Walk on the Place des Vosges and discover some of the most beautiful mansions northern marshes


Practical information about the trip on the Place des Vosges and the discovery of some of the most beautiful mansions North Marais.

For this walk, you should avoid on Sunday and Monday, to find open most courses.

Walk on the Place des Vosges and discover some of the most beautiful mansions North Marais: Introduction

Our walk will begin at the Hôtel de Sully, in 62 of the Saint-Antoine Street between M ° Saint Paul and Bastille. It will allow us to make us discover the Marais, one of the most typical areas of Paris. We take the opportunity to meet some celebrities Marais, from the Renaissance to the Romantic period: from Pierre Lescot and Jean Goujon to Victor Hugo, through Sully, Madame de Sevigne, Mansard, and Beaumarchais. We discover there the first place Royale de France, the Place des Vosges and remarkable mansions.

The Hotel de Sully

Before you begin, a few words on the Marais. It grew between 2 medieval walls of Paris: that of Philip Augustus (at the church's location in Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis, ie just before the St. Paul metro and that of Charles 5 at the Bastille square about 200m.  The wetlands, hence the name, are first became convent vegetable gardens, and later, in the Renaissance, were sold and built: the establishment, under Henri 4, Place des Vosges, stimulated the constructions. Then, the area became the chic place in Paris, and was covered with houses, until, in the late 17th century, where the installation of the court in Versailles launched two new districts rivals : Faubourg Saint-Germain and the Faubourg Saint-Honore, both located in the west. The Marais is then dropped into a lasting lethargy. Become a very popular area with garages or workshops installed in yards or gardens of the mansions, the Marais had been spared by Baron Haussmann and his great works of the Second Empire. It remained to restore it, which was made from 1960 and as Le Marais is a catalog of the aristocratic architecture in Paris, from the Renaissance to the early 18th century. We offer you now to discover the center of this district through some representative sites of the great age of the Marais is the one who goes the 1550s to the 1650s. And now, entering the courtyard of 62 rue Saint-Antoine, this mansion was built around 1624 for the Financial Comptroller Mesme Gallet, and acquired by Sully ten years later. Former minister Henri 4 was then 74 and had to live to age 81 years. Tallemant Reaux recounted in his Historiettes how old Sully showed understanding towards his wife, "not otherwise tormenting of Estre cuckold" and giving it every month: "As for this, as for this, and both her lovers ". Moreover, Sully liked to go from his garden, on the Place Royale (now Place des Vosges), where they made fun of him a little, because of the gold chains and diamond he continued to wear, fashionable of old. Like most hotels in the Marais, the Hôtel de Sully is like "between court and garden." It includes a house in backyard, away from the street side wings for the common: stables and kitchens, and finally a porch-building on the street, down the wings. And on the other side, there is the garden. This plan appears on the Hotel Carnavalet in 1550 and will be used until the 18th century for many hotels in the suburbs Saint-Germain and Saint-Honoré. The stone building, at a time when built of brick and stone was more common, and the reliefs are still common with the hotel Carnavalet, you will see just now, and luxury signs . Let's reliefs: first, 2 on the house: they represent the autumn and winter. And now those wings that represent the four elements: left, we see the air and fire and right, they are: water and earth. Let's head the central door and enter. We now have before us the steps, which has retained its sculptures and is a "ramp on ramp" staircase that is a staircase which the medium is a solid wall that carries the flights of stairs. It's still a stair Renaissance Plan, which also said "the Italian", which had replaced the spiral staircase. Later appear the stairs with the vacuum in the center, to which it will give the ramps precisely stone sometimes, but more often of wood or wrought iron. To the left, through the glass door, we see the great hall on the ground floor, with its French ceiling, ie painted beams: it is now the Heritage Library. The hotel was purchased and restored by the state in 1944, then became the seat of the Fund of Historical Monuments, now renamed Center of National Monuments. Let us go into the garden at the back is the orangery, built along the hotel. Exhibitions are regularly organized. When you are in the garden, turn around to look at the back cover of the hotel. On the back the hotel facade, we see the reliefs 2 completing the cycle of the 4 seasons started on the court here are spring and summer. Incidentally, notice the skylights and see how their management is strange. It seems to flare up. To our right now, we have th

e wing angle which extends the main building, dates from 1661 and was rebuilt exactly to the original architecture. It contains, 1st floor, 2 decorated rooms that can be visited during the Heritage Days in September. Know also that the rooms on the ground floor and basement offer regular exhibitions of photographs in partnership with the Jeu de Paume museum.

