Referring to my previous post, about the Luxembourg Palace, here is a second one.
So, since 1799, the former Royal Castle was transformed into the legislative building it still is and the Senate (in different forms) has been housed here since, with a short exception 1940-44, when it became the French headquarters of the “Luftwaffe” and Herman Göring prepared some nice accommodations for his visits to Paris.
The Senate is the upper house of the French Parliament. The President of the Senate is ranked as number two in the French hierarchy and would replace the President of the Republic awaiting new elections. 348 members are elected indirectly by “grands électeurs” for six years. Half of the members are elected every three years.
After a first renovation of the building (see previous post), a more important one was undertaken as from 1835; the blue parts were added to the old building. The new facade was made to look exactly as on the original palace. A new senate chamber, a library, and what is called the “Salle des Conférences”, which got its present decoration in the 1850’s were added.
The“Salle des Conférences” is highly decorated in a typical “Second Empire” style. Napoleon’s throne, when he assisted at the Senate, is still to be seen.
The senate chamber was more or less in the dark during my visit; not easy to get any good pictures, but here they are.
Unfortunately it was not possible to visit the library, but I took a photo of a photo. If you would manage to enter you would have seen a number of paintings by Eugène Delacroix. I just managed to take a picture through a door. The table is placed exactly in the middle of the building - we can (more or less) see the garden behind. To be in the middle here, means to be exactly on the old French Meridian (the “Rose Line”), which was abandoned to the advantage of Greenwich by the end of the 18th century. (As compensation, the British promised to accept the metric system. J I have talked about this already in several posts, e.g. here.)