Hotel de Ville: A History


L'Hotel de Ville: A City Hall Marvel

All over France, every city has a building called l'hotel de ville. These buildings are the city halls of France. And each city has one. And so far I have noticed that most of the buildings have a very similar structures. But the one that is grandest of them all is the Hotel de Ville in Paris. Not to mention it has been around for hundreds of years. So here is a little history on one of the most beautiful city halls I've ever seen.

The location has been there since the 14th Century

The location of l'Hotel de Ville has been in place since 1357. The location was chosen so that the mayor could easily oversee the trade and commerce of the city. The main docks were located right next to the location of the building along the river. Since then, all updated models of the building have been in the same exact place.

Kings wanted its style to be inspiring

Eventually the city outgrew the medieval building and the king, François I, wanted a newer building built. The building was not completed until the reign of Louis XIII, but its style finally matched that of the century that it was completed in.

The fall of Robespierre

It seems that all buildings in Paris have close ties to the French Revolution. L'Hotel de Ville is no different. Towards the end of his reign of terror, Robespierre was shot and arrested inside the building. So as grim as that sounds, it also is a conclusion to a very dark part in the history of the city.

Burning of the building

In the mid 1800s, the revolutionary protests led to the total destruction of the building. The inside of l'Hotel de Ville was set on fire and completely destroyed while the outside was almost destroyed. Eventually the building was rebuilt and expanded and that model is the one that stands today.

Public Expositions

Throughout the year, expositions are on display for the public. It hosts events and offers classes as well, but the best are the expositions. The most recent was about the liberation of Paris in 1944 and it had artifacts on display and documentaries playing, all for free.

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