Place des Vosges

Now Let's win the backyard and borrow the passage to the right of the orangery to reach Place des Vosges. Two words about the origin and history of this place. It occupies the site of the Hotel de Tournelles, where the king of France, Henry 2 was killed during the 1559 tournament, suddenly accidentally launches in the eye. Catherine de Medici was later shaved away. The land being left free, 4 Henry and Sully decided in 1604 to build there a place. This place would be bordered on one side by a silk cloth mill, and on the other sides by housing. The factory which sank quickly, purely residential program finally been achieved in 8 years. From the beginning, the place became a place quite posh. Buyers chose some facade width: sometimes an entire pavilion or a little more, and one of them a single span! They undertook to respect facade drawing given by the architect of the place, and built what they wanted behind. And the architect, about who is it? Well, unfortunately, we do not really know, but maybe Claude de Chatillon, geographer and military engineer, who lived at No. 10, and is probably the author of the Saint-Louis Hospital, built the same time, and that looks a bit instead. With its uniform architecture, though not monumental, and Place Royale name, Vosges instead had in Paris and throughout France numerous descendants: the Dauphine squares, Victory Vendôme, Concorde and all their province cousins. It is the only of those places that has not been planned from the start around a statue of the sovereign: it is not Henri 4, but Louis 13, which will be his statue, 25 years after completion . The statue was destroyed during the Revolution and replaced after the empire. The trees either were not provided, we will plant the first under Louis 16; about the present instead of name, it dates from 1800: Bonaparte then chose to reward the Vosges department, first to pay contributions, giving his name instead of Federated, formerly Place Royale. This tax zeal was worth a place.

The Victor Hugo Museum

Now go along the south side, where we arrived, directing us to the right of the garden door of the Hotel de Sully. We will pass the No. 1a, the hotel de Coulanges, which was born in 1626 Madame de Sevigne, then at 1, before the King Pavilion, commissioned by Henri 4 and where no king has ever lived. The arcade flag of the King and the north side, in front, the flag of the Queen, were originally the only 2 access instead. Finally let us stop in front of No. 6 is the Hotel de Rohan-Guemenee, currently headquarters of Victor Hugo Museum. 2 words about this museum: Victor Hugo lived there from 1832 to 1848. The museum displays some of its superb visionary drawings, portraits of relatives, furniture designed by him and composed of pieces of Gothic chests and sideboards Breton. It also shows the amazing Chinese dining room he had created for Juliette Drouet in Guernsey. Admirers of the great man shall delight themselves of it, and the other (yes-yes, there), can still discover the painter of genius that was Victor Hugo, and the original decorator, kitsch kind, and a little delirious, he was too.

