Paris' main wholesale food market stood here for nearly 800 years before being replaced by this underground shopping mall in 1971. Long considered an eyesore by many Parisians, the mall's exterior was finally demolished in 2011 to make way for its golden-hued translucent canopy, unveiled in 2016. Below, four floors of stores (more than 100), some 20 eateries and entertainment venues including cinemas and a swimming pool extend down to the city's busiest metro hub.
Spilling out from the canopied centre, the new Nelson Mandela Garden (opened May 2018) has pétanque (a variant on the game of bowls) courts and chess tables, a central patio and pedestrian walkways. The project has also opened up the shopping centre, allowing for more natural light.