PARIS forum des hallesForum Les Halles [101 Porte Berger +33 144769656] was once one of the liveliest places in Paris, as it functioned as the central marketplace for all Parisians, for 800 years. From 1183 (when the first permanent structure was erected) Les Halles operated as a bustling trading place, housing various shops in its vicinity (especially those selling fresh produce). Its popularity grew steadily, posing a congestion problem in the end. Hence, Napoleon III commissioned the building of pavilions in this area. A total of 10 pavilions were built, each dedicated to particular merchandise.

The marketplace remained like this for many centuries, continuously expanding. However, its growth became an issue in the sixties when its outdated structure began to cause serious congestions and traffic jams. Hence, Les Halles market was moved to Rungis in 1969. This left a gaping hole in Paris’s gut, earning the place the nickname of le trou des Halles (the hole of the Halles). Therefore, in 1979, the city restored the Halles back in its original place, with a forum design (conceptualized by Claude Visconi and Jean Willerval). It has been fine tuned ever since, and today the Forum boasts 6 entrances and 4 levels of stores, restaurants, movie theatres as well as museums. The entire area is also interspersed with patches of greene
ry.