Christmas at the Grands-Magasins of Paris is always a treat for the eye. In December, Printemps, Galeries Lafayette, Le Bon Marché and Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville compete with each other for the best Christmas decorations and invite their visitors to a fairy-tale world with their remarkable window displays.
This tradition is now more than 50 years old and a visit to the department stores in December is a must for Parisians and tourists alike. Each window tells a themed-story and features animated puppets. Here are a few photos we took for Christmas 2014 in each of Paris’ four department stores.
Christmas at Galerie Lafayette Haussmann
If you intend to go Christmas shopping, no doubt you will be drawn to the Galeries Lafayette department store located along Boulevard Haussmann, just behind Opéra Garnier. The 2014 theme for Christmas is based on ‘Un Noël Monstre‘ (a monstrous Christmas).
The Christmas Window Display of Galeries Lafayette
In 2014 the 11 windows of the department store feature a gang of hilarious and mischievous monsters led by Gustave the monster.
The theatrical stage set will definitely check up the Christmas traditions in the department store… from the store windows to the the Christmas tree located under the majestic dome.
The Christmas Tree of Galeries Lafayette
Inside the store, under the 100 year old Art Nouveau dome, a sparkling Christmas tree is hung … upside down!
A touch of audacity was required to come up with the idea of a giant Christmas tree standing on its head. Traditionally placed under the Art Nouveau dome, the Galeries Lafayette tree has become an institution and a much awaited symbol of the beginning of the festive season in Paris.
The upside down tree is 25 metre tall and its roots are linked in the architectural arteries of the breathtaking Art Nouveau dome.
Every hour, the great Christmas tree is enhanced with a sound and light show every hour.
The ‘behind-the-scenes’ video below shows how it was put up in November 2014:
Christmas at Printemps Haussmann
Faithful to its tradition, the 2014 Christmas decorations at the Printemps department store are made up of lots of lights, with luminous bubbles, snowflakes and fairy lights. This year, the window displays of the Paris flagship store have a kind of a British style to them with the help of prestigious British fashion label Burberry.
Christmas at Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville – Marais
In 2014, the Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville (BHV), located next to the Paris City-Hall, has been decorated with the theme of ‘Le Noël des Sales Gosses’ (Naughty Children Christmas)… and it’s all about video games!
Christmas at Le Bon Marché
The world’s first opened department store, Le Bon Marché, is situated on the Left Bank not far from Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
In 2014 the store windows of Le Bon Marché and La Grande Épicerie de Paris are overtaken by Santa’s reindeers. Red and white mailboxes have been placed in front of the shop windows to receive the mail intended for the Père Noël (Santa Claus).