Hauteville House

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"Hauteville House" at Saint Peter Port

Hauteville House is a house where Victor Hugo lived during his exile from France, located at 38 Rue Hauteville in St. Peter Port in Guernsey. In March 1927, the centenary year of Romanticism, Hugo's descendants Jeanne, Jean, Marguerite and François donated the house to the City of Paris.[1] It currently houses an honorary consul to the French embassy at London[2] and a Victor Hugo museum; house and garden are both open to the public.

19th Century[edit]

Built around 1800 by an English privateer, the house came into the possession of William Ozanne. It gained the reputation of being haunted by the spirit of a woman who had committed suicide, and remained unoccupied for several years.

Victor Hugo arrived in Guernsey in October 1855.[3] He bought the house on 16 May 1856 with the revenues from the initial success of the publication of Les Contemplations. By owning it Hugo ensured that he could not be expelled from the island as Guernsey law prohibits the deporting of people with property on the island.

Hugo and his wife Adèle Foucher transformed, furnished and decorated the house during his exile from 1856 to 1870, and during a return visit in the summer of 1878. He named the house "Hautville", rather than Liberté, which had been his original intention. The house consists of four levels, with the top floor featuring a glazed lookout with a view of Saint Peter Port, Herm and Sark, and the islands near them. The garden is filled with trees and flowers that grow abundantly due to the mild climate.

20th and 21st Century[edit]

The City of Paris conserves the two houses that Victor Hugo lived in the longest : the Rohan-Guéménée mansion in Paris and the Hauteville House in Guernsey. Hauteville House was given to the City of Paris in 1927 by the descendants of Victor Hugo.[4]

The structure of the building undertook a major renovation in 2008-9 [5] and in 2017 an appeal was launched to pay for the renovation of internal decorations.[6]

François Pinault donated £2.6m (€3m) to renovate the interior[7] and the house reopened on 7 April 2019.[8]

Gallery photos[edit]


  1. ^ Office de tourisme de Guernesey Archived 2008-04-11 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ La France au Royaume-Uni – Consulat général à Londres Archived 2010-06-13 at the Wayback Machine (In French)
  3. ^ "Where Victor Hugo Found Freedom". NY Times.
  4. ^ "Rendez-vous at the Victor Hugo's Houses Paris / Guernesey". France.fr.
  5. ^ "Hauteville House". BBC. 12 February 2009.
  6. ^ "Hauteville House repair appeal is launched". Guernsey Press. 21 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Billionaire gives £2.6m to save Victor Hugo's Guernsey home". BBC. 6 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Victor Hugo's Guernsey home reopens after restoration". BBC. 7 April 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°27′05″N 2°32′16″W / 49.4513°N 2.5377°W / 49.4513; -2.5377