Place de la Concorde, Paris, France

This photochrome print of the Place de la Concorde is part of “Views of Architecture, Monuments, and Other Sites in France” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). The 1900 edition of Baedeker’s Paris and its Environs, with routes from London to Paris: Handbook for Travellers informed its readers that this famous square was 390 yards long and 235 yards wide, and was bounded on the south by the River Seine, on the west by the Champs-Elysees, on the north by the Ministère de la Marine and the Hôtel Crillon-Coislin, and on the east by the garden of the Tuileries. “It received its present form in 1854, from designs by Hittorff (d. 1876). From the centre of the square a view is obtained of the Madeleine, the Palais de la Chambre des Deputes [Députés], the Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile.” At the center of the square is the Obelisk of Luxor, erected by King Ramses II in front of the Temple of Thebes in 1350 BCE and given to France by Mehemet Ali, viceroy of Egypt, in the 1830s.

Arc de Triomphe, de l'Etoile, Paris, France

This photochrome print of the Arc de Triomphe is part of “Views of Architecture, Monuments, and Other Sites in France” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). Standing at one end of the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon I to honor the French army. Construction began in 1806, but was halted after the Bourbon restoration of 1815. It was resumed in the 1830s by King Louis-Philippe and completed in 1836. The three architects associated with the project were Jean Chalgrin (active 1806-11), L. Joust (active 1811-14), and Guillaume-Abel Blouet (active 1833-36). The arch is the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the eternal flame, which burns in honor of the unidentified dead killed in the two world wars. The 1900 edition of Baedeker's Paris and its Environs, with routes from London to Paris: Handbook for Travellers characterized this iconic monument as "the largest triumphal arch in existence . . . visible from almost every part of the environs of Paris.”

The Opera House, Paris, France

This photochrome print of the Palais Garnier in Paris is part of “Views of Architecture, Monuments, and Other Sites in France” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). In 1858, Emperor Napoleon III ordered the construction of a new opera house to accommodate the Paris opera and ballet companies. The building was designed by Charles Garnier (1825–98) in the Beaux-Arts style and was constructed between 1862 and 1874. The 1900 edition of Baedeker's Paris and its Environs, with routes from London to Paris: Handbook for Travellers described the exterior of the building, as seen in this photograph, thus: "In the center of the building rises a low dome (visible from a distance only), and behind it a huge triangular pediment, above the stage, crowned with an Apollo with a golden lyre in the middle . . . and flanked with two Pegasi." Baedeker also encouraged travelers to enjoy a "pleasant walk along the handsome Avenue de l'Opera, which dates mainly from 1878.”

The Luxembourg Palace, Paris, France

This photochrome print of the Palais du Luxembourg is part of “Views of Architecture, Monuments, and Other Sites in France” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). This palace, which today is the seat of the French Senate, was built between 1615 and 1620 by the French architect Salomon de Brosse (1571–1626) on the site of an older palace, the Hotel du Luxembourg. According to the 1900 edition of Baedeker's Paris and its Environs, with routes from London to Paris: Handbook for Travellers, the palace “bears some resemblance to the Pitti Palace at Florence . . . but at the same time it preserves an unmistakably French character, especially in the corner-pavilions with their lofty roofs." Baedeker described the garden surrounding the palace as "the only remaining Renaissance garden in Paris” and noted: “The garden contains few lawns and not many flowers; but amongst the clumps of tree and the open spaces for children's games there are numerous sculptures."

Place de la Bastille, Paris, France

This photochrome print of Place de la Bastille in Paris is part of “Views of Architecture, Monuments, and Other Sites in France” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). The Bastille (“little bastion”), formally known as the Bastille Saint-Antoine, was built between 1370 and 1383 as a fortress to protect the city of Paris during the Hundred Years’ War. The fortress was converted into a prison in the early 17th century, and the storming of the Bastille by an enraged crowd on July 14, 1789 marked the beginning of the French Revolution. The prison was destroyed during the revolution. The column located at the center of the square is the Colonne de Juillet (July Column), which was constructed in 1831–40 to mark the Revolution of July 1830 that brought to power King Louis-Philippe.

