Hôtel de Ville

Théodore Ballu and Pierre Deperthes
1357; 1533 (expansion); 1871 burned to ground; 1892 (reconstruction)

This grand setting with the enormous square and major thoroughfares is the work of the famous city planner Baron Haussmann and his team.

Although the current building dates from the 18th century, this site had been the center of municipal power since the 14th century. Andre Ayers explains the historical background: "The building we see today replaced an edifice whose construction was begun in 1533 by Pierre Chambiges to plans by the Italian architect Domenico da Cortona, and which had been extended by Hippolyte Godde and Jean-Baptiste Lesueur in the 1830s. One of the many real-estate casualties of the Communard uprising of 1871, the old town hall was burnt literally to a shell in a conflagration that lasted nearly a week. Although, miraculously, its walls were still standing after the disaster and could have served in the rebuilding, the authorities opted to demolish and start again from scratch. They did, however, stipulate that the original 16C frontispiece should be reproduced in the new edifice, thereby setting the historicist tone for the new design" (91-2).

Central belfrey and decorative architectural sculpture

This town hall resembles Flemish Flamboyant Gothic civic buildings.


Flanking bays


Works Consulted or Quoted:
Andrew Ayers. The Architecture of Paris. Stuttgart/London: Edition Axel Menges, 2004.

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© 2018 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.