Standard Paris tourist pictures!! For much of its history this was, frankly, a disease-ridden, dangerous, filthy place. Getting the streets paved and passing laws to only let monasteries have roaming swine were landmarks of development. But in the mid 19th century a massive civic renovation began, called Haussmann’s Renovation. This is what gave Paris its unique look and feel, and sense of visual unity. Haussmann’s plan allowed the city to grow and modernize without losing its character. Parts of it are pretty scetchy, but those areas have always existed. As a whole it is one gigantic work of art.