The Métro's original French Art Nouveau entrances are iconic symbols of Paris, and 83 survive. Designed by Hector Guimard in a style that caused some surprise and controversy in 1900, there are two main variants:
- the most elaborate feature glass canopies : 3 still exist at Porte Dauphine, Abbesses (here on the photo), and at the intersection of Rue des Halles and Rue Sainte-Opportune )
- the rest have a cast-iron balustrade decorated in plant-like motifs, accompanied by a "Métropolitain" sign supported by two orange globes atop ornate cast-iron supports in the form of plant stems (as per photo in this post).
Several of these iconic Guimard entrances have been given to other cities. The only original one on a metro station outside Paris is the one at Square-Victoria station in Montreal, as a monument to the collaboration of RATP engineers. Replicas cast from the original molds have been given to the Lisbon Metro (Picoas station); the Mexico City Metro (Metro Bellas Artes, with a "Metro" sign), offered as a gift in return for a Huichol mural currently displayed at Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre station; and Chicago Metra (Van Buren Street, at South Michigan Avenue and East Van Buren Street, with a "Metra" sign), given in 2001.