City Hall of Paris

Parlour Burgesses, home to the pillars, City Hall

The parlor to the bourgeois

Since the middle of the 14th century, exactly since the year 1357, five hundred and fifty years, the common house of the Parisians, in several successive buildings, occupies the site of the current Town Hall.

Beyond this time, the different seats of municipal power are only very loosely known and not least accurate worldwide. The legend, much more than the truth, claimed that before the invasion of the Normans, city administrators have occupied a house in the port Saint-Landry, in the city, where today the quai aux Fleurs, between the bridges Notre-Dame and Saint-Louis. Then, on the other side of File, on its southern shore, the new market, between Petit-Pont and the pont Saint-Michel.

But no certain evidence only came to make it permissible to affirm the certainty of these locations, established, presumably, by the excessive ease of deduction of some historians. It is thus also that, according to the latest research of history, still need to abandon the famous parlor to the Burghers of the Saint-Jacques district, this tower of the enclosure of Philippe-Auguste whose location is now occupied by the corner streets Victor-Cousin and Soufflot, and which would not have been, not a place of meeting of the directors of the city, as it was believed until now, but simply a plot of the fief of the parlor to the Bourgeoiswhich is a property of the city, having retained its seigneurial domain name as designation.

The single seat of the Parisian municipality that can pretty much be said according to texts some, before the place de grève, is this House of the goods, situated on the right bank of the River, between the Grand Châtelet and the Church Saint-Leufroy, and which also bears the name of parlour Burgesses. It is there that, towards the end of the 12th century, was grouped the Parisian trade manifestations: contribution-Paris, les Halles, butcher shops, fish and wine, and merchants at the centre of which it was natural to see the commodity of water magistrates, who had, since the Gallo-Roman era, kept the city administration.

A little later, during the first half of the 14th century, there will be the displacement of this mall and discussed back eastward to place strike, where the municipality will not fail to follow.

In July 1357, in effect, Étienne Marcel, Provost of the merchants, the if busy city Draper, buys on behalf of the municipality, Jehan D'auxerre and Mary his wife, home to the pillars, called the Hotel to the Dauphin, from the dauphin Charles, eldest son of King John, who held it from Humbert, dauphin of Viennois.

This is that leaving the parlor to the Burghers of Saint - Leujroy, the city office moves. The House, said the deed of sale, has two Gables and pillars in front, on the place de grève. It holds at the logis of sire of Chateillon and Giles Marcel, and succeeds, by behind, at the alley of the Martroy de Saint-Jean on strike. We know also from ancient documents, that this building included two courses, a chicken coop, kitchens, stoves and bath, a room of parade, a plea, a chapel, a large room of 5 fathoms long and wide 3, and an attic for artillery.

La maison au piliers, ou maison du Dauphin, ancien et premier Hôtel de Ville

The place de grève and home to the pillars

For about seventy-five years the City Council is propitiated, for its meetings, the ancient home to the pillars. But, around the year 1530, time where the capital is covered of monuments and hotels designed based on new formulas, he wanted him too, following the impulse given by a King artist and a society enamored of Renaissance art, proceed with the construction of a town hall especially erected for this destination. This will certainly be a reason to wonder to think that the Paris municipality, which works regularly since time immemorial, waited the mid-16th century to establish the capital of a common house which was really worthy of it.

After the agreement reached between François Ier and the municipality, after acquiring many buildings surrounding the House to the pillars, the first stone of the building was laid on 15 July, 1533, with Dominique of Cortona, said Boccador, as an architect, and Pierre Chambiges, as masonry contractor.

During the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century, construction was often halted due to the wars of religion, to be resumed, rather slowly, moreover, after the pacification imposed on the city by Henri IV. It is on this occasion, presumably, that the statue of this sovereign, work of Pierre Biard, in 1608, was mounted in the tympanum of the central door.

The monument was almost completed in 1628, after the construction of the main building located on the Court.

