Players in the New Market
In early medieval times
all the produce was brought into the City on boats and unloaded
and marketed at what is now the square in front of the Hotel
de Ville. But in 1108, Louis VI had the market transferred
to a spot which was then somewhat outside the City, now the Les
Halles district. At first this was an open marketplace with an
atmosphere more like a fair than a produce market, but as the
City grew, the dealers in merchandise other than basic provisions
were gradually forced out of the enclosed market. From 1854 to
1866 at the order of Napoleon III twelve huge double halls were
constructed to shelter the market.
By 1962-69 the congestion
and outdated design of the market caused its transfer to Rungis,
15km to the south of Paris and the huge halls were destroyed.
For ten years the hole in the city's fabric remained open. In
1979 the Forum of the Markets was finally built which continues
the commercial tradition of the area.
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