“Art nouveau” means “new art” in English. This style was in vogue in Paris at the very end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century.

Its source of inspiration was especially natural elements such as flowers and plants which became decorative elements for architects and furniture-makers. It was supposed to please everyone, and to attract the largest public audience possible.

There are “art nouveau” elements that you will inevitably see during your stay in Paris, as the majority of metro entrances are part of this artistic movement. Most of them are quite simple, but the Abbesses station is a very special one, as it has a roof on it.

Art nouveau in Paris
The Abbesses station in Montmartre

Some big cafés, restaurants and shops built in the early 1900’s are made in the Art nouveau style, with curved shapes and rotundas. Do not miss the Zara shop on the 140th of Rennes street (6th district), with its wonderful balconies.

If you have a big budget, reserve a table in Maxim’s restaurant in the 1st district of Paris: some huge parties were organized during the Belle époque, and some very modern ones take place there now. The French dressmaker Pierre Cardin was a fan of this place.

shops
A shop in Rennes street, La Samaritaine, department store near Pont Neuf in the 1st district of Paris; Maxim’s restaurant

In the 16th district of Paris, you will find a lot works of art nouveau made by the architect Guimard: have a look on his first masterpiece, the “Castel Béranger”, in Jean de la Fontaine street. I especially like its door in wrought iron, with motives of leaves.

The “New art” architects also tried to resolve housing problems when the population was rapidly increasing, by making some large balconies and terraces established in a way that the diseases such as tuberculosis could not circulate between the floors.

It is the case on the building of the 26th of Vavin Street, in the 6th district. As everything is good with Art nouveau, do not forget to admire it!

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