World Exhibition Paris 1855

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World Exhibition Paris 1855
Exposition Universelle des produits de l'Agriculture, de l'Industrie et des Beaux-Arts de Paris 1855
Main portal of the Palais de l'Industrie

Main portal of the Palais de l'Industrie

Exhibition space 16 ha
new hits Bordeaux classification
Number of visitors 5,162,330
BIE recognition Yes
countries 34 countries
Exhibitors 23,954 exhibitors
Place of issue
place Paris
terrain Jardins des Champs Elysees Coordinates: 48 ° 52 ′ 0 "  N , 2 ° 18 ′ 47"  EWorld icon
opening May 15, 1855
closure October 31, 1855
Chronological order
predecessor New York 1853
successor London 1862

The world exhibition in Paris in 1855 ( French Exposition universelle de 1855 ) was the first world exhibition in France . It was modeled on the London Great Exhibition of 1851 and should exceed this if possible. The most important exhibition space was a temporary exhibition palace that was built between the Champs-Élysées and the Seine . The show lasted from May 15 to October 31, 1855 . The number of visitors was over 5 million. The Bordeaux classification , which is still valid today, goes back to the world exhibition in 1855 .


Exhibition plan

With the imperial decree of Napoleon III. on March 8, 1853, it was decided to hold the world exhibition, another on June 22, stipulated that the exhibition should also include the fine arts.

Prosper Mérimée , Eugène Delacroix and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres participated in the arts section of the Imperial Preparatory Commission; in the Agriculture and Industry section you can find the names Pierre Guilleaume Fréderic Le Play , Ferdinand de Lesseps , Émile Pereire , Michel Chevalier .

The industrial palace

Palais de l'Industrie, facade facing the Champs-Élysées

The huge building of the industrial palace was created in collaboration between the architect Jean-Marie Victor Viel and the engineers Alexis Barrault and Gustave Bridel . In the middle of the 208 m long main facade was a monumental portal with sculptures by Élias Robert and Georges Diebolt (1816–1861). The industrial palace was demolished in 1897 and the Grand Palais was built in its place .

The panorama, a work by Jacques Hittorff from 1831, was integrated into the exhibition district and an annex was also built.

The Palace of Fine Arts

Palais des Beaux-Arts

The Paris World's Fair was the first to give contemporary art a large space. The architect Hector Lefuel built a Palais des Beaux-Arts in the Renaissance style on Avenue Montaigne . 28 nations exhibited 4979 works by 2176 artists.


Stollwerck Medal for the Paris World Exhibition in 1855

The Cologne-based producer of sweets and chocolate Franz Stollwerck received a medal for the Stollwerck cough drops, and the Düren-based company Heinrich August Schoeller Söhne GmbH & Co KG received a first class medal for its fine papers of the highest quality. The Austrian scythe manufacturer Christoph Conrad Weinmeister received the only gold medal of honor in its class for his scythes. Friedrich von Maltzahn received a gold medal for the sheep wool from his Negretti herd . Jacob Mayer from the Bochumer Verein company received a gold medal for the cast steel bells. Eduard Herdtle received the second class medal for his industrial drawings .


  • Charles Robin: Histoire illustrée de l'Exposition universelle , Paris: Furne, 1855
  • Henri Édouard Tresca (ed.): Visite à l'Exposition universelle de Paris, en 1855 , ed.Hachette et Cie., 1855 digitized HEIDI
  • Rapport sur l'Exposition universelle de 1855 , Paris Exposition universelle internationale de 1855, 1857.
  • Édouard Charton (Ed.): Le Magasin pittoresque 23, Paris 1855 Digitized BSB Munich
  • Edmond and Jules de Goncourt : La Peinture à l'Exposition universelle de 1855 , Paris 1855
  • Ernest Gebaüer: Les Beaux-Arts à l'Exposition Universelle de 1855: Peinture, sculpture , Maxime Du Camp , Librairie nouvelle, 1855 digitized on Gallica
  • Edmond About: Voyage à travers l'Exposition des beaux-arts: peinture et sculpture , Paris 1855
  • Felix Lemaistre: Paris en miniature Guide pittoresque du voyageur suivi d'une description du palais de l'Industrie , edited by Garnier frères, 1856 full text in the Google book search


  • Winfried Kretschmer: History of the world exhibitions . Campus, Frankfurt am Main 1999, ISBN 3-593-36273-2 .
  • Catalog: Napoléon III et la pure Victoria, une visite à l'exposition universelle de 1855 , exposition du Château de Compiègne (October 4, 2008 to January 19, 2009), Paris 2008.
  • Catalog: Sur les traces des Expositions universelles à Saint-Cloud , Musée des Avelines (March 25, 2009 to May 31, 2009), Saint-Cloud, 2009.
  • Sylvain Ageorges : Sur les traces des Expositions universelles de Paris 1855-1937 , Editions Parigramme, 2006

Web links

Commons : Paris World's Fair 1855  - Collection of images, videos and audio files