29 Facts About Baron Haussmann


Georges-Eugene Haussmann, commonly known as Baron Haussmann, was a French official who served as prefect of Seine, chosen by Emperor Napoleon III to carry out a massive urban renewal programme of new boulevards, parks and public works in Paris commonly referred to as Haussmann's renovation of Paris.

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Baron Haussmann's paternal grandfather Nicolas was a deputy of the Legislative Assembly and National Convention, an administrator of the department of Seine-et-Oise and a commissioner to the army.

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Baron Haussmann's maternal grandfather was a general and a deputy of the National Convention: Georges Frederic Dentzel, a baron of Napoleon's First Empire.

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Baron Haussmann began his schooling at the College Henri-IV and at the Lycee Condorcet in Paris, and then began to study law.

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Baron Haussmann joined his father as an insurgent in the July Revolution of 1830, which deposed the Bourbon king Charles X in favor of his cousin, Louis Philippe, Duke of Orleans.

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Baron Haussmann was married on 17 October 1838 in Bordeaux to Octavie de Laharpe.

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On 21 May 1831, Baron Haussmann began his career in public administration; he was named the secretary-general of the prefecture of the Department of Vienne at Poitiers; then, on 15 June 1832, he became the deputy prefect of Yssingeaux.

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Baron Haussmann was posted as deputy prefect to the Lot-et-Garonne Department at Nerac beginning on 9 October 1832; the Ariege Department at Saint-Girons on 19 February 1840; and the Gironde Department at Blaye on 23 November 1841.

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Baron Haussmann travelled to Paris in January 1849 to meet the Minister of the Interior and the new president.

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Baron Haussmann became prefect of the Yonne Department in 1850, and in 1851 was appointed as prefect of the Gironde out of Bordeaux.

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Baron Haussmann told me all of his accomplishments during his administrative career, leaving out nothing; he could have talked for six hours without a break, since it was his favourite subject, himself.

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Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann launched a series of enormous public works projects in Paris, hiring tens of thousands of workers to improve the sanitation, water supply and traffic circulation of the city.

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Baron Haussmann laid hundreds of kilometres of pipes to distribute the water throughout the city, and built a second network, using the less-clean water from the Ourq and the Seine, to wash the streets and water the new park and gardens.

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Baron Haussmann completely rebuilt the Paris sewers, and installed miles of pipes to distribute gas for thousands of new streetlights along the Paris streets.

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Baron Haussmann completed Les Halles, the great iron and glass produce market in the centre of the city, and built a new municipal hospital, the Hotel-Dieu, in the place of crumbling medieval buildings on the Ile de la Cite.

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Baron Haussmann created some twenty small parks and gardens in the neighbourhoods, as miniature versions of his large parks.

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The members of the opposition in the parliament increasingly aimed their criticism of Napoleon III at Baron Haussmann, criticising his spending and his high-handed attitude toward the parliament.

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Baron Haussmann refused to resign, and was relieved of his duties by the Emperor.

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Baron Haussmann died in Paris on 11 January 1891 at age 81 and was buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery.

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Baron Haussmann's work inspired the City Beautiful Movement in the United States.

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Baron Haussmann had been made senator in 1857, member of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1867, and grand cross of the Legion of Honour in 1862.

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Baron Haussmann approached the Parliament and received authorisation to borrow fifty million francs.

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Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann turned for funding to two Parisian bankers, Emile Pereire and Isaac Pereire, who had created a bank called Credit Mobilier.

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Baron Haussmann built rows of luxury shops under a covered arcade along the Rue de Rivoli and around the hotel, which they rented to shopkeepers.

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On 14 November 1858, Napoleon and Baron Haussmann created the Caisse des travaux de la Ville, specifically to finance the reconstruction projects.

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Jules Ferry and other enemies of Napoleon alleged that Baron Haussmann had recklessly squandered money, and planned poorly.

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Baron Haussmann introduced, into his beautiful capital, trees and flowers, and populated it with statues.

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Some critics and historians in the 20th century, notably Lewis Mumford, argued that the real purpose of Baron Haussmann's boulevards was to make it easier for the army to crush popular uprisings.

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Baron Haussmann himself did not deny the military value of the wider streets.

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