Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Open House

Continuing with the theme of the last two posts, I'll close out relaying my experiences on the Open House weekend in Paris with a few more peeks into some incredible buildings. All in all, I toured a dozen buildings over a two day period, which are only open by special invitation every other day of the year. I know my jaw must have been dropping on numerous occasions. The interiors were just stunning, and when I think about how I've walked by these buildings many, many times and never knew what was behind the facades, I'm amazed even more. 
One of the buildings that surprised me was l'Hôtel Clermont--the Ministry in Charge of Parliamentary Relations. With an title like that, you need a place of opulence, right? 

Built between 1708-1714 and located on Rue de Varenne, the Salon Doré is considered its grandest room,

but my favorite room was the gallery 

which was laid out by the Count d'Orsay for his collection of masterpieces.

The ceiling was exceptionally lovely.

I moved on to l'Hôtel de Noirmoutier on the Rue de Grenelle,

which is the Préfecture (office of the capital city) of the Ile-de-France, one of the 100 départements of France. Beautiful furnishings enhanced the rooms,

such as this beautifully paneled dining room.

Finally I stumbled onto the open doors of the mayor's office of the 7th arrondissement of Paris, so of course, I went in

and found beautiful carved ceilings

and the Marriage Hall. Anyone marrying in France is legally married after a civil ceremony at their respective mairie or mayor's office. Civil ceremonies are required and are legally binding--religious ceremonies may be performed after the civil ceremony if so desired. Wouldn't this be a beautiful room to say your I do's?
Thanks for hanging with me for the grand tour these past 3 posts. I hope to be fortunate to be able to  return to Paris next September for the 2011 Journées du Patrimoine.

 Next post will feature a building well known to all, world-wide, and will be much more current, as you will soon see. 


  1. How magnificent. Your photographs really make me feel that I am there. What an exciting life you have. I have a bit of wanderlust, so your life seems idyllic.

    By the way two of the photographs of the street performers were taken in London. The gold man and the juggler.

    Have a beautiful day. Karen

  2. Just love these pictures! Did I tell you how difficult these make my trip into school to teach in the converted trailer?

  3. Haven't had a chance to breath, much less comment! Scott and I have enjoyed these posts. I never knew about this special weekend in Paris, and I go every year in September! I wonder if I've missed it. All your photos are wonderful. Kinda makes Versailles look old and dusty!

    Thanks for sharing. I love the fact that in Paris, you never know what's behind the doors. These photos take that to a whole new level!

  4. the french do corner the market on opulence.
    my jaw dropped to see the beautiful angels
    surrounding the mounting of the chandelier.
    so gorgeous.

    and so like the woman who puts on all her
    jewelry, looks in the mirror, and then puts
    on one more piece!

    thank you for another history and culture

  5. Oh, Debi, I'm speechless! My jaw is definitely on the floor. What magnificence, closed away from the public for so much of the time. I agree with you about the gallery – I just keep staring at it. Even conceiving of such a place, let alone creating it, is mind boggling. As always, you've given me a wonderful treat that I'd otherwise never experience. Thank you so much!

  6. Glad you could be our roving reporter and photographer. You have done an excellent job. We are all itching to go next year.
    I wonder if in all this splendor there are any regular old offices with overflowing trash baskets?

  7. Hi Debi,

    What incredible pics. You are a wonderful tour guide. I enjoyed visiting all of your Paris weekend posts. OH.... makes me want to be there.

    You know, Sunday night I had been online for a few minutes when Skype popped up. My intention was to catch up on blog reading. When i saw it was Jeff, I was so excited. We had a nice long chat. It was the highlight of my week.
    I am still over the moon!

    big hugs,