Fontaine de Paradis or Fontaine de Soubise Fountain in Paris
This is one of the very old drinking fountains in Paris first constructed in the 1600s and although it is not functioning today, it is yet another one of the monuments in Paris that you may discover whilst walking round this incredible city.
About the Fontaine de Paradis
The Fontaine de Paradis fountain, translates to the fountain of paradise, yet is often known as the Fontaine Chaume or the Fontaine Soubise due to its location as it is situated on the corner of Rue Chaume, which is now called the Rue des Francs-Bourgeois and the corner of Rue Paradis that is now called the Rue des Archives.
The first fountain was constructed in the early 1600s by Guillain Augustine, within the wall of the Hotel de Guise, however, at some point during this century the water from this source was deemed unfit for drinking and the city of Paris had no option but to cut off the water supply for health reasons.
Then Francois de Rohan-Soubise who originally lived on the Place Royals, which is now known as the Place des Vosges, made the decision to purchase the Hotel de Guise in 1700 and transform the building into a lavish mansion.
The task of transforming the building went to the architect Delamair Pierre-Alexis and the name of the building was changed to the Hotel de Soubise when work started in 1704 and shortly after Francois de Rohan-Soubise was instructed to have the fountain rebuilt
The Fontaine de Soubise
When the fountain was to be renovated it then became known as the Fontaine Souibise with a renewed water supply.
And the project for the renovation of this fountain in Paris went to the architect, engineer, fountain maker and chief of public works in Paris called Jean Beausire, who completed this work in 1705. He also produced many others like the Fontaine de L'Abbaye de Saint-Germain-des-Pres at the Place Langevin that is still in existence today.
But you will find that this, along with other fountains produced by Jean Beausire are no where near as ornate or extravagant as the Fontaine des Quatre-Saisons located in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris, yet is was still designed with an arc style inset that has a plaque above it.
But the Hotel de Soubise eventually became the property of the state during the French Revolution and under the orders of Napoleon Bonaparte, it was to house the national archives temporarily. Yet this became the permanent home for the National archives from 1808, although the Fontaine de Paradis or Fontaine de Soubise still remained.
That is, until 1959 when the water supply was eventually removed again, and unfortunately all that remains is the recessed arced archway and the plaque above, as you will see that there is now a door that leads to the National Archives, which is also why the street by its location got renamed the Rue des Archives.