The former Place de Grève was where many capital executions were
carried out before it changed its name and the design of the present building comes from
the architects Deperthes and Ballu and as you will be able to tell, the construction is
extremely impressive, but also unique with its 136 stone figures that are positioned on
all four facades, which are statues of famous figures in history.
And if you are into architecture, then you might like to know that Ballu also built the
Church of La Trinité in the 9th Arrondissement and the belfry of the town hall of the 1st
Arrondissement in Paris, which is opposite the
eastern façade of The Louvre.
The Hôtel de Ville serves multiple functions, as it not only houses the local
administration, but has also housed the Mayor of Paris since 1977 and is also used as a
venue for large receptions.
The Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville holds exhibitions and meetings throughout the year and in
the winter you will find there is an ice rink in the front of the Hôtel de Ville and in
the summer it is transformed again with beach volleyball courts, palm trees and changing
booths for Paris visitors. You will also find that major football matches and
concerts are often shown on a giant flat screen as well!
Since the French Revolution and after the building had been rebuilt, this fantastic
architectural marvel has been the scene of a number of historical events including the
famous speech by Charles de Gaulle on 25th August 1944 during the Liberation of Paris, where he greeted the Paris
crowd from a front window of the Hôtel de Ville.
The building was used as the seat of government during the French Revolution, when a
guillotine stood imposingly in front of its windows, which is the square that is now
utilised for the ice rink in winter, but the northern side of the building is located on
the Rue de Rivoli and the nearby department store called the Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville
was named after the Hôtel de Ville.
Inside the building you will be able to get to see glorious and elaborate crystal
chandeliers, a large staircase, beautiful paintings the long ballroom known as Salle des
Fêtes and other vast function rooms that are all a part of the sumptuous and luxurious
The Hotel de Ville is a place that you should not miss seeing when you are in Paris on holiday in France and in winter when you can watch the
children (and the adults) going round the ice rink to music in the square outside, it is a
great place to soak up the atmosphere, whilst taking in the ornate facade of this
However if there is not a temporary exhibition on when you are visiting Paris and you do
wish to enter inside as a visitor for a complete guided tour, then you would need to
contact them in advance, but it is always a good idea to find out what is planned with
forthcoming events, so that you can get the most out of seeing this place.
Address & Contact Details:
Hôtel de Ville
29 Rue de Rivoli
Telephone: 1 42 76 40 40