From Eiffel to Guerlain and Lafayette: Schiller Students Explore Paris | Schiller International University Skip to main content Skip to footer

From Eiffel to Guerlain and Lafayette: Schiller Students Explore Paris

In October and November 2023, Dr Myriam Benraad, Global Academic Chair for International Relations & Diplomacy at Schiller International University, organized three outstanding outdoor learning experiences that allowed Parisian students enrolled in the Master’s degree to explore the City of Light. 

“The Paris of Gustave Eiffel” at the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Architecture was the first of these experiential activities. The year 2023 marks the centennial of the passing of Eiffel, the renowned engineer and entrepreneur whose creation, the three-hundred-meter Tower, was constructed for the Universal Exhibition in 1889 and won him international fame. Students learned about the Palais de Chaillot, which houses the Gallery and faces this modern masterpiece recognized worldwide as a symbol of France. The exhibition maps the locations of Eiffel’s residence and workplace and his frequently overlooked initiatives for Paris, illuminating the breadth of his impact on the city. 

A second activity involved taking students to the Guerlain House on the Champs-Elysées to see a contemporary art exhibition, “The Flowers of Evil”, which honors the works of the renowned French poet Charles Baudelaire and reflects the House’s history—this year marks the 170th anniversary of the creation of the Abeilles Flacon for the poet’s philanthropist and patron, Empress Eugénie. The Guerlain House investigates the connections between the environment and artistic expression in a novel way, going beyond this historical evocation. During this visit, flowers, ageless representations of sensibility and beauty, revealed their subtle ambiguities to attending students. 

Lastly, students visited the 70,000-square-foot Lafayette Galleries on the Champs-Elysées, which opened in 2019. With an unmatched fashion collection and a café and restaurant, they promise to reinvent shopping and harness the power of the digital age in a setting unlike any other. Strong family ties can be traced back to their founder, Théophile Bader, who purchased the Hôtel de Massa on the avenue’s corner in 1927. Nearly a century later, the dream came true for the fourth and fifth generations, who completely redesigned the shopping experience. The old stairway, built in the Art Deco style, was retained, while the entryway was redesigned to create an immersive experience. 

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