One of my all-time favourite things about Paris (and there are, of course, many things to love about the City of Love) is that you’re never quite sure as to what you might stumble upon next. Be it a long forgotten covered passageway, an offbeat museum, or simply some stunning architecture, the obscure side of the city hides its secrets well. Wandering through Paris a little while ago, we came across a free photography exhibition held in the Mairie du 10e Arrondissement (town hall of the 10th district of Paris).
Although we only came for the images, we ended up staying for the architecture… After all, it’s not every day you stumble upon grand staircases which look as if they’ve come straight out of a fairytale novel, or grand chandeliers on the ceiling of a municipal building.
The 10e arrondissement of the city itself is best known for the trendy area of Canal Saint-Martin, as well as the district’s numerous independent boutiques and quirky eateries. So if you’re looking to escape the tourist crowds when you visit the city, then the 10e arrondissement may well be the place to go! The nearest metro stations to the Mairie du 10e arrondissement are those of Château d’Eau and Jacques Bonsergent.
Exploring the History & Architecture of the Mairie du 10e Arrondissement of Paris
The public entryway to the building can be found at Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Martin no. 72, and it’s a rather grand entrance if ever you saw one… All intricate architectural details and imposing steps, once you’re inside the details only get finer. Ornate Corinthian columns flank velvety red carpets and sumptuous ceiling carvings adorn higher up.
Construction of the town hall first began in January of 1892 and the building’s actual inauguration was some four years later in February of 1896. The public opening was attended by Felix Faure, the President of the Republic of France at the time. Total building costs were estimated to be at least 2,750,000 francs, making it the most expensive of any of Paris’ town halls.
The Mairie du 10e arrondissement is best visited during the daytime when the sun is shining down, so as to enjoy the various skylights and expansive atrium. Elsewhere in the property, various dedications and floor mosaics are well worth a wander around, if only to snap a photo or two!
Once outside of the so-called atrium style entry hall, there are plenty of other beautiful rooms to enjoy. Several conference rooms are home to frescoes and moulded ceilings. In the Wedding/ Marriage Hall, there are several paintings by artist Henri Martin.
Born in Toulouse in 1860, Martin was a post-impressionist painter specialised moving away from symbolist themes. Elsewhere in Paris, works of art by Henri Martin can be found at the Sorbonne University and the City Hall of the 5e arrondissement.
The views from the upper floors are quite lovely as well…