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Hotel Near Charles De Gaulle
Palais de l'Élysée (Élysée Palace), Paris, France
The Elysee Palace (Palais de l'Elysee) is the official residence of the President of the French Republic, containing his office, and is where the Council of Ministers meets. It is located near the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
The Elysee has gardens, in which the president hosts a party on the afternoon of Bastille Day.
The architect Armand-Claude Mollet possessed a property fronting on the road to the village of Roule, west of Paris (now the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore), and backing onto royal property, the Grand Cours through the Champs-Elysees. He sold this in 1718 to Louis Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, comte d'Evreux (families: ducs and princes de Bouillon et Sedan: de la Marck | von der Marck), with the agreement that Mollet would construct an hotel particulier for the count, fronted by an entrance court and backed by a garden. The Hotel d'Evreux was finished and decorated by 1722, and though it has undergone many modifications since, it remains a fine example of the French classical style. At the time of his death in 1753, Evreux was the owner of one of the most widely admired houses in Paris, and it was bought by King Louis XV as a residence for the Marquise de Pompadour, his mistress. Opponents showed their distaste for the regime by hanging signs on the gates that read: "Home of the King's whore". After her death, it reverted to the crown.
In 1773, it was purchased by Nicolas Beaujon, banker to the Court and one of the richest men in France, who needed a suitably sumptuous "country house" (for the city of Paris did not yet extend this far) to house his fabulous collection of great masters paintings. To this end, he hired the architect Etienne-Louis Boullee to make substantial alterations to the buildings (as well as design an English-style garden). Soon on display there were such well-known masterpieces as Holbein's The Ambassadors (now in the National Gallery in London), and Frans Hals' Bohemian (now at the Louvre). His architectural alterations and art galleries gave this residence international renown as "one of the premier houses of Paris".
The palace and gardens were purchased from Beaujon by Bathilde, duchesse de Bourbon in 1787 for 1,300,000 livres. It was the Duchess who named it the Elysee. She also built a group of cottages in the gardens which she named the Hameau de Chantilly, after the Hameau at her Chateau de Chantilly. With the French Revolution, the Duchess fled the country and the Elysee was confiscated. It was leased out. The gardens were used for eating, drinking, and dancing, under the name Hameau de Chantilly; and the rooms became gambling houses.
In 1803, the Elysee was sold to Joachim Murat, and in 1808, to the Emperor, and it became known as the Elysee-Napoleon. After the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon returned to the Elysee, signed his abdication there on 22 June 1815, and left the Elysee on the 25th.
Russian Cossacks camped at the Elysee when they occupied Paris in 1814.
Though it was first officially used by the government of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Hotel d'Evreux was formally purchased for Louis XVIII in 1816. Under the provisional government of the Second Republic, it took the name of the Elysee National and was designated the official residence of the President of the Republic. (The President also has the use of several other official residences, including the Chateau de Rambouillet, forty five kilometres southwest of Paris, and the Fort de Bregancon near Marseille.)
In 1853, following his coup d'etat that ended the Second Republic, Napoleon III charged the architect Joseph-Eugene Lacroix with renovations; meanwhile he moved to the nearby Tuileries Palace, but kept the Elysee as a discreet place to meet his mistresses, moving between the two palaces through a secret underground passage that has since been demolished. Since Lacroix completed his work in 1867, the essential look of the Palais de l'Elysee has remained the same.
In 1873, during the Third Republic, The Elysee became the official presidential residence.
In 1917, an orangutan escaped from a nearby menagerie, entered the palace and was said to have tried to haul the wife of President Raymond Poincare into a tree only to be foiled by Elysee guards. President Paul Deschanel, who resigned in 1920 because of mental illness, was said to have been so impressed by the orangutan's feat that, to the alarm of his guests, he took to jumping into trees during state receptions.
The Elysee Palace was closed in June 1940, and remained empty during World War II. It was reoccupied only in 1946 by Vincent Auriol, President of the Provisional Government, then first President of the Fourth Republic from 1947 to 1954.