Despite the death of the Boccador arrived in 1549, i.e. Eighty years before the completion of the Town Hall, one cannot doubt, according to, indeed, the recent finds of scholars, that the monument which he had been the official architect was completed according to his plans. Apart, of course, variations imposed by the necessities of construction and that are necessarily, especially after the death of their authors, the drawings are best studied.

Who admires the current City Hall, it will be easy to get an idea of one that was built in the time of François Ier. It it will be sufficient to limit the scope of his gaze to the topped central building of the campanile, and extend only to the two pavilions which surround it and which are themselves flanked by two charming turrets in fore hearth. Except a certain overrun in ancient measures to the assets of the last built, the two images are nearly identical.

The building, crossed in his exquisite delicacy of proportions, hectic time of municipal history. Those of the League, whose pious processions bristling with pertuisanes fail not to park there; those of the Fronde, during which the prince de Condé to massacre the Burghers of Paris; those of the Revolution, while there sits the dreaded Commune of 1792 which holds in check the Convention.

At that time, works of art, which have suffered from various fortunes, decorated the rooms of the building and were signed: Porbus, Largillière, Mignard, Vanloo, Boullongue, Troy, Halle and other.

A living room showed admirable wood, carved in the 16th century, and representing the signs of the zodiac. The throne room dates back to 1613 and had two wonderful this time funnels, which had been carved, one by peter1 Biard and David de Villiers by Thomas Boudin. Were also admired the beautiful work of Coysevox, bronze, the statue of Louis XIV, who stood under an archway from the bottom of the cour d'honneur, and is now at the Carnavalet Museum.

In 1802, the Prefecture of the Seine takes possession of the monument with the Frochot prefect, who will be the first official of this agenda is finding a home in the middle of its offices. For hotel, the building was expanded according to designs by the architect Molinos, towards the East, through the acquisition of the former Saint John Church locations, on which on landscape famous room that will keep this term; towards the North, by the addition of a building new building on the grounds of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit.

Things remained in the State until 1837.

[Illustrations de Les rues de Paris ancien et moderne. 358-1848, origine et histoire. Monuments, costumes, moeurs, chroniques et traditions 1843.

Expansion of the 19th

At that time was begun execution of a major project of expansion and isolation, asked the architects Gödde and Lesueur, who changed completely the appearance of the old Renaissance town hall, doubled in extent, and was completed in 1846.

In the construction of these new buildings, including the amount amounted to a sum of about 13 million, the old facade on the Piazza of Greve had been rigorously complied, but it was expanded by two intermediate buildings welded to its two ancient pavilions, which buildings were flanked at their ends two other pavilions. On this new frontage, many niches were fitted to receive the statues of great men that the France had produced, and which were signed Jouffroy, Ottin, Simart, Seurre, Brian, Cavelier, elder Dantan, Duseigneur, Moyne, Préault, Foyatier Maindron, etc.

In sum, the new building was a rectangle of which each of the four corners was terminated by a flag protruding from one floor buildings linking them. The sides overlooking the place de grève and the rue Lobau measured 120 metres, length, and the other two, on the quai and rue de Tixeranderie, today's Rivoli, 80 metres. For the artistic design of new buildings, especially the facade on the square, the architects gave themselves the task to build, provided that it would be possible to primitive city that not only was respected in all its parts, but served as a model for business additions and was as respectfully entrenched.

Intentionally, without doubt, four new corner pavilions were capped with low and massive attics in order to assert the elegance and the slender grace of the two old looking at the place de grève.

As well as today, City Hall by 1846 there were three courses-main: the Court of the prefect, on the side of the dock. the Court's offices, on the side of the street of the Tixeranderie; the Court of honour or court Louis XIV, which was the ancient monument in the middle.

It is the latter which was empowered, in 1855, the famous double revolution staircase designed by the architects Baltard and Vauthier.

