Hôtel de Lauzun

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Hôtel de Lauzun
P1050911 Paris IV quai d'Anjou n°17 rwk.JPG
The north facade, facing the quai d'Anjou and the Seine
General information
Architectural styleClassicism
Address17, quai d'Anjou
Town or cityParis
Construction started1657
Design and construction
Architect(s)Charles Chamois

The Hôtel de Lauzun is a 17th-century hôtel particulier, or private mansion, located on the Quai d'Anjou [fr] of the île Saint-Louis in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, France. It is among the few Parisian hôtels that retain their rich carved, painted, mirrored and gilded interiors from the time of Louis XIV.[1]


The hôtel particulier was not built by the Duc de Lauzun whose name it bears, but by a wealthy financier, Charles Gruyn des Bordes,[2] the son of an inn-keeper grown rich from his trade and richer still, according to at least one pamphleteer,[3] through speculation enabled by his title as general commissioner of cavalry during the civil disorders of the Fronde.

Gruyn des Bordes purchased the lot in 1641, but by the time he was prepared to build, he had new neighbours in the Île Saint-Louis to emulate, namely, the Hôtel Lambert de Thorigny. He married Geneviève de Moÿ by a contract signed on 26 April 1657, and she hastened the construction of the house, which was completed near the end of 1659.[4] The architect was Charles Chamois.[5]

Gruyn's initial 'G' is interlaced with his wife's'M' on chimneybreasts and throughout the decor. Gruyn, however, had Nicolas Fouquet as a patron and shared in Fouquet's disastrous fall. An inquiry into his financial dealings found him guilty of fraud; he was thrown into prison and died there. His widow, having kept her financial affairs separate from his, survived his ruin and left the hotel to her son.

In the meantime, Antoine Nompar de Caumont, Duc de Lauzun, had fallen from Louis XIV's favour and spent a decade in prison. Once he clandestinely wed his lover, La Grande Mademoiselle, she ransomed him from the King and he immediately purchased the building from de Mony's son. Lauzun enriched many of the interiors. The Hôtel de Lauzun passed on to the great-niece of Cardinal Mazarin, who fled from the convent of Chaillot with the Marquis de Richelieu and eloped with him to London. In 1709 the Marquis de Richelieu sold the house to Pierre-François Ogier, Receveur général du Clergé [fr] who further enriched its interiors.

In the 18th century, the Hôtel de Lauzun retained its aristocratic owners (now the Marquis de Pimôdan) until the French Revolution. With that event, the estate, like many of its once-grand neighbours, had its upstairs chambers and attics divided into apartments and rented by successful artisans. In the 1840s, when the building (now known as Hôtel Pimodan) belonged to the bibliophile and collector, baron Jérôme Pichon, auditor for the Conseil d'État, the upstairs apartments were rented to Charles Baudelaire (in 1843, for 350 francs[6]) and Théophile Gautier. These two residents formed their Club des Hashischins, where they experimented with hashish. While residing there, Baudelaire wrote the first poems of Les Fleurs du Mal.

The Hôtel de Lauzun, protected as a heritage site in 1906 and owned by the City of Paris since 1928, since 2013 houses the Paris Institute for Advanced Study, a research institute in social science, which hosts symposiums or conferences in the building.[7]

The hôtel was featured in Bruno Dumont's 2009 film Hadewijch,[citation needed] and in Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate,[8] as the apartment of Baroness Kessler.[citation needed]


The building overlooks the Seine to the north of the island and does not fit the most traditional layout of an hôtel particulier, which usually features a main building entre cour et jardin, separated from the street on the front by a courtyard, and facing a private garden on the back.[9] Fitting the exceptional location of the lot, facing the river, Charles Chamois chose to place the main building on the front, and to raise the ground floor to protect it and ensure an enjoyable view of the river.[10] The high foundations serve as a service space. A richly ornamented balcony extends the main room on the street facade. The courtyard forms the back of the hôtel, which does not feature a garden.

The hôtel is renowned for its richly decorated interiors, which are among the only ones preserved from the 17th century in Paris. Typical of interiors from the early reign of Louis XIV, it features heavily gilded wall sculptures, and paintings by Michel Dorigny. The main room, or grande chambre, was converted in 1907 into a music salon, topped by a rostrum.


  1. ^ Base Mérimée: PA00086297, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French)
  2. ^ A commoner, known simply as Charles Gruÿn, he purchased the Seigneurie des Bordes, allowing him to add a noble title to his name (Boulhares and Soléranski 2015, p. 20).
  3. ^ "Les Gruyn, frères et fils du maistre du cabaret de la Pomme de Pin, à force de pillages, qu'ils ont faits dans la subsistance, lors de l'établissement d'icelle, ont acquis de grands biens et possèdent des charges de finances très considérables." quoted by Fournier 1864).
  4. ^ Boulhares and Soléranski 2015, p. 20.
  5. ^ Gady 2008, p. 196.
  6. ^ Adolphe Tabarant, La Vie artistique au temps de Baudelaire (Paris: 1943), p. 75
  7. ^ Kolk, Caroline zum. "L'hôtel de Lauzun – Institut d'études avancées de Paris". www.paris-iea.fr (in French). Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  8. ^ "France Made in Hollywood", Information Resource Center of the Embassy of the United States of America in France. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  9. ^ Gady 2008, p. 56.
  10. ^ Gady 2008, p. 59-60.


  • Boulhares, Raymond and Soleranski, Marc (2015). L'hôtel de Lauzun : trésor de l'île Saint-Louis. Paris: Artélia. ISBN 9782919096022.
  • Gady, Alexandre (2008). Les hôtels particuliers de Paris, du Moyen-Âge à la Belle époque. Paris: Parigramme. ISBN 9782840962137.

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Coordinates: 48°51′06″N 2°21′33″E / 48.85167°N 2.35917°E / 48.85167; 2.35917