Opening the daily newspaper, Le Parisien, the photo of a magnificent staircase in Printemps Haussmann met my eyes. After forty years, Printemps Haussmann reopened Le Grand Escalier (the Great Staircase). Get lost in the mirrors that reflect and the balustrades that twist to infinity. A major renovation project is complete. Forty years after Printemps closed off the staircase in the rotunda, the beautifully refurbished 1924 staircase once again reaches to the 7ème ciel (the seventh heaven) the rooftop. The staircase reopened Thursday, June 1, 2023. The only way to reach Le Grand Escalier is through the Caumartin women’s building.
Excited to see the renovation, I entered the Caumartin rotunda, crossed the mosaic floor to the left and started walking up the 156 steps the seventh heaven and the rooftop view. Walking up the stairs, the mirrors reflect to infinity. Geometric graphic designs decorate the wrought iron balustrades. Reflected in the mirrors, the balustrades twist and turn as the staircase narrows. The golden rivets hold the fresh carpeting with Printemps’ chevrons in historic blue and green.
Go and visit while you have a chance to see your own reflection before the crowds arrive. When you enter the rotunda of the Caumartin women’s building go either right or left to start your ascent to enjoy the staircase.
The architect, Georges Wybo, designed the staircase after a fire ravaged the original department store in 1921. The staircase was built between 1922 and 1924.
Christine Henry (Le Parisien) interviewed Alessia Rizzo, who manages Printemps’ culture and heritage branding. Ms. Rizzo said that the staircase, “…seems to float on air, no pillars of support are visible. The lamps are inspired by vegetation. The position of the mirrors on each landing reflect natural light and light from the lamps. The balustrade and you are reflected in the mirrors ad infitum.”
Cultival Visits – Printemps