Room St. John left, as now, the two staircases straight ramps towards, and culminating in the Grand Hall of feasts, decorated by Lehmann, Cabanel, Bénouville and Laurent-Jan, for painting, and Duret, elder Dantan, Carvalho and other for sculpture.

Between these two staircases were a lounge surrounded by a forum supported by caryatids of Bosio young, and whose ceiling was Gosse, and painted decorations, Bénouville and Cabanel. The room of the deliberations of the City Council, which then contacted the show, has now become the highways Commission room.

It is also near there that was located the famous salon of the Emperor, in which Ingres had painted the apotheosis of Napoleon I, and where were also the famous bust of Napoleon III in aquamarine, executed by the Goldsmith Froment-Meurice, the portrait of the new César, by baron Gérard, and Napoleonic Marbles by Canova.

During the redesign of 1846, the Paris municipality had devoted the most beautiful part of town hall, i.e. the facade overlooking the place de grève, the premises known as the apartments of the King. One admired the throne room, which has already been discussed and in which modern decorations were, for painting, Horace Vernet, Gosse and Séchan, and sculpture, by Crauck; the Zodiac room, illustrated by superb paintings of Léon Cogniet. Other premises of apparat were not less renowned for the beautiful order of their style as with the names of the artists who signed the decorations. This was the show of peace, where reigned Delacroix; salons des Arts and the provosts, where wonder paints Cabanel, Bénouville,. Landelle, Riesener, Müller, and where stood the busts of the former provosts of the merchants; the Gallery of marble, with eight tables of Hubert Robert from Beaumarchais, and, in the antechamber, the statue of Henri IV child, by Bosio. the three lounges with arches, decorated by Schopin, Picot, Hesse and Vauchelet; other small rooms embellished paintings of Court and Lachaise; the dining room, decorated with the attributes of hunting, the fishing, harvest, harvest, by JAC; the municipal Council Chamber, finally, already cited above, whose paintings were of Yvon, the bas-reliefs of Oudiné, and which contained the busts of many sovereign which had been received at the Town Hall. Also special apartments of the prefect, which were located on the side of the river; offices installed on the side of the rue de Rivoli, the enlarged building still gave asylum to the famous and ancient city library, the jewel was the famous Missal of Juvénal des Ursins.

The uprising of 1871 was to put an end to the long career of the old common house, which was burned and destroyed at the end of the month of may with all it contained.

Souvenir du nouveau Paris, ses monuments ; promenades, boulevarts et grandes voies de communications ; plan simplifié pour se guider seul dans Paris dessiné et gravé par Guesnu 

The new city hall

One of the first acts of the Paris municipal Council elected after the 1871 uprising, was to decide that burned City Hall would be relieved of his ashes, restored as much as possible, and in any case rebuilt to the rigorously likeness of the former, and its location.

A competition was open to this effect, in 1872, in which took part a large number of architects, which ended with the acceptance of the project by Messrs. Théodore Ballu and Deperthes.

Talented architect and member of the Institute, Mr. Bahati was quite worthy of the burden which was his duty to meet the municipal Palace of its ruins. Earlier work, such as the churches of Trinity, Saint-Ambroise, Saint-Joseph, of Redemption, campanile Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois, the restoration of the Saint-Jacques Tower, had put it, moreover, has long featured.

Mr. Deperthes, by his renowned talent, his technical and artistic knowledge, its achievements after competitions, in Switzerland, in Brittany, in the Department of the Seine in Paris, was also reported to be the second of his eminent colleague.

In 1882, on 14 July, ten years after the vote of its rebuilding, the City Hall, while beating new, but still far from being completed, opened its doors to Mr. Jules Grévy, president of the Republic, come to bring to him in this day of civic holiday, inaugural baptism. They could predict at that time that all accounts made, the building would be, the key on the door at $ 35 million.

The area, moreover, had still increased by 4,876 sq MTRs of the monument of Louis-Philippe, who had 9,600, which leads inevitably to this conclusion, that the General provisions of the old building having about complied in le-again, all parts of the latter were amplified as surface.

