Hôtel des Monnaies, Paris
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (February 2009)|
The hôtel des Monnaies is an 18th-century building on the quai Conti in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. It has housed the Monnaie de Paris ever since its construction. The nearest Paris Metro station is Pont Neuf.
It is the masterwork of the architect Jacques Denis Antoine (1733–1801), who in 1765 beat Étienne-Louis Boullée and François Dominique Barreau de Chefdeville in a competition to design it. Though it was his first major civic project he shows a high level of ingenuity. The first stone was laid by abbé Terray on 30 April 1771. The riverside façade was completed in 1773 and the whole exterior and most of the interior by 1775. In 1776 the building won Antoine entrance to the Académie royale d'architecture. It is still considered a prime example of pre-Revolutionary French Neoclassical architecture.
The building is typified by its heavy external rustication and severe decorative treatment. It boasts one of the longest façades on the Seine; its appearance has been likened to the Italian palazzo tradition. The building, which housed mint workshops, administrative rooms, and residential quarters, wraps around a large interior courtyard. It remains open to the public and includes a numismatics museum, located within what was once the main foundry.
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