Too much...?

This “hôtel particulier”, a former private mansion house – now a school – is very rich on decorations, maybe a little bit “too much”?

Well, it has not always looked like this, the building has been transformed during the centuries. The original building dates from the 16th century and has changed owners – and shape and decorations… - a number of times. It is today known as “Hôtel Fieubet”, but has also been known as “Hôtel Combourg”, “Hôtel Lavalette”… Below we can see some illustrations of the building I have found (stolen) on the net. It should perhaps be mentioned that in the early 19th century it was during a few decades used as a sugar refinery. The present look dates mostly from around 1857, when it was bought by a Count Lavalette who had it rebuilt and decorated in the present showy neo-baroque style. 20 years later the building became the school it still is. The interior was for long known to have been splendid, but today…?

We can see the names of some of the occupants on the walls of the building.

The place where you find the building gives me a reason to talk about the area where you find it. The area you can see inside the red dotted lines was once referred to as “Hôtel Saint-Pol” (Saint Paul) and was occupied by royal residences – several and separate buildings for the King, the Queen, the Princes… - during the reigns of Charles V and Charles VI, meaning during the late 14th and early 15th centuries. We were then just outside the "Philippe-Auguste Wall" (see different posts here) and a new "Charles V Wall" was being built.

The name “Saint-Pol” has its origin in the Saint-Paul church which already stood there and was destroyed only after the 1789 French Revolution. (I talked about it in a previous post, see here.) 
The area then fell into ruins and was during the 16th century sold in parcels… and this is where, in one corner, we can find the “Hôtel Fieubet”.


Anonymous said...

Never being a standard bearer of minimalism ;-), what a pleasure for my eyes to admire this beautiful building! Perhaps, IMHO, the only thing out of place there would be those scary masks.

Awesome photos and story, Peter!
Thank you so much.

When I saw the name Hôtel Lavalette, I thought maybe that's where Emilie de Beauharnais lived with her husband, Antoine, comte de Lavalette. Their only daughter, Joséphine was the great love of Eugène Delacroix.

claude said...

Comme on faisait de belles choses dans le temps, c'est magnifique !