The main public rooms have therefore kept their old locations, their initial assignment and many their terms, except yet the throne room, which became the City Council meeting room.

The three courses have also lost the somewhat irregular shape that they had to take a more properly geometric twist.

With respect to pictorial and sculptural new Palace decoration, the municipality wanted it itself as the largest, most extensive, the artistic movement of our times, without limitation any and all its consequences. It is found on the walls of the building all the nuances, all formulas in the current French school.

Plaut, Charles-Henri (1820-18??) photographe

Plaut, Charles-Henri (1820-18?) photographer

Source: The Town Hall of Paris by Lucien flap 1908

The real architect of the City Hall of Paris

The plans of the former City Hall of Paris are due to an Italian, to Boccador, according to generally accepted tradition, or a French at Pierre Chambiges as Mr Marius Vachon and Leon Palustre were tried, some time ago, to establish?

Artistic awards that are based only on the legend are often highly subject to bail. It was already noted and it will still number of inaccurate.

However, when the legend is, by chance, agree with documents, there would be bad grace to point agree. Whether it be a french or foreign, architect regardless of the merit of the work? Patriotism, because it involves much evil about the patriotic issue in these debates of pure scholarship, patriotism has nothing to see there. We are rich enough in the way national artists age and Renaissance to gallantly do justice to an outsider, now, say true, half French, since the Boccador resided in France the largest part of his life, from 1498 to 1543 at least, if not until 1549, probable date of his death.

The arguments invoked for Chambiges by Messrs. Yachon and Malaria would be highly questionable; but any authentic document is better than a long discussion, and we are here dealing with documents.

The commemorative inscription of the undertaking of the work of the Town Hall (1533) ends with these words: Dominico Cortonensi architectante. Any interpretation that it strives to make this Epigraphic text, it is formal. Suppose, however, that it is insufficient.

Sauvai, in his Antiquities of the city of Paris is not less explicit. "In 1532 and 1533, he writes, the Provost and deputy mayors bought the mansions that tenoient at the Town Hall, in order to enlarge and rebuild. '' Dominique Bocador, said of Cortona, which made the drawing and led the building, had 250 pounds of wages. "Doubt again, if necessary, the assertion of Sauvai.

Need to push further the generosity? Reject the testimony of a compatriot of the Boccador, and admit even that can dwell on this: December 22, 1532, the Governor of Paris, the Provost of the merchants and the Attorney of the city go to the Louvre, "advises instead found Me Dominique de Cortonna, which monstra the pourtraict of the new ship that the roy veult estre faict of ung City Hostel.

Now, it seems, enough concessions. A few lines alone will be enough to conclusively confirm the truth: May 13, 1533, the Provost of merchants expressed to the Office of the city the desire, expressed by the King, see start the «bastimens of a Hostel of city nine, according to the quote that luy este Monster (to the King) and also Monster currently (in the office) by Me Dominicque of Cortemer (sic).', WHO DID AND DIVIDED.

Critics most demanding documentation should not, with this one, declare themselves satisfied?

If he could stay the shadow of a doubt, we achèverions to convince unbelievers putting them under the eyes the various extracts of an unpublished account of the city of Paris for the year 1533:

«Paid 12 pounds 5 floors at Louis leek, sworn to the King in the office of massonnerie, and other masons, for having engaged in the presence of Messrs. merchants prevost and eschevins, 29 may 1533, alignment of the House of the town hall that is vouloit build and ediffier to nine. ''

Paid to Dominique de Courtonne 72 books for several portraits by plattes forms for the fact of the building and the City Hall building.

Paid 85 pounds for achapt of tools for workers who must work day audit building, having judged este ES for the better.

