Universal and International Exhibition of Paris 1900

The balance sheet of a century

April 15, 1900-November 12, 1900


The 1900 exhibition was initially planned to counter Germany's proposal to hold a universal exhibition in Berlin and was intended to take stock of the past century by presenting the progress made in art, science and industry.

The exhibition was spread over four sites: the Trocadero, the Champs de Mars, from the Esplanade des Invalides to the Champs Elysées and the Parc de Vincennes (where agriculture and means of transport were presented); the Seine was the main axis, all with one aim: to remedy the lack of space.

The inauguration took place on April 14, 1900, while everything was not yet finished, and it was only in June that the exhibition took on its final appearance.

Architecturally, some of the buildings, such as the Grand and Petit Palais and the Pont Alexandre III, were technical feats and sublime achievements, although less spectacular than the Eiffel Tower of 1889.

The 43 exhibiting countries built their pavilions mostly in cardboard and plaster, but decorated them masterfully to make them flashy and thus fool the visitors.

This exhibition was a real success and attracted 50 million visitors, more than 83,000 exhibitors and generated a profit of 7,000,000 Francs, by its gigantism and its excessiveness this exhibition generated a turning point in the vision of future universal exhibitions.