1902 Encyclopedia > Paris > Public Buildings, Palaces, etc.

(Part 5)

Public Buildings, Palaces, etc.

The following are among the public buldings of Paris which have most architectural interest. The palace of the Louvre (see pp. 281. 288), which lies on the right side of the Seine in the heart of the city, consists of a quadrangle with an inner court 394 feet square, tow galleries extending westwards from two sides of the quadrangle, and two galleries external and parallel to these, and continued till they meet the side wings of the Tuileries. The east front of the Louvre is 548 feet long and 90 feet high, and the first story is occupied by Perrault’s famous colonnade. Towards the west are those portions of the Tuileries which escaped the fire of 1871,- the connecting galleries and (on the south) the Flora pavilion and (on the north) the Marsan pavilion, which was entirely rebuilt between 1872 and 1877. from Perrault’s colonnade to the Flora pavilion the side facing the quay is 2250 feet long. In the matter of sculpture the south and west sides of the inner court are considered the best parts of the Louvre. On the west side lies the oldest part of the palace, and the principal points in the former arrangement of the building are indicated by the paving of the court. In the middle of each faced there is a pavilion rising above an archway. The western archway, which is surmounted by the clock, leads into Place Napoleon III., which has its center occupied by a square, and its north and south sides bordered with porticos surmounted by statues of eminent Frenchmen. To the west is the Place du Carrousel. On the south side at the junction of the Louvre and the Tuileries is a gateway with three arches, of which the middle one is crowned with the bronze group by Mercier, "The Genius of the Arts," erected in 1875. the river-front of the Louvre is in an older and more elegant style than the side facing Rue de Rivoli. It is connected with the buildings of the quadrangle by Henry IV.’s pavilion, which contains in its first story the elegant Apollo gallery.

The Palais de Justice in La Cite presents on the W. side, towards Place Dauphine, a Greek façade by Duc (1865-1870), one of the finest production of modern art. From the Boulevard du Palais on the east it is separated by a magnificent 18th century railing in wrought iron and gilt. On this side lie the Salle des Pas Perdus and the Sainte-Chaplle. The fine square tower known as the Clock Tower stands at the corner formed by the Quai du Nord and the Boulevard du Palais; and on the north side lies the Conciergerie prison with the dungeon once occupied by Marie Antoinette. Opposite the Palais de Justice on the other side of the Boulevard is the Tribunal de Commerce with a remarkable staircase under the cupola.

On the left bank of the Seine are the Luxembourg palace, the seat of the senate and formerly the residence of Mary de Medici; the Bourbon palace, the seat of the chamber of deputies, fronting the river and Pont de la Concorde with a fine columned portico and pediment; the palace of the Lewgion f Honor, an exquisite building of Louis XIV.’s time; and the palace of the Institute, with a handsome dome. On the right side of the river lie the Elysee palace (in the Champs-Elysees), a vast building in a modern style, the residence of the president of the republic, and the palace of the Trocadero, built for the Exhibition of 1878, the central rotunda of which contains the largest music-hall in Paris (for 15,000 auditors) and a colossal organ.

Among the Government and administrative buildings may be mentioned the Hotel de Ville, burnt in 1871, but rebuilt finer than before on the old site; the ministry of foreign affairs, where the congress of Paris was held in 1856; the ministry of marine, which occupies on Place de la Concorde one of the two pavilions erected by Gabriel on each side of Rue Royale; the ministry of war in the Boulevard St Germain; the Bank, formerly the De las Vrilliere "hotel," built by Mansard; the Mint, with a fine façade stretching 394 feet along Quai Conti not far from Pont Neuf; the national preinting establishment, formerly Cardinal Rohan’s mansion; and the national record office, close at hand, formerlythe Soubise mansion. These last two buildings are in the Quartier du Marais, where a great many ancient mansions are now used as warehouses and workshops. Besides the Hotel Carnavalet and the Hotel de Cluny may be mentioned the tower of Rue aux Ours, the last remnant of the Hotel de Bourgogne; the Hotel de Sens, formerly the residence of the archbishop of the province; the Hotel Lambert at the head of lle St Louis, adorned with paintings by Lesuer; the turret of the Hotel Barbette (Rue vieille du Temple).

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