Les Halles, the center of the 1st District, which is considered to be the very heart of Paris, used to be the food market of the city. The vegetable and fruit market, which dates back to the 12th century, was used for this purpose until the end of the 1960s. In the 1850s, it was an area consisting of twelve markets where you could find all goods, such as wheat, corn, meat, vegetables, fruits, and leather. Les Halles district has become a modern art and shopping center today.
It is a large area with the Pompidou Art Center at one end, the Bourse de Commerce at the other, the Saint Eustache Church in the middle, the glass-domed Forum des Halles shopping center underground, and the Nelson Mandela Garden above. Gare RER, one of the largest metro and train stations in the world, is located on Châtelet Les Halles. Located underground, the Forum des Halles shopping center is connected to the metro station and train station.
At one end of the district is the Pompidou Museum, and right behind it is the Stravinsky Pool. At the other end is the Bourse de Commerce, another contemporary art museum that opened nearby. The Pinault Collection, which exhibits more than ten thousand contemporary works of art collected by collector Pinault for more than fifty years, has been open to visitors since 2021, when it was opened as a museum in the circular building formerly used as a chamber of commerce in Paris. The history of this building, like Les Halles, goes back much further. This building, which was used as a wheat warehouse, was re-designed as a museum by Tadao Ando, one of today's most famous architects.
The Church of Saint Eustache, built in the 16th century, is located in the middle of Les Halles square, behind which Rue Montorgueil is an example of traditional Paris streets.
Metro: Les Halles