Who destroyed the largest medieval city in Europe?

Because it was not at all difficult to give God the soul in that Paris. So say, see Paris and die. After drinking, for example, water from the dirty Seine, to which sewage was carelessly poured. Or having met on a dark night on a narrow street a gang of dashing robbers.

So it should be kindly remembered the person who destroyed the largest medieval city in Europe Paris and built a new Paris at the same place, in the image and likeness of which all European major cities began to rebuild themselves. And not only European.

The best place for such a commemoration, of course, would be the Parisian Boulevard Osman. This boulevard does not have any connection with the Ottoman Empire. He is named after Georges Eugene baron Haussmsann (1809−1891). The great city planner was born in this very place, which subsequently changed beyond recognition thanks to his own works. In 1809, on the site of a wide boulevard stood a small house with a garden that belonged to Nicolas-Valentin Osman, a native of Alsace, an occupant of Napoleon’s army.

On the Alsatian origin of our hero artlessly indicates his clearly not the French name. Any German will read it in his own way, Gaussmann, and he will be right. Alsace - the border between Germany and France region. For a long time she was the subject of disputes and wars, moving from one monarch to another. Locals spoke equally well in German, and in French, and were equally successful in their affairs, regardless of the territory of which country they were currently living in. Osman's grandfather settled in the town of Colmar, where he opened a textile factory. Osmanov Factory succeeded in the production of colored fabrics and ensured the solid financial position of the family.

The Ottomans actively participated in the French Revolution. Father’s grandfather sat in the Legislative Assembly and the Convention, managed one of the departments adjacent to Paris and supplied the revolutionary army. Grandfather from the mother was a general in the army of Napoleon.

After receiving a law degree, Georges Osman chose a career as an administrative officer. Since 1831, he has served as prefect or deputy prefect in the province, gradually approaching Paris. In June 1851, Georges Eugene Osman became the prefect of the Seine department, which included the French capital. Osman was in this position until 1870. In this post he became famous for having accomplished the main work of his life.

Paris was still a hotbed of epidemics and revolutions. In 1831, a cholera epidemic cost the city more than 19,000 lives. As a result of the revolution that took place in early 1848, King Louis-Philippe abdicated and France became a republic. In the elections at the end of 1848, the nephew of Emperor Napoleon, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, defeated. He was elected president of France. But Louis Napoleon claimed more. In 1851 he commits a coup d'état, liquidates the republic and declares himself emperor, Napoleon III.

Before the ascension to the throne, Napoleon III spent two years (1846-1848) in exile. He did not live on St. Helena, like his uncle, but in London. London struck the future emperor with its civilization. After the fire in 1666, when the city burned to the ground, the capital of England was restored according to a single plan and became an example of a new, clean and beautiful city. The emperor wanted to equip his capital in a new way. True, in order to destroy all the accumulated old stuff over the centuries, a great fire was needed. Or, almost the same, a determined administrator. Such as Georges Osman.

Having received from the emperor consent and funds for the work, Osman began the reconstruction of the capital. The reconstruction was carried out under the motto “Decorate, move apart, improve Paris”.

To “heal” first of all meant to “air out.” The then medical science explained the emergence of epidemics by clusters in the narrow streets of "spoiled" air. Sources of fresh air had to be forest tracts and parks inside the city, and in order to “air out” the city, it was planned to cross Paris with wide avenues from north to south and from west to east.

One of the first works by Osman on the beautification of Paris was the equipment for walking the citizens of the Bois de Boulogne and the Vincennes forests, as well as the creation of the parks of Montsouris and Buttes-Chaumont. Located in the city center, the Luxembourg Garden was cut to build one of the radial highways crossing Paris from north to south. Now this highway is called Boulevard Saint-Michel on the left bank of the Seine and Boulevard Sevastopol on the bank right.

In his memoirs, Osman writes that he refused the offer of the emperor to call the current Boulevard Saint-Michel Osman Boulevard. Modesty was not to blame. The cunning prefect hoped that his name would be given to the boulevard, which was laid in the place where he was born. And I was not mistaken in my expectations.

The wide radial streets and boulevards encircling the center with the ring were necessary not only to let fresh air into the city. This also tried to crush the rebellious spirit of the Parisians once and for all. A wide boulevard barricade can not be blocked. And even if you block, at the other end of the street, you can put guns, and artillery will sweep up the strongholds of the uprising in a matter of minutes. In addition, the new radial-ring structure of the city made it possible to quickly transfer troops to the places where the next “warliness” began. The effectiveness of these measures on their own bitter experience convinced the Paris Communards in 1871.

In the place of the mercilessly swept away old quarters, new tall and beautiful, albeit monotonous buildings were built. The basis of the standard project of the Parisian building was based on only two types of buildings: the apartment building and the mansion. The lining was also typical: a light gray stone, delivered to Paris from Brittany. New, newly built boulevards did not look romantic. Long build houses of the same type. Paris "Cheryomushki", and only. Romance came later, when trees turned green, shops and cafes opened. In short, when life came to the new streets.

However, it was a completely different life than before. New homes were settled by new people who were able to pay for the right to live in the “capital of the world.” The poor people either moved to the suburbs, or even moved to the provinces, where life was incomparably cheaper than in Paris.

However, the most revolutionary achievements in the construction of a new Paris were hidden from view. Engineer Eugène Belgrand built a new Parisian water supply and sewage system.

Sly engineers saved on the work. They spread rumors that when laying tunnels under the streets of Paris rich treasures were found. These rumors prompted many Parisians to take part in clearing the sewers. Everyone worked, but the ancient treasures were discovered only by some lucky ones.

In many ways, thanks to the new plumbing and sewage systems, life in Paris has become not only pleasant, but also safe for health. Underground communications still serve the city and the townspeople regularly. In addition, they are one of the interesting tourist sites of the capital of France. So welcome to the Paris sewers museum!

The activities of Osman completely transformed Paris. And his works were appreciated. He received a baronial title, became a knight of the Order of the Legion of Honor, a senator and a member of the Academy of Fine Arts. Many journalists and politicians suspected Osman of financial fraud. But there were still no serious violations. Not surprising. Osman's eldest daughter in 1860 married the banker Dolphus. All financial flows aimed at the reconstruction of Paris (and only from 1865 to 1870 more than 500 million francs were allocated for this purpose) passed through the Dolphus Bank and had 100% legal cover.

Osman hoped to begin the reconstruction of the type of Paris and other French cities. But in early 1870 his opponents in the government gained the upper hand, and the baron was removed from his post as prefect. After spending several years in the provinces, he again returned to political life and became a member of the National Assembly from Corsica. In addition, during the last years of his life, he wrote a multi-volume memoir, which is still read with interest by those who study the history of France or the history of urban planning in Paris.

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