The Carnavalet Museum

Let us now to the northwest corner, near the restaurant Burgundy, that is to say the opposite of Victor Hugo Museum by drawing a diagonal. This is the beginning of the Rue des Francs Bourgeois. We are now on the rue des Francs-Bourgeois, near the restaurant Burgundy. Let us follow the moving away from the square. Cross the rue de Turenne and continue Rue des Francs-Bourgeois to rue de Sevigne. Now look to the left, a view of the street Sevigne, and let us stop at No. 23, before the entrance of the Carnavalet Museum, the museum of the history of Paris, which holds the Hotel Carnavalet. Notice the sophisticated masonry on the ground floor, around the portal, where the stone is animated by a multitude of small perforations: this part of the 16th century while the first floor and the large roof from the 17th. Also look at the sculptures, the first order, placed above the entrance, and around: trophies, lions, two little loves, and finally the key to the great arcade, allegory, long and thin of abundance. It stood originally on a globe, later changed into mask, of course carnival, when the hotel went to the Breton family Kernevenoch or Kernevenoy, renamed Carnavalet by Parisians. But some say that the name of Carnavalet has another origin. Madame de Kernevenoy widow when she bought the hotel, is said to have been gallant, more faithful to his horses to the memory of her husband. However, she was a member of the famous "flying squadron of Queen Margot," serving as the love of it, than his. It appears that some bad language nicknamed "valet Carne" and linking its Breton name in his debauchery. Now enter the court. The hotel, which is probably the most beautiful Renaissance hotel in Paris, was built around 1550 and probably by Pierre Lescot. Let us remember his name because he was also the author of the François I wing of the Louvre. In addition, the famous Jean Goujon who made the sculptures see, at the bottom of the yard, on the house, the reliefs that represent the four seasons. Their draped "wet" much like those of the Fontaine des Innocents, another work of Goujon you can find at Les Halles, whose original sculptures in the Louvre. This kind of drape molding to the point that it seems a damp cloth reveals body shapes and it is representative of the Renaissance aesthetics. This is a time when artists studied anatomy, and paint or sculpt, again naked body, as in antiquity. It is also, in low relief, an exercise in virtuosity, of great technical difficulty, as can be imagined. There are also success stories in the expression of the faces, or the entire body: see winter bundled up and shivering, autumn, recognizable by its grapes, with its fiercely, almost angry. As for the Renaissance architecture, remember that it is spreading in France in the early 16th century, after the Italian wars. But first, it takes the form mainly of a set, based carved pilasters, medallions, columns that are plated on even medieval structures. This ornate style of the early Renaissance is one of the castles of the Loire, and it is quite rare in Paris. At the time of Henry 2, Pierre Lescot and Philibert de l'Orme, rather belong to the second phase, the classical phase where it is, not to decorate but to build in a more sober style, and hence the requirement of symmetry is needed, as we see here. But precisely, back to our yard in the 17th century, Francois Mansard, "The Great" creator of French classicism, has raised the side wings and the entrance building. The reliefs of the wings (the 4 elements and the 4 winds) have therefore been made for the occasion. Fifteen years later, Madame de Sevigne praised the hotel. This will be his last address in Paris, from 1677 to 1696: and she died that year at the castle of Grignan. The years she has not spent here were held anyway in the Marais, where the dear Marquise was born and has always lived. It is therefore the Marais that are parties most of his famous letters - that such advertising, (indefinitely delaying the announcement) the unthinkable wedding Lauzun gentry Gascon gentleman, with the Grande Mademoiselle, cousin of King: "... the most amazing thing, the most surprising, the most marvelous, the most miraculous, most triumphant, the most stunning, the most extraordinary, the most unusual, the most incredible, most unexpected, most, the smallest, rarest ... "etc. In the middle of the courtyard is a remarkable bronze statue of Louis 14 by Antoine Coysevox, one of the greatest French sculptors of the 17th century. It is the only royal bronze statue of Paris have escaped the melting during the Revolution: it was in the City Hall and not a royal place, which saved her. Coysevox is the sculptor of "compromise" between the Baroque taste of the movement, and the classic, stability. This statue gives us a good demonstration. See how the king is standing motionless. The wind does not mind-blowing his wig and does not swell the folds of his coat, as he would have done in a sculpture by Bernini. But the swaying quietly introduced the motion in stillness. The outfit is half old (breastplate), half "modern" (wig), which was the rule at the time, and the gesture of the right hand shows a magnanimous king who forgives his Parisian subjects have a little revolted against him during the revolt. Ie about 35 years ago! Louis was not only a monster of pride, but also a very spiteful character. In becoming the 19th century, the museum of the history of the city of Paris, the Carnavalet hotel has received not only the statue but also woodwork sets from mansions demolished during construction of Haussmann.   You can visit at a time to discover the history of the capital, from the Neolithic to the 20th century, and as a sort of annex of Decorative Arts Museum, for its magnificent sets of reconstituted wood. We recommend a visit. Mention some highlights: for the 17th century paneling painted at the Hotel Colbert Villacerf; for the 18th: the show Demarteau burner, walls painted by Fragonard and Boucher. But we can also mention the store on rue Royale jeweler Fouquet masterpiece of Art Nouveau Mucha, and ruffling Baroque decor, art deco lounge of Wendel hotel by Josep Maria Sert, and then the writer reconstructed rooms: those of Marcel Proust and Anna de Noailles.

