Here's what the Internet says about La Samaritaine: "Founded in 1870, La Samaritaine is an icon of Paris, emblematic of the Second Empire's era and the emergence of this new architectural typology that would revolutionize retail: the department store. What started as a small shop expanded to a series of buildings occupying two urban blocks at one end of Pont Neuf. The architectural monument is the site of an interplay of Art Nouveau and Art Deco elements."
I actually did not go inside; I preferred to spend my time in Paris outdoors.
See other reflections on James' WEEKEND REFLECTIONS.