Hôtel de Ville, Paris, France

The Hôtel de Ville in Paris, France, is the building housing the city’s local administration. Standing on the place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville in the 4th arrondissement, it has been the headquarters of the municipality of Paris since 1357. It serves multiple functions, housing the local administration, the Mayor of Paris (since 1977), and also serves as a venue for large receptions.

In July 1357, Étienne Marcel, provost of the merchants (i.e. mayor) of Paris, bought the so-called maison aux piliers (“House of Pillars”) in the name of the municipality on the gently sloping shingle beach which served as a river port for unloading wheat and wood and later merged into a square, the Place de Grève (“Strand Square”), a place where Parisians often gathered, particularly for public executions. Ever since 1357, the City of Paris’s administration has been located on the same location where the Hôtel de Ville stands today.

Hôtel de Ville was rebuilt in the 1870s in its original French Renaissance style inspired by the Châteaux of the Loire Valley. Reconstruction of City Hall lasted 19 years and was directed by architects Théodore Ballu and Édouard Deperthes, who had won the public competition for the building’s reconstruction.

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