Hotel Matignon - the Official French Prime Ministers Residence in Paris
The Hotel Matignon was first constructed in the 1700s and after changing hands several times, it eventually became the official residence for the Prime Minster of France and is classified as having the largest private garden in Paris.
A bit of history..
The Hotel Matignon was originally constructed between the years 1722 and 1725 by Jean Courtonne and Jean Mazin as a sumptuous mansion house that could very easily be classified as a palace.
The Hotel Matignon was a place for sumptuous receptions and high society gatherings for many decades, yet is also changed hands many times and at the start of the 1800s it was owned by Monsieur de Talleyrand, Prince of Benevent, but he was forced to sell the mansion, which was then purchased by Napoleon Bonaparte.
And although it was meant to be a residence for important political figures, many like Napoleon III preferred the Elysees Palace, and the Hotel Matignon was sold again, but this time to Rafael de Ferrari and Marie Brignole-Sale, Duchesse de Galliera, who were reported to be one of the wealthiest couples in France.
One of the most sumptuous receptions of the century was held at the Hotel Matignon in 1886, which included over 3000 guests, yet the French council and in particular the president, Charles de Freycinet, were alarmed at the amount of people and Monarchists who attended, and brought in a new law, which the Duchesse de Galliera did not agree with.
And so, she bequeathed the mansion house to the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, and bequeathed her impressive collection of art and furniture to Italy, even though the Palais Galliera that was originally designed for the collection, was automatically to become property of the city of Paris to become a museum.
Yet the Hotel Matignon was declared an enemy property in World War I and became state property once again, with talks that it would also be made into a museum, however, it became the residence of the President of the Council, which today is known as a Prime Minister.
About the Hotel Matignon Today
The Hotel Matignon is still known as the official residence in Paris of the Prime Minister where receptions and official meetings are still held to this day, and it also has the large private park in the city, yet the sumptuous mansion house has also been classified as one of the historical monuments in Paris.
Until recently, the beautiful private garden in Paris belonging to the Hotel Matignon palace was only open on national Heritage days, which are known in French as Journees du Patrimoine, however, as of 2013, the garden is now open to the public once a month.
And one of the traditions has been that every time the palace sees a new Prime Minister, a tree is planted by them, and this tradition was started by Raymond Barre, which has continued to this day, with the exception of Jacques Chirac who did not take part in this now official event.
Access to the Hotel Matignon
Even though the mansion is the official residence of the Prime Minister and not accessible to the public, the garden itself can now be visited by the public on the first Saturday of each month.
You will find this beautiful landscaped garden with its immaculate lawns and a wide variety of different and impressive trees open from 1pm through to approximately 5.30pm on this first Saturday of each month, but at all other times this is closed to the public.
The garden of the Hotel Matignon is now recognised as one of the great historical tourist attractions in Paris and is located in the 7th Arrondissement close to other attractions in the city like the Musee Maillol and the Musee Rodin museum.
And the nearest Metro stations to the Hotel Matignon in Paris are the Rue du Bac stop via line 12 or the Varenne stop via line 13.
Address and Contact Details
57 Rue de Varenne
Ile de France
Tel: +33 (0) 1 42 75 80 00
Tourist attractions close by
- Musee Rodin
- Musee Maillol
- Les Invalides
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