The Rue des Francs-Bourgeois

Let us now leave us get to the street and Carnavalet bourgeois Franks. For this, come away from the court and take right 2 times. Let's move yet rue des Francs-Bourgeois, to the gate that allows us to see the garden of the Hotel Carnavalet. This grid is surmounted the Arc de Nazareth small bridge Parisian sighs coming from the Palace of Justice, on the island of the City. Note its Renaissance sculptures arc is attributed to Jean Goujon, a sculptor who you are now familiar. Two other architectural pieces were reassembled: the garden, far left, the 17th front of the Office of Merchant-Drapers, and in front of the arcade, in the middle of the wing colonnade, a 18th pavilion hotel Choiseul. Now move forward rue des Francs-Bourgeois, always leaving behind the Rue de Sevigne, and take the first left, which is Rue Pavee. Let's move up to No. 24, where a large gate, open from Monday to Saturday. You are in the courtyard of the Hotel de Lamoignon, headquarters of the Historical Library of the City of Paris. The hotel dates from the late 16th century. So it is a little later than the Hotel Carnavalet, and presents a more monumental architecture with colossal pilasters. "Colossal" means growing on more than one level: here the entire facade heights. Look up and watch the pediments whose cornices are interrupted by windows. These quirks are characteristics of the final phase of the Renaissance, called Mannerism. Like all Renaissance art, this phase appears much later in France than in Italy. The sculptures of the pediments allude to hunting: deer heads, dogs, we also see the crescent moon, emblem of Diana, goddess of the hunt: the hotel was indeed built for Diane de France, Duchess Angouleme, natural daughter of Henry 2. the left wing is more recent: it dates from the 1620s, a period when the hotel was owned by Charles de Valois, bastard, meanwhile, 9 Charles and Marie Touchet ! Returning now rue des Francs-Bourgeois and keep us away from the Place des Vosges. And you stop in front of the hotel Albret at No. 31 Here we are at 31. The hotel Albret, beautiful piece of architecture Louis 15, 1740. Date This is a rare example of this period building in the neighborhood, while the Marais was not the mode, but it is, indeed, the reconstruction of one wing of an older hotel, dating back to the 16th century: he remains in the house backyard, much restored. Note that the latter had kitchens semi-basement, convenient location, but remained rare in Paris. Indeed, the fear of fire was usually placed in the kitchen a wing bordering the yard as far as apartments, so he often had to carry through the court the cooling dishes: the example came from above, as shown in Fontainebleau and Versailles.Refermons this culinary parenthesis; let us go a little further to the right, at number 30, the hotel Almeras. The hotel Almeras at No. 30, a street a beautiful portal from 1612 to complicated pediment decorated with ram heads, and an architecture of brick and stone, especially in the fashion of that day in 1612 is the year of the inauguration of the Place des Vosges. Continue on the rue des Francs Bourgeois. At No. 38 opens a medieval cul-de-sac, the stalemate Archers. The stalemate Archers, so picturesque with its overhanging floors, was in the early 15th century, one of the hotel's driveways Barbette, the residence of Isabeau of Bavaria. This is, it seems, lies in 1407, the episode of the murder of the Duke Louis d'Orleans, brother of Charles 6, by henchmen of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, his cousin. They opérèrent, dare we say, an ax, and with so much gusto that the squire of the Duke had to return the next day to recover the left hand and a piece of the brain, we had forgotten the day before during transport of the body. The impasse in the red history, now gives access to the peaceful Swiss Cultural Center.

The hotel Hérouet

Let's continue then to the corner of the rue des Francs-Bourgeois and Rue Vieille du Temple. Right, give a moment at the hotel Hérouet restored after the bombing of 1944. He has a watch tower (that is to say, a corbelled turret) and a late Gothic decor. Then take the rue Vieille du Temple to the left and go down it until number 47. We are at number 47, before the very black stones Hotel Amelot de Bisseuil, told ambassadors of Holland. The hotel was built from 1650 on a medieval residence, the hotel Rieux, whose walls are partly preserved in the second court, but covered with a conventional plating. Take time to admire the carved portal. It is one of the most beautiful Marais. It decorates inter alia, a pair of spectacular Medusa heads, the hair bristling snakes. You will see many other ancient portals in the Marais, mostly dating from the 17th century. You can easily distinguish between them, and thrifty bourgeois style, which are reinforced with pieces of wood nailed, and most luxurious, with carved decorations, allegorical or mythological, like this one. Naturally these are more rare. The hotel has had, from 1776, and for 12 years, an enterprising tenant: Beaumarchais, who wrote The Marriage of Figaro there, it founded the Society of Authors, forerunner of today's Society of Authors Composers and Dramatic has led a fictitious trade company, the company Roderigue Hortalez and co. This company used to monitor the supply of arms to American insurgents, before France enters officially at war with them against England.