Stunning Photographs of Vintage Parisian Architecture

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The big-screen adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables opens in theaters tomorrow, and we couldn’t be more excited. Considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century, the five-volume, 365-chapter tale is as much a meditation on the complex moral and social struggles of humanity as it is a historical study of France and the architecture and urban design of Paris. The tome was first published in 1862, just before the beginning of the beguiling Belle Époque, or beautiful era, France’s golden age of affluence and artistic creativity that occurred before the turmoil of the First World War. From the architectural wonders built for the same World’s Fair that gave us the Eiffel Tower to the most famous, elaborate Art Nouveau restaurant, click through to be reminded of the design epoch that gave us one of the world’s most whimsical and romantic cities.

The Trocadéro for the 1878 World’s Fair by Gabriel Davioud

Grand Entrance to the Exposition Universelle of 1889 by Binet Architects

Image credit: Trials and Errors

Galerie des machines for the Exposition Universelle of 1889 by Ferdinand Dutert and Victor Contamin

Image credit: Architecture and Society; Historia Del Artes; STUDY BLUE

Electric Sidewalks for Exposition Universelle

Image credit: Digital Archive of Architecture

Grand Palais for the World Fair of 1900 by Charles Girault

Image credit: Digital Archive of Architecture; Art Culture

Petit Palais for the World Fair of 1900 by Charles Girault

Image credit: Digital Archive of Architecture

The Greenhouse of the City of Paris

Image credit: Art

La Maîtrise Pavillon for Galeries Lafayette at the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes in 1925

Image credit: Archhisdaily

Hôtel d’un Collectionneur for the Paris 1925 Exhibition by Pierre Patout

Image credit: Deco Architecture; Designer News

Maxim’s Restaurant

Image credit: My Paris Photos