The Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, France

In 1758, King Louis XV commissioned the greatest architect of his day, Jacques-Ange Gabriel, to build twin structures overlooking the Place de la Concorde. The result was a masterpiece of 18th-century architecture. Behind one of the facades rose a sumptuous private residence decorated by the era’s finest artists and craftsmen. Such are the origins of the Hôtel de Crillon, created to host the world’s great ambassadors. Long owned by the illustrious family of the Counts of Crillon, this private mansion was transformed into a luxury palace hotel in 1909 under the impulse of architect Walter-André Destailleur.

The Petit Palais, Paris, France

It was built for the 1900 Exposition Universelle (universal exhibition), it now houses the City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des beaux-arts de la ville de Paris). The Petit Palais is located across from the Grand Palais on Avenue Nicolas II, today Avenue Winston-Churchill. The other façades of the building face the Seine and Avenue des Champs-Elysees.

Château de Chambord, Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France

The royal Château de Chambord at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France, is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world because of its very distinctive French Renaissance architecture which blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structures. The building, which was never completed, was constructed by King Francis I of France.

Leonardo da Vinci, a guest of Francis at Clos Lucé near Amboise, was responsible for the original design, which reflects Leonardo’s plans for a château at Romorantin for the King’s mother, and his interests in central planning and double spiral staircases.

The roofscape of Chambord contrasts with the masses of its masonry and has often been compared with the skyline of a town: it shows eleven kinds of towers and three types of chimneys, without symmetry, framed at the corners by the massive towers.