Between 1959 and 1969, the Elysee was occupied by Charles de Gaulle, the first President of the Fifth Republic. De Gaulle did not like its lack of privacy, and oversaw the purchase of the luxurious Hotel de Marigny to lodge foreign State officials in visit to France, saying, "I do not l
Museum History and Architecture
The rue de Lille was once the central lane of the garden belonging to Henri IV's famous queen, Marguerite de Valois. On her death in 1615, the property was sold by lots, and private mansions continued to build up the neighbourhood, while on the banks of the Seine a port known as the Grenouilliere served as a resting place for lumber barges and other cargo. The construction of the Quai d'Orsay began in 1708 near the Pont Royal, and was completed a century later under Napoleon I's Empire. The aristocratic vocation of the neighbourhood was already well established at the end of the 18th century, when the Hotel de Salm (today the Musee de la Legion d'honneur) was built, between 1782 and 1788.
During the 19th century, two buildings stood upon the site of the future Orsay station: the Cavalry barracks and the Palais d'Orsay, built between 1810 and 1838 successively by Jean-Charles Bonnard and Jacques Lacornee. Although the Palais had originally been planned for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it eventually housed the Cour des Comptes (Court of Accounts) and the Conseil d'Etat (State Council). During the violent upheaval known as the Paris Commune in 1871, the entire neighbourhood was burnt down. For thirty years, the ruins of the Palais d'Orsay served as reminders of the horrors of civil war.
On the eve of the 1900 World Fair, the French government ceded the land to the Orleans railroad company, who, disadvantaged by the remote location of the Gare d'Austerlitz, planned to build a more central terminus station on the site of the ruined Palais d'Orsay. In 1897, the company consulted three architects: Lucien Magne, Emile Benard and Victor Laloux. The project was a challenging one due to the vicinity of the Louvre and the Palais de la Legion d'honneur: the new station needed to be perfectly integrated into its elegant surroundings. Victor Laloux, who had just completed the Hotel de Ville in Tours, was chosen as winner of the competition in 1898.
The station and hotel, built within two years, were inaugurated for the World Fair on July 14th, 1900. Laloux chose to mask the modern metallic structures with the facade of the hotel, which, built in the academic style using finely cut stone from the regions of Charente and Poitou, successfully blended in with its noble neighbours. Inside, all the modern techniques were used: ramps and lifts for lage, elevators for passengers, sixteen underground railtracks, reception services on the ground floor, and electric traction. The open porch and lobby continued into the great hall which was 32 metres high, 40 metres wide and 138 metres long.
From 1900 to 1939, the Gare d'Orsay was the head of the southwestern French railroad network. The hotel received numerous travellers in addition to welcoming associations and political parties for their banquets and meetings. However, after 1939, the station was to serve only the suburbs, as its platforms had become too short for the modern, longer trains that appeared with the progressive electrification of the railroads.
The Gare d'Orsay then successively served different purposes : it was used as a mailing centre for sending packages to prisoners of war during the Second World War, then those same prisoners were welcomed there on their returning home after the Liberation. It was then used as a set for several films, such as Kafka's The Trial adapted by Orson Welles, and as a haven for the Renaud-Barrault Theatre Company and for auctioneers, while the Hotel Drouot was being rebuilt.
The hotel closed its doors on January 1st, 1973, not without having played a historic role: the General de Gaulle held the press conference announcing his return to power in its ballroom (the Salle des Fetes).
In 1975, the Direction des Musees de France already considered installing a new museum in the train station, in which all of the arts from the second half of the 19th century would be represented. The station, threatened with destruction and replacement by a large modern hotel complex, benefitted instead from the revival of interest in nineteenth-century architecture and was listed on the Supplementary Inventory of Historical Monuments on March 8, 1973. The official decision to build the Musee d'Orsay was taken during the interministerial council of October 20, 1977, on President Valery Giscard d'Estaing's initiative. The building was classified a Historical Monument in 1978 and a civil commission was created to oversee the construction and organisation of the museum. The President of the Republic, Francois Mitterrand, inaugurated the new museum on December 1st, 1986, and it opened to the public on December 9th.
The transformation of the station into a museum was accomplished by ACT architecture group, made up of M. Bardon, M. Colboc and M. Philippon. Their project was chosen in 1979 out of six propositions, and would respect Laloux's architecture while nonetheless reinterpreting it
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