Palaces and private mansions: living heritage

Palaces and private mansions are part of Paris’s rich cultural heritage.

Musée Jacquemart-André - Façade

Numerous palaces and private mansions have survived the transformation of Paris over the centuries to form part of the city’s heritage, and not merely for historical reasons.  While some of them, like the Elysée Palace, the Palais-Royal and the Palais Brongniart, are the seat of French government institutions, many others have become cultural venues.

The Palais de Chaillot in the 8th arrondissement has 1930s architecture and houses several museums; a few hundred metres on, the Palais de Tokyo has become a key venue for contemporary art in Paris. The Petit Palais near the Champs-Elysées focuses on classical art, while the much-visited Palais de la Découverte next door does an excellent job of popularizing science.

Some private mansions have also been turned into museums, like the sumptuous Musée Carnavalet (closed for renovation work) in the Marais, the Musée Jacquemart-André in the 7th arrondissement and the Musée Nissim de Camondo in the 8th arrondissement.

Art in mansion houses

Maison de Victor Hugo

Many museums in the capital are former mansion houses. Visitors will enjoy the intimate atmosphere of these places steeped in history. Some museums have opened in houses that were once the home of artists.

This is the case for the Musée Eugène Delacroix, which is housed in the apartment of the eponymous painter as well as his workshop, situated in a private garden. Victor Hugo also lived on the 2nd floor of the Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée, which is now the Maison de Victor-Hugo.

Maison de Balzac Adhérent

Museum
47 rue Raynouard, Paris, 75016

In the heart of the old Passy village, the Maison de Balzac is the last famous Parisian novelist’s house to exist today. It was......

Maison de Victor Hugo Adhérent

Museum
6 place des Vosges, Paris, 75004

Victor Hugo lived on the second floor of the Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée from 1832 to 1848. He wrote some of his major works there:......

Musée de la vie romantique Adhérent

Museum
Hôtel Scheffer-Renan - 16 rue Chaptal, Paris, 75009

The Musée de la Vie Romantique is located in the house of the painter Ary Scheffer, built in 1830. Situated in Pigalle, in La......

Musée Jacquemart-André Adhérent

Museum
158 boulevard Haussmann, Paris, 75008

The Musée Jacquemart-André, owned by the Institut de France, presents collections of art that are worthy of great museums in a......

Musée national Eugène Delacroix Adhérent

Museum
6 rue de Furstenberg, Paris, 75006

The museum occupies part of the apartment on Place Fürstenberg, where the painter died, and his workshop which opens onto a......

Palais Brongniart Adhérent

Monument
28 Place de la Bourse, Paris, 75002

It was built upon the orders of Napoleon and is named after the architect that designed it: Alexandre Théodore......

Palais de la découverte Adhérent

Museum
Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt, Paris, 75008

The Palais de la découverte, part of Universcience, presents fundamental and contemporary science in a dynamic way in the form of......

Palais de l’Élysée

Monument
55 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris, 75008

The Marquise de Pompadour made the Élysée Palace her Parisian home before bequeathing it to Louis XV. From owner to owner, this......

Domaine national du Palais-Royal

Park, garden, promenade
Domaine national du Palais-Royal - 8 rue Montpensier, Paris, 75001

Created by the Cardinal Richelieu in 1633, the Palais Royal and its gardens, just a short walk from the Louvre, housed royal......

Palais de Chaillot

Monument
1 place du Trocadéro et du 11 novembre, Paris, 75116

The Palais de Chaillot is located on the Place du Trocadéro in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. Built in 1937 for the Universal......

Palais de Tokyo

Museum
13 avenue du Président Wilson, Paris, 75116

The Palais de Tokyo occupies a monumental building which was built in 1937 for the Paris International Exhibition dedicated to......

Les Arts Décoratifs - Nissim de Camondo

Museum
63 rue de Monceau, Paris, 75008

Passionate about the 18th century, the Count de Camondo had a private mansion built in the style of the Petit Trianon at......

Musée national Gustave Moreau

Museum
14 rue de la Rochefoucauld, Paris, 75009

This house/artist’s studio in the 9th arrondissement houses the collections of painter Gustave Moreau and respects the original......

Musée Marmottan Monet

Museum
2 rue Louis Boilly, Paris, 75016

Musée Marmottan Monet, located in the 16th arrondissement, houses one of the city's largest Impressionism collections: 100 of......