Hôtel de Monaco

I had the possibility to visit the Polish Embassy in Paris, also referred to as “Hôtel de Monaco”. The building has some origins from 1774-77, when it was constructed for Marie-Christine de Brignole (1737-1813), married to, but rather soon separated from H-C-L Grimaldi, Prince of Monaco. The Prince continued to live in the nearby “Hôtel de Matignon” – the present residence of the French Prime Minister (see previous post). The architect of this building, after all referred to as the “Hôtel de Monaco”, was A-T Brongniart (1739-1813) - who also designed some other “hôtels”, the Paris Stock Exchange … and also made the original layout of the Père Lachaise cemetery. Marie-Christine, who was the mother of two Grimaldi sons and somehow is the great-great… grandmother of the present Monaco Prince, lived then in “concubinage” with a Prince de Condé in this new home, until the 1789 Revolution, when they moved to England. The legitimate husband, Grimaldi, died in 1795 and then she could marry the Prince de Condé.

The building then changed owners a number of times. It has been the home of the Polish Ambassador since 1936, with an interruption of the Nazi occupation years.

We are thus in the more representative part of the Embassy - the consular services can be found in an adjacent street. The ground floor is fairly “private”.

Via a side entrance you arrive via some giant stairs to the more official reception parts of the Embassy – see also top picture.

When you talk about Paris and Poland, you automatically think of Chopin. Yes, he played here once, but of course well before it became a Polish Embassy. There are some concerts given here now and then, but Chopin didn’t play in this room, nor of course on this piano. In the entrance hall you can find a replica of the statue, which was placed on Chopin’s tomb in 1850 (he died in 1849) at the Père Lachaise cemetery (see previous post). It’s done by Auguste Clésinger (1814-83), who was married to George Sand’s daughter Solange.


lyliane six said...

Ils sont magnifiques ces hôtels particuliers,je suis allée visiter l'ambassade d'Allemagne il y a quelques années.

Jeanie said...

As always, Peter, you dazzle me!

Maria Russell said...

I wonder if Françoise de Choiseul-Stainville - Princess of Monaco by marriage - lived there...
During the French Revolution, she and her husband were "emigrèes", but she returned to France because she was worried about her little daughters. But, when she returned she was arrested and then guillotined.
At first, she claimed to be pregnant in an attempt to gain time...so that she could say goodbye to her children.

When I return to France this December, I would love to visit Pere Lachaise and see the grave of my favorite composer.

Here then a piece of Chopin, played by (imho) the greatest pianist alive:


Thank you so much, Peter! Fantastic tour and fantastic photos!

claude said...

Encore une magnifique et intéressante visite ! Le plafond de la première photo est super beau avec les anges. Qu'est ce qu'on faisait de belles choses dans le temps !

Shionge said...

Hiya Peter...I am back after such a long time and a bit intimidated hahahha.....you are still going strong here showcase the best of the best....great job...will go through slowly :)

Hope you are well my dear blog pal :)

Studio at the Farm said...

Magnificent old building - thank you for the post, Peter!