"the hôtel de ville was an ambitious Second Empire building"


Opéra Garnier
GNU Free Documentation LicenseOpéra Garnier - Credit: Manfred Heyde

France's Second Empire lasted from 1852 to 1870, coming between the Second and Third Republics. The Empire was established by Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (Napoleon III), nephew to Napoleon I and a one-time London policeman.  It came to an end with the disastrous Franco-Prussian war of 1870.

Second Empire Architecture

Second Empire Roof
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSecond Empire Roof - Credit: Thomas Claveirole