Gentlemen merchants prevost and eschevins, in their letters dated June 15, 1533, committed and deputte to drive the building structures and buildings of the said City Hall, said Me Dominique de Berqualor (sic), said of Courtonne, architect, residing in Paris, following the models by luy made, veil and granted by roy; and, to avoid fault, it will be done before a modelle wooden carpentry. For what, gentlemen luy ordered the sum of 250 livres tournois by year as it vaquera audit building or both that he will appeal to gentlemen»

The accounts of the city of Paris for the following years certainly contained specific details on the continuation of the work of the Town Hall. Unfortunately, they remain more, and the records of the deliberations of the Office of the city tell us little in this regard. The manuscript from which we borrowed the previous quote teaches nothing more until 1549. In June of this year, it is incidentally issue "of the new building which is done in City Hall.

In the absence of other data on the rest of the work du Boccador, the same manuscript provides, for the first quarter of the 17th century, some interesting notes from the architectural history of the City Hall. Here is the complete text, as an appendix to the documents published by Le Roux de Lincy in his history of the Paris City Hall.

Account of 1607-1609

"Paid to a Gilder for gold the large fleur de lis that has been developed and put to the top of the lenterne of the City Hall building, 120 pounds.

For both March and an ounce of gold for Brown said fleur de lis 595 pounds.

For celluy that bruny and developed color said Fleur-de-lis and the pieddestal above the pieddestal of the lodge of the Hotel of said city, and supply, 100 pounds.

For the Bell asked the lad lenterne hault. "city, paid 3,300 pounds.

Account from 1609-1611

"Paid to Antoine Le Moine, ordinary skier of the artillery of France, with which gentlemen merchants prevost and eschevins of said city have agreed and made market to cast a Bell for the clock of the Hotel of said city, five feet of diamettre and height and suitable eschantillon to be ringing of a tone lower than the clock of the Palace., and provide by icelluy Le Moine said metal and other estoffes appropriate for the composition of this Bell, delivered to its risks, perils and fortunes in the door of the said City Hall, for the taken and sum of 60 pounds for each cent weighing; Bell which weighs 7,000 pounds, what makes 4,200 books tournaments; This market is February 4, 1609.

Said Bell has visited este and eschantillonnee by several maistres founders, in the presence of Mr. Pierre Guillen, maistre's works of the city, following their certificate from February 5, 1610.

Account of 1611-1613

«Appears market having este made 13 February 1608 to 12 pillars of stone asked audit City Hall in the coat of the place de grève, at 1,200 pounds. ''

For the elevation of architecture and sculpture for the dial said City Hall, following the market's February 7, 1612, 2,330 pounds.

For the construction of a large mantel in the living room of the Hotel of the said city, following the market's March 30, 1613, 3,000 pounds.

For the movement of the clock of the said City Hall, following the lease of January 24, audit year, 3,000 pounds.

The watch and dial of the clock of the said City Hall, 500 pounds.

The sculptor to have prepared designs of said dial and watch, 30 books.

For the array to the fireplace in the great room, 400 pounds.

"For estimating what has been taken from the Hospital of the Holy Spirit to build the Pavilion nine said City Hall, following the contract on May 5, 1608, 5,000 books.

1619-1621 account

"For the construction of the voultes of the Court of the Town Hall, 15,600 pounds.

Paid to Louis Bobrun, painter of the city, 100 pounds, following mandement of gentlemen from 11 August 1620, to a table where is represented the figure of our Lord, where several mesdits are painted and represent, which is placed in the chapel of the Hotel of the said ville3.

For other works of painting said Chapel, 200 pounds, and for others, 600 pounds.

Then stop the information of our manuscript on the architectural history of the old City Hall.

Source: The real architect of the former town of Paris by Bernard Prost 1891 Hall.

