France //

Beaubourg and around


The Beaubourg quartier centres on the Centre Pompidou, one of the city’s most popular and recognizable landmarks and one of the twentieth century’s most radical buildings. The area around the Centre Pompidou is home to more contemporary art. Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint-Phalle created the colourful moving sculptures and fountains in the pool in front of Église St-Merri on place Igor Stravinsky. This squirting waterworks pays homage to Stravinsky – each fountain corresponds to one of his compositions (The Firebird, The Rite of Spring and so on) – and shows scant respect for passers-by. To the north are numerous commercial art galleries, occupying the attractive old hôtels particuliers on pedestrianized rue Quincampoix, while to the west is the rather less alluring Les Halles underground shopping and leisure complex.

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