Hôtel des Archevêques de Sens,Paris!

And here is one, not really looking for it, just arriving and parking at the Indigo Pont Marie , walking along on rue de l’Hôtel de Ville got myself looking at this building, now i have heard about but never look into it, as said so much to see in my beautiful Paris of my belle France. I was actually going to the jardin Saint Paul for a rest stop and looking at the ramparts remains of Philippe Auguste and lunch at Chez Mademoiselle resto. As you can see by the photo sign ,it is a great artery for bikes as well.

All change once hitting the building of the Bishop’s hotel of Sens now Forney library. The  The Hôtel des Archevêques de Sens is a wonderful architecturally stunning building with a nice history to it. I like to tell you a bit more on it, hope you enjoy it and keep in your to do list while in Paris.

The Hôtel des Archevêques de Sens is a 15C mansion located in the 4éme arrondissement at 1 rue du Figuier. It now houses the Bibliothéque Forney.


The wonderful history of this building and Paris that I like

Paris did not become archbishopric until 1622. Before that date, the city depended on the archbishopric of Sens (dept 89 Yonne ,Bourgogne-Franche-Comté). The Archbishop of Sens Guillaume de Melun, Primate of Gauls and Germania, on which depended seven suffragan bishoprics, among which there were Paris, was then personal adviser to the kings of France and, his offices often calling him to Paris, he acquired  Jean d’Hestomesnil’s hotel built in 1345.

Later King Charles V wishing to stay outside the ramparts of Philippe Auguste, to overcome the nuisances of the city and be able to easily reach the castle of Vincennes and finding the Louvre too narrow and sinister. He then, requested and acquired between 1361 and 1366, four residences in the Marais neighborhood or most of the block between rue Saint-Antoine, rue Saint-Paul, quai des Célestins and rue du Petit-Musc to make his great royal residence, the Hotel Saint-Pol. This set included the hotel that the Archbishop of Sens had built in place of a house and gardens. This first hotel of the Archbishops of Sens was located on the site of the current nos. 2 bis to 8 of the Quai des Célestins.

Again later, Tristan de Salazar, archbishop of Sens from 1474 to 1519, had this hotel rebuilt from 1498 to 1519 for a new, more sumptuous residence which is the current building you see. The Hôtel de Sens later lost its splendor as from 1622, the bishopric of Paris was erected as an archdiocese, and the archbishops of Sens, stripped of their authority over the Parisian clergy, gradually ceased to reside in the city. From 1622, the hotel was rented to bourgeois then from 1689 to 1743 the Messageries, Coches, Carrosses de Lyon, Bourgogne and Franche-Comté settled there before being occupied by noble knights during the rest of the 17C.

Before the French revolution, it belonged to the Archbishopric of Paris then it become national property in 1790. it is sold in 1797 occupied in turn by a rolling business, a laundry, a factory of canned food, a hare cutter, an optician, the Saint-James jam shop and at the beginning of the 20C it is used as a warehouse for Haroux glassworks and is partially destroyed by fire in 1911. It was then bought by the city of Paris, in 1911, to serve as a room for the labor tribunals.It was restored in the 1930s, and since 1961, this building has housed the Forney library, devoted to the fine arts, the arts and crafts and their techniques, the applied arts as well as the decorative arts.

As an anecdote: In 1830, during the Trois Glorieuses, many cannonballs were fired. One of them, never having been able to be extracted from the wall of the facade of the Hôtel de Sens where it had been stuck, has become a concrete testimony of these revolutionary days. Now still sealed in the wall, it is visible with the date engraved below it.

The Bibliothéque Forney library is part of the network of specialized libraries of the City of Paris, its collections having developed around the decorative arts, crafts and their techniques, fine and graphic arts. It regularly organizes exhibitions. It takes its name from Samuel Aimé Forney, a businessman of Swiss origin particularly interested in vocational training and the arts and crafts who proposed by will to the City of Paris to create an institution to promote the education of artisans.

A wonderful architecturally stunning building for all to see and as a library to visit now. More information to help plan  your trip here and understand further is found here

The city of Paris on the Forney library in French: City of Paris on Forney LIbrary

The tourist office of Paris on the Forney Library in English: Tourist office of Paris on the Forney library

An important site in French on the Friends of the Forney Library and their effort to maintain history in Paris: Friends of the Forney library on its history

And there you go, never know where you are going to end up in Paris if you let your legs do the walking, always amazing my movable feast Paris of always. There is another movable feast outside and awaiting you too… Hope you enjoy the brief tour of the Forney library of Paris ,a bishop’s palace!

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

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