, Pauline, the new intern at the local alliance, from Paris, and a student in History and Political Science, chose to present to students Paris monuments dating from the nineteenth century.
Those who have already visited Paris have surely noticed the Wallace fountains, the Morris columns. Visitors in the French capital often visit the Arc de Triomphe, the Opera Garnier, the Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur of Montmartre or the Pantheon. All these buildings were built in the nineteenth century during which the urbanism of Paris changed. Indeed, Paris suffered from wars, the city was dirty, and conducive to fire … aqueducts were bombed by the Prussian army for example.
An urban planner, Baron Haussmann, was in charge of the reorganization of Paris. He directed the work. Everything changed: large avenues were built, streets were paved, sewers were installed. Paris became the European city of light with the universal exhibition of 1900 during which the Eiffel Tower was unveiled.
But building monuments in the nineteenth century in Paris was also an act of politics and memory. The Arc de Triomphe pays tribute to French fighters. After the First World War, the tomb of an unknow french soldier was placed under the Arc. The Sacré-Cœur was built thanks to donations from all over France, and is a place of united and national prayer. The Pantheon has become a secular republican temple to honor the men (and women) who have done great things for the country. There are writers such asVictor Hugo, as well as politicians like Jean Moulin, as well as scientists like Marie Curie. Soon, Simone Veil, recognized for her fight for women’s rights, will enter the Pantheon.
Paris has the face that we know since the nineteenth century and the construction of some monuments is not a coincidence!