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Fodor's Paris 2014
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Hôtel de Ville
Hôtel de Ville Review
Overlooking the Seine, City Hall contains the residence and offices of the mayor. Reconstructed in 1873 after an attack by rioting crowds, it is one of the city's most stunning buildings, made all the more dramatic by elaborate nighttime lighting. There are frequent free exhibits celebrating famous photographers like Doisneau or Atget and their notable subjects, often the city of Paris herself—the entrance is on the side across from the department store BHV. Alas, the impressive interior, with lavish reception halls, is open only for public visits during Patrimony Weekend in September, but the grand public square out front is always lively, playing host to events and temporary exhibitions. There's a carousel and a beach volleyball court (or similar) in summer, and an ice-skating rink (with skate rental available) in winter.
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