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Palais Royal station entrance

Great Gifts Hector Guimard Gave to the Paris Metro

The art nouveau architect Hector Guimard is well known for his Paris Métro entrance design. He designed two types of entrances to Métro stations, with and without glass roofs, known as édicules (kiosks) that feature a fan-shaped glass awning. Today only two édicules survive, at Porte Dauphine and Abbesses. A third, replica édicule was erected at Châtelet in 2000.

Guimard Métro Entrances with Glass Roofs

Porte Dauphine

The Porte Dauphine station exhibits Hector Guimard’s only surviving enclosed édicule of the Paris Métro.

Porte Dauphine photo gallery no.1.jpg
By UnuplusunuOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22669690

Porte Dauphine station in snow

Paris 16 - La libellule de la station Dauphine -1.JPG
Par Original téléversé par MOSSOT sur Wikipedia français — Own (MOSSOT), CC BY 1.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23961987

Porte Dauphine Métro entrance close-up
By Photo: Peter Clericuzio
Metro entrance: Hector Guimard – Picture taken June 2004 by Peter Clericuzio, using a Fuji FinePix S5000 digital camera., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18523437

Detail of Porte Dauphine Métro entrance design
By UnuplusunuOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22669692

Abbesses

The Abbesses station exhibits Hector Guimard’s only surviving open édicule of the Paris Métro.

Abbesses Métro entrance
Par Thomas Geoffray, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35471064

Back side of Abbesses station

Detail of the édicule of Abbesses station design

Replica édicule at Châtelet

The Châtelet station exhibits the only replica of Guimard’s édicule of the Paris Métro.

Châtelet Métro entrance

Guimard Métro Entrances without Glass Roofs

The simpler type of entrance without glass roofs is framed by a “Métropolitain” sign held between two ornate, sinuously curved lampposts that are strikingly designed in the form of plant stems, in which the orange lamp is enclosed by a leaf (resembling a brin de muguet, or sprig of lily of the valley).

Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre

Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre has an entrance with candelabras.
By Simon Law – originally posted to Flickr as Métropolitain, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4649817

See Also: Unique Métro entrance at Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre station

Nation

The Nation station has a large entrance with candelabras.

Un édicule Guimard particulièrement large de la station, place de la Nation, côté avenue Dorian.
Par SigoiseTravail personnel, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18720709

Tuileries

A low entrance along the railings of the Tuileries Gardens
By Michiel.vromans at Dutch Wikipedia – Transferred from nl.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1859323
See Also: Interior design of Tuileries station
Embrace the Parisian Natural Beauty of the Tuileries Garden

Bastille

The Bastille station has a high entrance with candelabras
Par LPLTTravail personnel, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21108481

See Also: Interior design of Bastille station

Cité

An entrance with candelabras in the l'Île de la Cité

See Also: Interior design of Cité station

Guimard Métro Entrances Overseas

Van Buren Street Metra Station

A replica of a Hector Guimard-designed, Art Nouveau-style Paris Métro entrance was given to Van Buren Street Metra station in Chicago as a gift by the city of Paris in 2001.

Metra in Paris

Picoas Station

An ornate entrance to Picoas station in Lisbon, modeled after Paris Metro station entrances, was given as a gift by the city of Paris in 1995.

Picoas entrance.jpg
Par Thomas Claveirole[1], CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1627502

Métro Square-Victoria-OACI

The only original Guimard édicule (of the Étoile station) installed in another city was offered at the Montréal Métro Square-Victoria-OACI orange line station in 1967.

Metrosquarevic.jpg
By MtlfiredudeOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43534117

A Return Gift at Saint-Lazarre Paris

But it’s all worthwhile; RATP receives back a gift installed in the Saint-Lazare station, Voie Lactées, a mouth that symbolizes the voice speaking French, the kind of sensual gift you would receive only from a French person.

La voix lactée.

While you’re in Paris, don’t miss the opportunity to check out the only surviving Guimard style Métro entrances with glass roofs, especially the Porte Dauphine station with the only enclosed édicule, the Abbesses station with the only open édicule, and the Châtelet station with the only replica édicule, and don’t forget to visit the Saint-Lazare station.

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Min Min

There are different kinds of artists. Some are more focused and others are more all-encompassing. I would count myself as the art-everywhere type of artist. To me, art is a way of looking at things, of applying creativity in my life. I am a frequent traveler who truly appreciates every tiny beauty of life and have traveled extensively around the world. Different cities inspire me in different ways. My passion is Paris which I have visited more than once, living as a Parisian. I have walked big streets and small alleys in Paris, and every inch of the city has given me inspiration. When I first arrived in Paris it was as though all my senses were heightened, then as I became familiar with the city I learned to see subtleties that I missed at first.

5 thoughts on “Great Gifts Hector Guimard Gave to the Paris Metro”

  1. So amazing!
    I did not know all that.
    The architecture of all these remind me a lot the style of Gustave Eiffel.
    I guess in the old times French steel manufacturing was at its peak !
    We are often recognized for this kind of architecture.

  2. It’s awe-inspiring to see what a touch of creativity and a working hand can do. Many architects have imprinted their own style on countless of objects and yet Hector Guimard has managed to imprint his own originality and multiply it in several locations in Paris. That has always fascinated me. I especially like the roof which reminds me of a seashell opening up its outer layers to the sky. Thank you for this post and thanks to Hector Guimard who made a metro look chic.

  3. Nice post!

    Did not know about the name of the artist who made metro entrance into a little work of art. I will certainly remember it next time while admiring those little details.

    The Abbesses metro entrance always reminded me of Cinderella fairy tale 🙂 Next to a belle epoque merry-go-round, this paysage easily sends you back in time!

    It’ a kind of magic, still and again.

  4. Guimard , I’m sure now that i’ll never forget this name. If he were still alive I’d fall on his neck and cover him with a thousand thank yous.
    This man offered its authenticity to Paris, so impacting that even foreign countries have been inspired ( I learned this today , thanks to you ) making only increased my admiration for him.
    But , a replica will never equal the beauty of the original. You have to see it to believe it.

  5. These metro entrances are very typical, and we can understand where they are located at first glance: Paris.

    I was very surprised to learn this style was also widespread abroad, and I also learned in this post the name of Mr Guimard.

    In a way, he’s the Parisian “Gaudi”? One can easily understand that, without this man and his master works, the city would not have such a lure it has on many visitors (imagine Barcelona without Gaudi genius works).

    As for the artworks, they brighten the subway entrances every day and contribute to make Paris the City of Light. Like music in the corridors of the “metro”!

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