Hôtel de Vendôme
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (September 2009)|
The hôtel is the main relic of what once was the most popular convent in Paris, the Vauvert Charterhouse; founded by Saint-Louis and famous for its vineyard called the Clos de la Forge, on the location of which the School now stands!
From 1706 to 1707, the Carthusians, under Le Blond's superintendence had a great house built at the expense of Antoine de La Porte, canon of Notre-Dame (despite the legend, the architect was not Courtonne, but Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond, 1679-1719.
The Hotel was rented in 1714 by the Dowager Duchess of Vendôme who had it modified to its present condition two years later by Le Blond. The Duchess was the widow of Louis Joseph de Bourbon - the famous military general and great grandson of Gabrielle d'Estrées; she was also the youngest grandchild of le Grand Condé.
The Dowager Duchess who died in 1718 killed by alcoholism, is probably no prestige sponsor for the residence, better illustrated by the family de Chaulnes who dwelt there from 1733 to 1758.
In particular by Michel Ferdinand d'Albert d'Ailly (1714-1769), Duke of Chaulnes. Member of the Academy of Sciences, he devoted his life to physics, and in particular to optics (Chaulnes's method, for measuring refraction indices) and measurement instruments; like all scientists of the time, he was interested in the sciences of nature and his Museum of Natural History, in these surroundings, was the unfortunately gone ancestor of the present collections which, alone, let one admire the renowned suite of rooms of the "Hôtel de Vendôme".
Today the hôtel is the home of the École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris.