St-NAZAIRE. – Intèrieur d’un Paquebot de la C. G. T.
Dôme de la Grande Descente
[St Nazire. Interior of a paquebot of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique
Dome of the Grand Staircase.]
Publisher: J.B. Jonbier
SS Paris was a French ocean liner built for the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique by Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, France. Although Paris was laid down in 1913, her launching was delayed until 1916, and she was not completed until 1921, due to World War I. When Paris was finally completed, she was the largest liner under the French flag, at 34,569 tons. Although not so large as the Olympic or Imperator ships and not intended to challenge the speed record of the Mauretania, the Paris, operated by the Cie Generale Transatlantique, was one of the finest liners put into service, at the time.
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Paris’s interior reflected the transitional period of the early twenties, between the earlier preferred Jacobean, Georgian, Baroque, and Palladian themes that were used in earlier liners built before World War I. Paris’ interiors were also a fusion of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Many important early French Art Deco designers worked on the interiors and furnishings such as Louis Süe, Paul Follot and Rene Prou. The painter Albert Besnard decorated the dining room with “La Gloire de Paris” and Georges Leroux made a large decorative panel for the smoking room: “Le Jardin du Luxembourg”. The painter decorator Adrien Karbowsky also participated in the decoration of the ship’s library, without forgetting Lalique. The decorating architect Louis Süe participated in the decoration of this liner.
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On 18 April 1939, Paris caught fire while docked in Le Havre and temporarily blocked the new superliner Normandie from exiting dry dock. She capsized and sank in her berth where she remained until after World War II, almost a decade later.
Two years later the elegant Paris was finally completed. She emerged from the shipyard as the largest vessel ever built in France. Now that she was completed, the press could catch an eye on what the French Line had meant in 1913, when they talked about the Paris’ interiors. The ship certainly had something of a magic touch, for she featured a number of styles of amazing and superb interiors. Passengers could choose to travel in the conservative Palace-like cabins, but the Paris also featured Art Nouveau, as well as hints of the Art Deco that the Ile de France would boast six years later. The luxury of this ship was something no other liner in the world coul d claim at that time. Amazingly, the vast majority of the First Class staterooms had proper windows rather than the traditional round portholes. In the cabins guests had a private telephone, which was extremely rare on board a ship. A valet was available on the Paris, and he was easily called by phone and he would be there within a minute, as he was locate in an adjacent room, rather than in a cabin in the second class like on other companies, which would have been far away. Added to this the Paris, along with the other French liners, was well known for their amazingly superb cuisine, which was of a very high five star standard!
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