Did you know? Discovering pagodas in Paris

Published by Rizhlaine F. · Photos by Rizhlaine F. · Published on 21 May 2020 at 18h30 · Updated on 21 May 2020 at 18h47
Did you know? There are pagodas in Paris providing an exotic contrast with the capital’s architecture. Here are their secrets!

Paris is full of uncommon secrets. When you think you knew the city, Paris manages to surprise you even more. Among these surprising places, we have three pagodas taking us to Eastern Asia. How did they arrive here? What’s their story? Here are the secrets of the Parisian Pagodas.

Mr. Loo’s Pagoda

In the middle of impressive stone buildings, you can have the surprise to walk into a pagoda. It’s the case in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, on 48 rue de Courcelles. This is where stands Mr. Loo’s Pagoda, a Chinese Pagoda attracting all eyes with its red façade and its architecture standing out from the area’s.

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At first, it was a private mansion built in 1880 that has been bought in the early 20th century by Ching Tsai Loo, an art dealer. He decides to transform the building into a Chinese pagoda. Architect Fernand Bloch takes up the challenge and in 1926, the Parisian private mansion has become a pagoda.

A movie theater within a pagoda

Movie theater La Pagode got itself talked about a lot when closing in 2015. This art-house was especially famous for its uncommon architecture inspired by Japan. Built in 1896 by architect Alexandre Marcel, it was first a gift from Le Bon Marché director François-Emile Morin to his wife.

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It’s in 1931 that La Pagode becomes a movie theater open to the public and it used to be the only one in the 7th arrondissement. Still today, it remains famous for its room and its Japanese garden that are listed as historic monuments. In 2015, La Pagode shuts down for renovations. It’s bought 2 years later by an American realty developer Charles S. Cohen who wants to have this movie theater open again.

The Vincennes pagoda

From the outside, it doesn’t look like a pagoda. It’s normal since it used to be two pavilions set up for the 1931 colonial fair: for Cameroun and for Togo. It’s in 1977 that the former Cameroun pavilion is turned into a pagoda. These buildings now house the International Buddhist Institute and the French Buddhist Union.

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This pagoda houses relics, as well as the biggest Buddha in Europe: the statue is covered in gold leaves, is 9 meters tall (base included). It’s also where the Tibetan Buddhist Temple Kagyu-Dzong is set.


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