Victor Baltard

Victor Baltard
Born (1805-06-09)June 9, 1805
Died January 13, 1874(1874-01-13) (aged 68)
Nationality French
Alma mater Lycée Henri-IV, École des Beaux-Arts
Occupation Architect
Parent(s) Louis-Pierre Baltard
Buildings Les Halles, Saint-Augustin

Victor Baltard (9 June 1805 – 13 January 1874) was a French architect famed for work in Paris including designing Les Halles market and the Saint-Augustin church.


He was born in Paris, son of architect Louis-Pierre Baltard and attended Lycée Henri IV. During his student days Baltard, a Lutheran, attended the Calvinist Temple du Marais with other Protestant students including Georges-Eugène Haussmann with whom he would collaborate in the latter's renovation of Paris.[1]

He later studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, where he garnered the Prix de Rome for designing a military school in 1833.[2] He went on to study at the French Academy in Rome, Italy, from 1834 to 1838 under the direction of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

View of Les Halles from Saint-Eustache

From 1849 on, he was Architect of the City of Paris. In this office, he was responsible for the restoration of several churches, as well as the construction of the Catholic Saint-Augustin (186067), in which he united the structural values of stone and steel.

His most popular achievement was, however, the building of Les Halles, the central market in Paris, during the years 1853 to 1870.[3] In 1972 and 1973, however, these halls were torn down. A single hall (completed in 1854) was classified as a historical monument and moved to Nogent-sur-Marne in 1971, where it is now known as the Pavillon Baltard.

Victor Baltard also built the slaughterhouses and the cattle market of Les Halles de la Villette,[2] as well as the tombs of composer Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wély at the Père Lachaise Cemetery and of jurist Léon Louis Rostand at Montmartre Cemetery.

He was largely instrumental in introducing a regular scheme of fresco decoration by modern artists in the churches of Paris, to take the place of the heterogeneous collections of pictures of all kinds with which their walls had been promiscuously decorated.[2]


Drawing of the main facade of the Church of Saint Augustin, Paris


  1. Mead, Christopher Curtis (2012). Making Modern Paris: Victor Baltard's Central Markets and the Urban Practice of Architecture. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 26.
  2. 1 2 3 Chisholm 1911.
  3. "Construction des Halles de Paris". Crèmerie de Paris. Retrieved 2014-12-17.
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