Baron Haussmann

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Georges-Eugène, 1st Baron Haussmann (27 March 1809 – 11 January 1891), was a French civic planner whose name is associated with the rebuilding of Paris. He was born in Paris to a Protestant merchant from Alsace and the daughter of the General Georg Friedrich Dentzel from Dürckheim, who served mainly for Napoleon Bonaparte.

Contents

Life

The son of Nicolas Valentin Haussmann, a merchant, was born in Paris and educated at the College Henri IV and subsequently studied law, attending concurrently the classes at the Paris conservatory of music, for he was a good musician.[citation needed] He became sous-préfet of Nérac in 1830, and advanced rapidly in the civil service until in 1853 he was chosen by Persigny prefect of the Seine département in succession to Jean Jacques Berger, who hesitated to incur the vast expenses of the imperial schemes for the embellishment of Paris. Haussmann would remain in this post until 1870.

Commissioned by Napoleon III to instigate a program of planning reforms in Paris,[1] Haussmann laid out the Bois de Boulogne, and made extensive improvements in the smaller parks.[2] The gardens of the Luxembourg Palace (Luxembourg Garden) were cut down to allow of the formation of new streets, and the Boulevard de Sebastopol, the southern half of which is now the Boulevard St Michel, was driven through a populous district. Additional, sweeping changes made wide "boulevards" of hitherto narrow streets. A new water supply, a gigantic system of sewers, new bridges, the opera house, and other public buildings, the inclusion of outlying districts - these were among the new prefect's achievements, accomplished by the aid of a bold handling of the public funds which called forth Jules Ferry's indictment, Les Comptes fantastiques de Haussmann, in 1867 (a play on words between contes, stories or tales - as in Les contes d'Hoffmann or Tales of Hoffmann, and comptes, accounts.)

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