Hôtel de Ville

It’s rare to find a government building that is built in architectural magnificence, and that’s why the Hôtel de Ville makes such a statement. It is an administrative building located in Paris, housing the Mayor of the city, the local housing administration. Owing to the colossal size of the building, it also provides a venue for when there are large receptions. The Hôtel de Ville, the original one, was constructed back in the late 1620s. The idea of its construction had been born almost a century before, but due the Renaissance, it had not been implemented till many years later. Upon its construction, it became a symbolic venue, remaining untainted and unchanged for over 200 years. A fire destroyed it and all its valuables, leaving a nothing but the stone that held it together. In 1873, reconstruction began in the same architectural design that it once stood with, and it was completed nearly two decades later. New design ideas were incorporated, and the Hôtel de Ville was made more lavish and more sophisticated, in particular for the most important rooms. The building of sculptural figures was commissioned and most of these can be seen both inside the building and out of it.

As the Hôtel de Ville was present during the French Revolution, it has a very rich history, and this is one of the things that make it a very prime attraction, besides its architectural complexity and beauty. Inside, large staircases and painted ceilings represent a luxury that was and is still appreciated. A large ballroom acts as a reception for royal events, and a multitude of chandeliers add beautiful sophistication to the City Hall.

The square outside the Hôtel de Ville is calm and serene, but it wasn’t always so. Initially called Place de Greve, the square was a place where many people lost their lives. It was a prime execution point. A guillotine was even installed in the place, and served a great purpose during the era of the French Revolution. However, the Place De L’Hotel de Ville is what it was subsequently renamed in 1830 after executions stopped. It became a public square many years later and it is now easily accessible by both Parisians and tourists alike.

Tours inside the Hôtel de Ville are given, but bookings are often advised as one is not allowed inside unguided. While the Hôtel de Ville offers a lot to learn, one is more easily distracted by its beauty, which represents an heritage of a time when architecture meant building colossal monuments and adorning them in paintings, often adding sculptures to increase their allure. It’s an art that has been lost in time, and this is what makes these ancient monuments the preferred tourists' destinations that they are. The Hôtel de Ville is located not so far from Notre Dame, so it would be perfect for a great morning visit before proceeding to the legendary cathedral later in the afternoon. The Hôtel de Ville lights up in a breathtaking manner after sunset, and would be worth a passing by, should you still be in the IV arrondissement.