The Tuileries Garden, Paris, France

This photochrome print of the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris is part of “Views of Architecture, Monuments, and Other Sites in France” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). Located next to the palace of Louvre, the Tuileries is the site of a palace and royal residence with a large garden originally built for Catherine de Medici in 1564. During the reign of Louis XIV, the celebrated landscape gardener André Le Nôtre (1613–1700) laid out the basic features of the garden, which included a grand allée that extended some 350 meters, surrounded by boxwood hedges and chestnut trees. The 1900 edition of Baedeker's Paris and its Environs, with routes from London to Paris: Handbook for Travellers characterized the garden as "the most popular promenade in Paris.”

Hôtel de Ville, Paris, France

This photochrome print of the Hôtel de Ville, or Paris city hall, is part of “Views of Architecture, Monuments, and Other Sites in France” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). The building depicted is the reconstructed version of the original Hôtel de Ville, which was built in 1533 and destroyed in 1871 during the upheavals of the Paris Commune. The reconstruction, undertaken by the French architects Theodore Ballu (1817–85) and Edouard Deperthes (1833–98), took place between 1876 and 1884 and resulted in an enlarged and enriched replica of the old building. The 1900 edition of Baedeker's Paris and its Environs, with routes from London to Paris: Handbook for Travellers declared the Hôtel de Ville to be “in many respects one of the finest buildings in the city . . . a magnificent structure in the French Renaissance style, with dome-covered pavilions at the angles (recalling the mediaeval towers), mansard windows, and lofty decorated chimneys.” The site of the Hôtel de Ville is historically significant as the location where executions were carried out during the French Revolution.

The Louvre, Paris, France

This photochrome print of the Louvre is part of “Views of Architecture, Monuments, and Other Sites in France” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). The 1900 edition of Baedeker's Paris and its Environs, with routes from London to Paris: Handbook for Travellers characterized the Louvre as "the most important public building at Paris, both architecturally and on account of its treasures of art . . . , a palace of vast extent, rising between the Rue de Rivoli and the Seine." Baedeker explained that “it is usually supposed that Philip Augustus (1180–1223) erected the first castle here. . . . It was not, however, until the time of Charles V (1364–80), who removed his treasure and library to it, that the château was fitted up in the handsome style appropriate to a royal residence." The palace and the adjacent Tuileries gardens “together cover an area of about 48 acres, forming one of the most magnificent palaces in the world. The effect of the whole is harmonious, in spite of the lack of unity. . . .”

Place du Chatelet, Paris, France

This photochrome print of the Place du Châtelet in Paris is part of “Views of Architecture, Monuments, and Other Sites in France” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). This public square is located on what was once the site of the medieval fortress of Grand Châtelet, which was built around 1130 by King Louis VI to defend the Ile de la Cité, the island in the River Seine that constitutes the historic center of Paris. Later in the 12th century, the fortress became a prison, which it remained until 1802. The bridge in the photograph is the Pont au Change, which connects the Ile de la Cité to the right bank. Located in the center of the square is La Fontaine du Palmier, which was erected in 1808 to mark victories by Napoleon in Italy, Germany, and Egypt.

Notre Dame, and St. Michael Bridge, Paris, France

This photochrome print of Paris, part of “Views of Architecture, Monuments, and Other Sites in France” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905), offers a view of Notre Dame Cathedral and the Pont St. Michel. Located on the Ile-de-la-Cité in the River Seine, the cathedral is known for its magnificent Gothic architecture, stained glass windows, and statuary depicting figures and scenes from the Bible. Construction of Notre Dame began in 1163, on the site of a fourth-century church. The most distinctive features of the church, the two Western towers and north rose window seen in this photograph, were completed in 1250. The remaining parts were completed in 1345. The 1900 edition of Baedeker's Paris and its Environs, with routes from London to Paris: Handbook for Travellers described Pont St. Michel as "a handsome bridge, rebuilt in 1857, which commands a fine view of Notre-Dame.”