City Hall
(City Hall, paris 4eme arrondissement)

Heritage listed, historical monument, or having been under investigation

Structural information

City Hall, Since the middle of the 14th century, exactly since the year 1357, five hundred and fifty years, the common house of the Parisians, in several successive buildings, occupies the site of the current City Hall. paris 4eme arrondissement, paris

Location and general information

  • identifier : 121231
  • item : Hôtel de Ville
  • Location of the building :
    • Ile-de-France
    • Paris 04
  • Address :
    • place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville
    • rue de Rivoli
    • rue Lobau
  • INSEE code of the municipality : 75104
  • Zip code of the municipality : 75004
  • Order in the communal list : 84
  • Name of the building : The building is designated by the following 3 names :
    • hotel
    • town hall
    • city
  • State :
    • the current state of the monument is not known.

Dates and times

  • Period of construction : 2 different epochs of evolution of the building.
    • 19th century
    • 4th quarter 19th century
  • Dates of protection :
    • 1975/01/15 : inscrit MH
    • 1988/04/27 : inscrit MH
  • Date taken into account : 1993/06/24

Construction, architecture and style

  • Materials:
    • We do not have this information.
  • Roofing :
    • We do not have this information.
  • Materials (roofing) :
    • We do not have this information.
  • Other about the composition roofs :
    • No information on the coverage of the place.
  • Floors :
    • any information about this construction.
  • Stairs :
    • No stairs mentioned on this construction.
  • Decoration of the building :
    • No information about decoration.
  • Representation :
    • No information on the ornamentation of the place.
  • Typology :
    • No information about typology.
  • Plan :
    • We do not know the type of plan for this building.

Monument and history of the place

  • Interest of the building : Secteur sauvegardé. Site inscrit 06 08 1975 (arrêté) .
  • Elements protected MH (historical monument) :10 parts of the building are subject to protection and are listed as follows :
    • stairs
    • elevation
    • roofing
    • room
    • interior
    • gallery
    • library
    • show
    • dining room
    • hall
  • Constituent areas :
    • no information.
  • Parties constituantes étudiées :
    • no information.
  • Use :
    • We do not know the different uses that have been made of this construction.


  • Other :
    • other Information : owned by the 1992 municipality
  • Picture : b8e0a0925c1ac2a8fa68e683e69bde72.jpg
  • Detail :
    • Façades et toitures
    • grand escalier et pièces suivantes avec leur décor : salon d' entrée, grande salle des fêtes, galerie et salon Lobau, salon des sciences, arts et lettres, grande salle à manger, galerie des métiers, salle du budget, salle des séances et bibliothèque du Conseil de Paris : inscription par arrêté du 15 janvier 1975
    • Bibliothèque administrative (cad. AE 3) : inscription par arrêté du 27 avril 1988
  • Mérimée reference : PA00086319

Men involved in this construction

Contributions documentaries made by visitors

City Hall of Paris. Picture of Pascal-Jean Rebillat Photographies
Hôtel de Ville, paris 4eme arrondissement
Contact contributor with his mail for more information.

City Hall of Paris. Picture of webmaster
Hôtel de Ville, paris 4eme arrondissement
Description of this building by webmaster :

Monuments de Paris : L'Hôtel de Ville : [photographie de presse] / Agence Meurisse

Contact contributor with his mail for more information.

City Hall of Paris. Picture of webmaster
Hôtel de Ville, paris 4eme arrondissement
City Hall of Paris. Picture of Pascal-Jean Rebillat Photographies
Hôtel de Ville, paris 4eme arrondissement
City Hall of Paris. Picture of webmaster
Hôtel de Ville, paris 4eme arrondissement
Description of this building by webmaster :

Inondation, fossés, Hôtel de ville, 29/1/19110 [Paris, 4e arrondissement] : [photographie de presse] / [Agence Rol]

City Hall of Paris. Picture of Pascal-Jean Rebillat Photographies
Hôtel de Ville, paris 4eme arrondissement
City Hall of Paris. Picture of Pascal-Jean Rebillat Photographies
Hôtel de Ville, paris 4eme arrondissement
City Hall of Paris. Picture of Pascal-Jean Rebillat Photographies
Hôtel de Ville, paris 4eme arrondissement

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