Each year, millions of shoppers visit the Boulevard Haussmann in Paris, a ten-story structure that features an iron dome and sparkling glass. The popular and famous department store first opened its doors in December 1893. At that time, Theophile Bader and Alphonse Kahn introduced the store as a haberdashery that sold sewing materials.
The two founders, who were also cousins, soon began producing and selling their own fashions. The store expanded quickly with the purchase of several buildings across the street, and the shopping location turned into a major department store that sold a large range of products.
The Magasin Coupole
In 1905, Bader commissioned a French architect, Georges Chedanne, with the renovation of the newly-bought buildings. The construction was completed in 1907. After that, the complex was expanded into the architectural structure that it is today. The “Grand Magasin,” or department store, was officially opened in 1912. The most stunning feature of the building was its coloured glass and wrought iron dome, which was developed by Ferdinand Chanut. Because of the dome, the building was nicknamed “Magasin Coupole,” or the domed store.
In 1916, the Galeries Lafayete, which is the most well-known name of the department store complex, expanded outside of the Parisian capital. The shopping facility expanded outside of Paris with stores in smaller French cities such as Nice and Nantes. When the Galeries opened in Berlin in 1996, the department store began a new chapter in its history.
Whilst the Galeries may be the most well-recognised of Paris’s department stores or Grands Magasins, it was not the first one. In 1855, the Grand Magasin du Louvre was opened. The opening was followed by the introduction of the Grand Magasins Samaritaine and Printemps, both of which were constructed in 1865.
However, when you visit Paris, you will want to see the Galeries first because of the structure’s dome and famed stores and fashion shows. You also want to enjoy the benefits associated with a Paris Pass. The pass allows you to see some of the top sights in Paris without having to wait in line half the day.
Notre Dame Cathedral
One of the main attractions that can be seen is the Notre Dame Cathedral. The impressive and striking Notre Dame Cathedral is considered one of the best examples of Gothic architecture worldwide. Constructed in the 14th century, the cathedral features stained glass windows and gargoyles, and is one of the most recognised churches in the world. If you have a Paris Pass, you can see the cathedral in a matter of minutes. The Pass gives visitors special privileges.
Some of the features include a large 13th century organ with original Gothic architecture, two towers with stunning views of the Seine and Paris, and archaeological crypts beneath the cathedral. When you are done with shopping for the day, use your Paris Pass to see all the top attractions of the French capital. Whilst shopping is one enjoyment you don’t want to forego, you also want to see all that Paris offers both historically and culturally.