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Visiting the historic Grand Hôtel, Paris, France: sedate, major work by Alfred Armand, dating from 1862

Updated on January 14, 2013
Flag of France
Flag of France | Source
The Grand Hôtel, seen from Place Charles-Garnier, between rue Scribe, right, and rue Auber, left
The Grand Hôtel, seen from Place Charles-Garnier, between rue Scribe, right, and rue Auber, left | Source
Paris Kiosk, by Jean Béraud, intersection of Rue Scribe and Boulevard des Capucines, circa 1880 - 1884
Paris Kiosk, by Jean Béraud, intersection of Rue Scribe and Boulevard des Capucines, circa 1880 - 1884 | Source
6, rue Scribe, Paris
6, rue Scribe, Paris | Source
1, rue Auber, Paris.
1, rue Auber, Paris. | Source
Map location of Paris, France
Map location of Paris, France | Source

Fit for an Empress

Readers wishing to learn more about the InterContinental Paris Le Grand, as Le Grand Hôtel is now called, should contact the management directly. By way of complementing many other of my hubs on principal sights of Paris, these few lines relate principally to some historical aspects of the building,

Situated in the shadow of the Paris Opera, the 800-room building dates from 1862, which brings it still into the era of the Second Empire, at a time when Napoleon III's great urban planner Baron Haussmann was actively changing and beautifying the face of whole swathes of the French capital, as demolition by decree and building work proceeded rapidly.

Le Grand Hôtel 's architect was Alfred Armand (1805-1888)(1), noted for having been responsible also for many great railroad station projects. The Hôtel's opulent style soon commended itself to a wealthy clientele, not least following the visit of Empress Eugénie, who declared herself to feel quite a home there.

Features include a uniform, Second Empire frontage, with strongly rectangular elements, decreed for all the buildings which were to surround the Paris Opera. Le Grand Hotel 's Café de la Paix soon became one of the great dining and meeting centres of the French capital.

The land on which Le Grand Hôtel is built was originally marshland, and this bears testimony to the mid-19th century civil engineering success at transforming the site into a locale with such ornate and desirable real estate.

Within the past 50 years, Le Grand Hôtel underwent two major programs of refurbishment; it celebrated its 150 anniversary in 2012.

There is a significant Middle Eastern flavour to the immediate vicinity of Le Grand Hôtel. Some Middle Eastern countries maintain their national airline offices in close proximity; some of these carriers have included Syrian Arab Airlines and Middle East Airlines (from Lebanon).

The Hôtel is situated at 2, rue Scribe and 12, boulevard des Capucines , in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, France.

January 14, 2013

Note

(1) Other works for which Architect Armand was also responsible were the Paris-Saint-Lazare, Lille, and Amiens railroad stations.

Also worth seeing

In Paris itself, the strikingly opulent, neo-Baroque Opera building is situated nearby. Among the bewildering wealth of the city's visitor attractions are the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe , the National Assembly (French: Assemblée nationale ) at the Bourbon Palace (French: Palais Bourbon ); place de la Concorde ; the Madeleine church; and many others.

...

How to get there: United Airlines flies from New York Newark to Paris (Aéroport Paris-Charles de Gaulle ), from where car rental is available; however, visitors to Paris may wish to explore the city via its excellent public transport system. The Métro station for the Paris Opera is called Opéra . Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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