Trading in Paris! Bourse de Commerce.

So here I am humid rainy cold windy day and night as I write. Rather mild temps around 12C or 55F thus. We are clearly into Autumn and Mr Winter is calling. I am cruising end of the month routine.

I like to bring you to light another wonderful building in Paris seldom seen yet I know it well in business and very few pictures allow. Let me tell you about the Bourse de Commerce or Trade exchange house of Paris.

The Bourse de Commerce de Paris is a circular plan building topped by a dome located on Rue de Viarmes, in the neighborhood of the Halles of the 1éme arrondissement or district of Paris.


A bit of history I like

At the approximate location where the Bourse de Commerce or trading stock market is today was the hotel de Soissons, which belonged to Jean II of Nesles at the beginning of the 13C. Having no heirs, he gave in 1232 the property to Saint Louis, who offered it to his mother, Blanche of Castile, to make it her residence. Philippe le Bel, who inherited it, offered it in 1296 to his brother, Charles de Valois. The hotel then passed to the son of the latter, Philippe de Valois, who gave it to Jean of Luxembourg, son of the emperor Henry VII of the Holy Roman Empire and himself King of Bohemia.

His daughter, Bonne of Luxembourg, heiress of the hotel in 1327, married Prince Jean de Normandie, the future king of France under the name of Jean Le Bon. Their son, Charles, ceded it to Amédée VI of Savoy in 1354. He then took part in Louis, Duke of Anjou and son of King Jean. His widow, Marie de Blois, sold it in 1388 to Charles VI, who offered it to his brother Louis, duke of Touraine and Orléans.

On the proceedings of the confessor of King Charles VIII, Jean Tisseran, he created in 1498, in part of the hotel, a convent of the repented daughters while the rest of the buildings were shared between the constable and the Chancellor of the Duke of Orléans.

From 1572, Catherine de Medici suddenly abandoned the palace of the Tuileries, which she had built and acquired a hotel called Albret, consisting of various mansions that adjoined the convent. She settled there and began the development of what was to become the Hôtel de la Reine or Queen’s Hotel. The Queen Mother bought from 1572 the buildings surrounding the hotel of Albret to integrate them into her residence. The property thus obtained did not suffice to her needs, she obtained the convent of the repented daughters by exchanging it against that of Saint Magliore, property which she owned at Rue Saint-Denis. The space thus cleared became the vast garden which extended to the Rue de Grenelle (today rue Jean-Jacques-Rousseau). The fluted astronomical column, also known as the Medici column, 31 meters high, is the only surviving vestige of this hotel. It was raised from 1574 in one of the angles of the courtyard which gave on the rue des Deux Ecus. In 1601, after long succession problems related to the debts accumulated by Catherine de Medici, the heirs of the Queen ceded the hotel to Catherine de Bourbon, sister of Henri IV. On the death of the latter, it was acquired by Charles de Bourbon, Count of Soissons, who gave it his name. The latter died in 1612 and his wife, Anne de Montafié, Countess of Soissons, continued to acquire many properties around the hotel until 1644 date of her death. The hotel de Soissons then showed its appearance and its final look. It then passed to her daughter, Marie de France, wife of Thomas of Savoy, Prince of Carignan. Their son Emmanuel-Philibert inherited it, then his successor Victor Amédée de Savoie, Prince de Carignan, in 1718.

This latter establishes in the hotel, in 1720, the Paris stock Exchange. Ruined by Law’s bankruptcy, he had to sell the property in 1740. The prevost of Paris bought the land and destroyed the buildings in 1748. The column, sold separately, was acquired by Louis Petit de Cachaumont who then donated it to the city of Paris.

France built in 1763 its wheat market, on the banks of the Seine: two concentric galleries, open on the outside by twenty-four arcades, and surmounted by a vast vaulted attic. The building becomes the Bourse de Commerde of Paris or trade exchange in 1885. Before this date it was held at the Palais Brongniart (see post on it) . The ensemble was inaugurated on September 24, 1889. The city of Paris transferred ownership of the building to the Chamber of Commerce, for a symbolic French Franc in 1949.

Almost all of the monument is now occupied by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris which manages it and proposes, in particular, services to the creation of enterprises, the center of formality of companies and numerous proposals to support small businesses. Exhibitions are held regularly in the space under the dome.

However, in 2016, the businessman François Pinault and the Mayor of Paris announced the departure of the Chamber of Commerce and the installation and presentation of a part of the art collections of Mr Pinault, managed hitherto by what was presented as a Foundation Pinault, in the circular building.   The foundation intends to propose   a multidisciplinary programming, with numerous experiences at the crossroads of the visual arts, music, theatre, literature and cinema. The official end of the work is scheduled for December 17, 2018 and the opening to the public start 2019. More info here: Foundation Pinault

Brief Description of the Bourse de Commerce:

The monumental entrance opens with a portico, located to the west of the building facing the Rue du Colonel-Driant, summoned by a pediment carried by four fluted Corinthian columns, which surmount three allegorical figures, representing the city of Paris flanked by Abundance and Trade.   The interior is decorated with painted panels representing characters symbolizing the four cardinal points, and monumental frescoes evoking the history of trade between five parts of the World ,America, Russia and the North, Asia, and Africa as well as Europe.


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Paris on the Bourse de Commerce

City of Paris on the Bourse de Commerce

Another wonderful building in my eternal Paris. Indeed hope you enjoy it.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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