The Banque de France in Paris!

This is a classic building of gorgeous architecture and wonderful history I passed by it several times. See my other posts on what is on the square or Place du Général-Catroux in the 17éme arrondissement of Paris. However, let me tell you a bit of an off the beaten path monument , the banque de France in Paris!

A bit on its history I like

The Banque de France is the central bank of France. It is a bicentennial institution, with private capital when it was created on January 18, 1800 under the Consulate (Napoléon), then became the property of the French State on January 1, 1946 when it was nationalized by Charles de Gaulle. Independent since 1994, the Banque de France became a member of the Eurosystem and of the European System of Central Banks in 1999. Its three main missions are monetary strategy, financial stability and services to the economy. However, since the creation of the Eurosystem, the European Central Bank has taken on much more importance in matters of monetary strategy.

On February 13, 1800, the first General Meeting of the Bank’s shareholders was held, including the First Consul (Napoléon ), his mother, the Beauharnais and the Murats. It acquires a clientele by merging with the Caisse des comptes sociaux (social savings bank), Napoléon Bonaparte was its first shareholder, In 1811, the Banque de France set up its headquarters in the Hôtel de Toulouse, the former private mansion of the Count of Toulouse, Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, rue de la Vrillière, in the 1éme arrondissement of Paris, However, since 1997, the Banque de France can no longer be legally qualified. Indeed, it is no longer under the supervision of a French administrative authority, but of the European Central Bank, at least as regards to the metropolitan territory as well as the overseas departments and territories having the European statute of the outermost regions of the European Union.

In order to protect the gold reserves from the Nazis during WWII, they were transferred out of the headquarters in 1933, a few tons were sent to branches located near the coast, to Brest and to Toulon, then in 1938, 600 tons were transported by cruisers of the French Navy to the Federal Reserve of the United States. Finally, between May 17 and June 23, 1940, the transfer of the remaining gold which was transported by 35 convoys of 300 trucks then by ships in more than 20,000 packages and crates, mainly to Dakar, the West Indies and the Americas, The transfer of 400 tons to Canada is carried out aboard the liner SS Pasteur ,and the same ship transported to Halifax in Canada, 213 tons of the reserves of the Bank of France which are sheltered at the Royal Bank of Canada at Ottawa , Also, in June 18, 1940, 736 tons of gold reserves of the Bank of France leave from Brest towards Dakar in AOF. 275 tons of gold from the National Bank of Belgium and the Bank of Poland will join the trip aboard the auxiliary cruiser Victor-Schœlcher , The gold reserves will be repatriated to France in 1946,

Head office in Paris 39, rue Croix-des-Petits-Champs 75001 with postal address: 31, rue Croix-des-Petits-Champs 75049 Paris Cedex 01, Opening hours Monday to Tuesday: from 9h to 12h30 ; only for transactions on banknotes and collection of coins and Thursday: from 9h to 12h30 p.m, only for transactions on banknotes and collection of collector coins.

The official Banque de France

However, the most interesting thing about this post and building is the creation of the Le Cité de l’Économie or Citéco , a museum dedicated to the economy . it was open to the public on June 14, 2019 ,This educational venue, aimed at explaining the concepts and mechanisms of the economy, is funded by sponsorship from the Banque de France. It is housed in the Hotel Gaillard, located at 1, place du Général-Catroux, a historic neo-Renaissance monument, located in the 17éme arrondissement in Paris .This neo-Renaissance mansion, whose construction was completed in 1882 , The hôtel Gaillard was sold to the Banque de France in 1919 , and was the most beautiful branch of the Banque de France. I passed by it several times before the museum was open so the picture.

paris banque de france old 17eme 1 pl du gen cartroux feb20

The Cité de l’Economie is the first museum in Europe devoted to economic mechanisms. It allows you to discover the concepts and economic issues in an interactive and fun way, through a scenographic space of 2,400 m2. This place of life and exchanges also offers thematic meetings, shows and temporary exhibitions to approach the economy differently and make it accessible to all.  The spaces that can be privatized are :

Les Toits Malesherbes or roofstop of Malesherbes, located at the top of the monument, the Toits Malesherbes consist of an interior and an exterior: a modern room divided into two zones (240 m2 + 95 m2), unfolding around a 200 m2 terrace. m2 with a view out of the ordinary.

The Salle des Coffres or vault room: thousands of safes line the walls of this room, which once housed the most valuable goods of bank branch customers. Today, it has become one of the museum’s must-see rooms, thanks to its fascinating numismatic collections. Protected by a moat and a modern drawbridge, this prestigious room is full of surprises.

The Tourelle Space or tower space: this old courtyard has been transformed into a warm interior space thanks to a contemporary glass roof. Adorned with a sublime historic turret, this room has a vast overhead light.

The Monceau Auditorium: equipped with 95 places (+ 3 places for people in wheelchairs), this modern auditorium is equipped with a video protection and sound system.

The meeting rooms ,the Chopin lounge, and the North or South workshop can be rented in combination with the other spaces. Good to know, for lovers of cultural heritage, Citéco offers tours on the history of the place and its architecture.

The official Citeco economic museum

There you go folks, a unique monument in my eternal Paris and now open to the public with guided tours on the economic working of the European Union, educational and on a historic building to boot. Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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