The Élysée Palace in Paris

Monday, 1 January 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Paris / Île-de-France
Reading Time:  9 minutes

© Remi Mathis(cc-by-sa-3.0

© Remi Mathis(cc-by-sa-3.0

The Élysée Palace has been the official residence of the President of France since 1848. Dating to the early 18th century, it contains the office of the President and the meeting place of the Council of Ministers. It is located near the Champs-Élysées in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, the name Élysée deriving from Elysian Fields, the place of the blessed dead in Greek mythology. Important foreign visitors are hosted at the nearby Hôtel de Marigny, a palatial residence. The architect Armand-Claude Molet possessed a property fronting on the road to the village of Roule, west of Paris (now the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré), and backing onto royal property, the Grand Cours through the Champs-Élysées. He sold this in 1718 to Louis Henri de La Tour d’Auvergne, Count of Évreux (families: Dukes and Princes of Bouillon and Sedan: La Marck), with the agreement that Mollet would construct an hôtel particulier for the count, fronted by an entrance court and backed by a garden. The Hôtel d’Évreux was finished and decorated by 1722, and though it has undergone many modifications since, it remains a fine example of the French classical style. At the time of his death in 1753, Évreux was the owner of one of the most widely admired houses in Paris, and it was bought by King Louis XV as a residence for the Marquise de Pompadour, his mistress. In 1873, during the Third Republic, The Élysée became the official presidential residence.

The heavily guarded mansion and grounds are situated at 55 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré at its intersection with Avenue de Marigny. A monumental gate with four iconic columns, flanked by walls topped by a balustrade, opens onto a large rounded courtyard. The majestic ceremonial courtyard imparts a degree of grandeur to the house. The main residence is constructed in the French classical style. An entrance vestibule is aligned with the ceremonial courtyard and gardens. There is a long central building, a great — or State — apartment divided in the middle by a large salon that opens into the garden. This building also has a central three-storey section, and two single-floor wings: the Appartement des Bains to the right, and the Petit Appartement (private apartments) to the left. The French-style garden has a central path aligned with the central building, patterned flowerbeds and alleys of chestnut trees edged with hedgerows.

Seen from the Gardens © Leurent.t/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Remi Mathis(cc-by-sa-3.0 Main entrance © flickr.com - ActuaLitté/cc-by-sa-2.0 Élysée Palace Gardens © Leurent.t/cc-by-sa-4.0 The President's desk in the Salon doré © Leurent.t/cc-by-sa-4.0 Salon Pompadour © G.Garitan/cc-by-sa-3.0 Salon Murat © Chatsam/cc-by-sa-3.0 Salon des Portaits © Chatsam/cc-by-sa-3.0
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The President's desk in the Salon doré © Leurent.t/cc-by-sa-4.0
Ground floor

  • The Vestibule d’Honneur (Hall of Honour) is the room which the main entrance to the palace leads into. In this room the President of France meets visiting officials, world leaders and spiritual leaders.
  • The Salon d’Argent (Silver Room), in the east wing of the palace, was decorated by Caroline Murat, wife of Joachim Murat and sister of Napoleon I. The room is so called because of the silver coloured edges to the wall features, mantelpieces, tables, sofas and armchairs, of which the last have swan sculptures at the sides. Three notable historical events happened in this room. On 22 June 1815, Napoleon formally signed his abdication warrant after losing the Battle of Waterloo that year; on 2 December 1851 Louis Napoleon launched his coup d’état; and in 1899, President Félix Faure met his mistress, Marguerite Steinheil.
  • The Salle à Manger Paulin (Paulin Dining Room), named after its architect, Pierre Paulin, is a complete contrast to most of the other rooms in the palace. It was designed as a private dining room for President Georges Pompidou and his wife Claude, and the interior and furniture date from the 1970s. The walls are made of 22 polyester panels, the chairs have a single leg attached to a round base, and the round table is made of glass. The room is lit by roof panels decorated with glass balls and rods.
  • The Salon des Portraits (Portrait Room) was used by the Emperor Napoleon III for portrait medallions of the most important sovereigns of the time, replacing earlier portraits of the Bonaparte family installed by Joachim Murat. The portraits are of: Pope Pius IX, Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria-Hungary, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, King Frederick William IV of Prussia, Queen Isabel II of Spain and King William I of Württemberg. Previously a dining room, President Nicolas Sarkozy used the room as his second office.
  • The Salle des Fêtes (Hall of Festivities) dominates the west wing of the palace. It was designed by Eugène Debressenne and opened on 10 May 1889 by the then President, Sadi Carnot, to coincide with the Exposition Universelle that year. The room has paintings on the ceiling called “La République sauvegarde la Paix” (The Republic Safeguards Peace), painted by Guillaume Dubufe in 1894. There are also six Gobelins tapestries in the room, which is predominantly laid out in red and gold decor. In 1984 President François Mitterrand added ten windows to the room to let in more light. It is in this room that all French Presidents are inaugurated, and where they host official conferences and banquets.
  • The Jardins d’Hiver (Winter Gardens) was built in 1883 as a greenhouse for growing plants. Today it is no longer used for this purpose, being instead an extension of the Salon des Fêtes, and used for official banquets. There is a Gobelins tapestry on the wall, and three chandeliers hang from the ceiling.
  • The Salon Murat (Murat Room) is used every Wednesday by the President for meetings with the Prime Minister and Cabinet of France, along with the Presidential Secretary (known as the “Secretary-General of the Élysée”). It was also in this room that Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of Germany, signed the Treaty of the Élysée in 1963.
  • The Salon Cléopâtre (Cleopatra Room) gets its name from a Gobelins tapestry on the wall, installed during the presidency of Sadi Carnot, which depicts Antony and Cleopatra meeting at Tarsus. Also in the room is a portrait of Archduchess Maria Amalia of Austria, painted by Alexandre Roslin.
  • The Salon des Ambassadeurs (Ambassadors’ Room) is where the French President officially receives ambassadors from abroad.
  • The Salon Bleu (Blue Room) is used as the office of the First Lady of France.
  • The Escalier Murat (Murat Staircase) is the main staircase in the palace, linking the ground and first floors.

First floor

  • The Salon Doré (Golden Room) is named after the gold coloured edges to the wall features, doors, tables and chairs. All the French Presidents have used this room as their main study except Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.
  • The Salon Vert (Green Room) is named after the green curtains and chair covers (the doors, chairs, tables and wall features have gold edges). The room is used for reunions, and it was here that Nicolas Sarkozy married his second wife, Carla Bruni, during his presidency.
  • The Salon Angle (Angle Room) is a former dining room that has been the office of the Secretary-General of the Élysée since 2007.
  • The Salon de Fougères (Flower Room) is named because it has floral patterned wallpaper. In the room is a portrait of King Louis XV, painted by Charles-André van Loo.
  • The Ancienne Chambre de la Reine and the Ancienne Chambre du Roi were the bedrooms of the former Kings and Queens of France. The latter room was formerly used as the office of the Secretary-General before he moved it to the Salon Angle.
  • Six other rooms on the first floor, in the east wing, are the President’s private living quarters.

Read more on Élysée Palace, parisinfo.com – Élysée Palace and Wikipedia Élysée Palace (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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