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Hôtel de Villeroy

Hôtel de Villeroy
Coordinates
Location Paris, France
Type hôtel particulier
Monument historique: Official French 'Monument Historique' government designation (in French)

The hôtel de Villeroy, or formerly the hôtel de la Poste is a designated monument historique building located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France.

Contents

  • Location 1
  • Description 2
  • The Era Nicolas V de Villeroy 1617-1671 3
  • The Era of Hôtel de la Poste and later 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Location

rue des Déchargeurs entrance to the Hôtel de Villeroy next to the Cremerie de Paris.

The hôtel de Villeroy of the 1st arrondissement of Paris is located at 34 rue des Bourdonnais. It has a second entrance at 9 rue des Déchargeurs. At the time of its construction it bordered the rue de la Limace that was later razed to make way for the creation of the rue des Halles in 1868.

Description

The hôtel de Villeroy is closely linked to the history of the Neufville de Villeroy family as well as the history of the Kingdom of France. The first of its buildings were erected circa 1370 on the rue des Bourdonnais side of its current location.

Under Nicolas the 4th of Neufville de Villeroy (who at the time was one of the most important ministers of the Kingdom of France) the building was elaborated, progressively becoming a center for literature. His grandson Nicolas Villeroy the 5th razed the existing buildings to rebuild them in 1640 keeping the existing cellars. The Villeroy family sold the building in 1671 to the Pajot & Rouillé family, known for their postal service business. Much later under ownership of the department store À la Belle Jardinière and in disrepair with an open pit exposed during development of the adjoining Les Halles (the pit then known as "le trou des Halles") the building space nearly became a large automotive parking lot. Thanks in part to the work of a concerned citizen the building was given monument status protection by the French Ministry of Culture in 1984 and subsequently renovated.

A key architectural feature of the building in the form of a grand staircase dating from 1640 has had its original character preserved. The building is one of the few remaining structures of the former aristocratic southwest Les Halles that during the late 16th and early 17th centuries became integrated into a dense network of bourgeois and common houses.

The Era Nicolas V de Villeroy 1617-1671

The grand staircase of the Hôtel de Villeroy.
Detail of the number 5 symbol featured at the bottom of the lower railing of the grand staircase.

The building was constructed in 1640 by the Duke Nicolas de Neufville de Villeroy, the then Marshal of France. The name of the building's architect remains unknown to this day. Nicolas V de Villeroy was raised in the court of King Louis XIII. After the death of the King Nicolas V became a tutor for the new King the young Louis XIV starting in 1646.[1][2] The young King and his brother Prince Philippe of Orleans resided in the Royal Palace but they often went to the Hotel de Villeroy where they could play with the children of Nicolas Villeroy V, Catherine Neufville de Villeroy and François de Villeroy.

From this childhood spent between the Royal Palace and the Hotel de Villeroy a lifelong friendship formed between King Louis XIV and François de Neufville de Villeroy. Upon his passing King Louis XIV's will gave François de Neufville de Villeroy the role of educator for the King's great grandson King Louis XV.

Evidence of Nicolas V's former presence at the Hotel de Villeroy can be found in the number '5' forged into the still existing railings of the grand staircase. This staircase figured in some of the photos of the celebrated French photographer Eugène Atget.

The Era of Hôtel de la Poste and later

From 1689 to 1738 the Hotel de Villeroy housed Paris' first post office. During the time of the Halles de Paris the building was used to store food products and on the side of the rue des Déchargeurs was put into place a cremerie. The building today constitutes one of the largest 17th century structures in the center of Paris. Its courtyard links the two sides of the building found at 34 rue Bourdonnais and 9 rue des Déchargeurs. The building was classified as a historic monument in 1992. Today the building houses a number of inhabitants and businesses.

References

  1. ^ Childhood places of King Louis XIV
  2. ^ The State in Modern France

External links

  • (English) Hotel de Villeroy.com
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