The oldest circus building still standing hosts the oldest circus still running, but the 2015 show uses state-of-the-art technology to make this traditional circus look beautifully modern to 300,000 spectators each year.
Paris’s Cirque d’Hiver might be the most beautiful building in the world, at least to circus fans. It was constructed in the late nineteenth century, when Louis Dejean, the owner of Paris’s Summer Circus, realized that he could transform circus into a fancier, more expensive entertainment medium if he could provide a clean, indoor venue. Instead of creating his new building near the summer circus he produced annually in the formal gardens near the Champs Élysées, he decided to locate his new venture in the district known as the “Boulevard of Crime,” which was named not for actual crime, but for the dramatic scenes depicted in its numerous theaters. It was the city’s entertainment district, and Dejean had previously run another circus in the area, the Cirque Olympique. For his new project, Dejean commissioned the chief architect of the city of Paris, Jacques Ignace H...
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