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Maison de Victor Hugo Museum

The home where Victor Hugo lived between the years of 1832 and 1848 has been turned into a museum called the Maison de Victor Hugo, situated in the picturesque area of Marais, in the 4th arrondissement of Paris.

It was the second floor of the former Hotel de Rohan-Guemenee in the Place des Vosges in an apartment that this author lived and worked, writing some of his best known works including a large part of Les Miserables.

Victor Hugo Museum

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Maison de Victor Hugo Museum In Paris France

Way before it was called the Place des Vosges it was known as the Place Royale.  And it wasn't until Isaac Arnauld, who was the Kings councillor that was granted a plot of land on which to build upon with a specific layout for a house according to the area, which also had to have a main building that faced the square with two wings.

However, there were improvements made to the building by the Rohans, which they named Hotel de Rohen-Guemenee, who were owners of the property for over 150 years.

Unfortunately, although they do not remain on the building today, Jacques Desmary, who then became the owner, was allowed to add two balconies, but there have also been many alterations to the building since even Victor Hugo lived in the property, so the layout is not the same.  It is a real shame but that is part of life and history!

Paul Meurice, who was a friend of Victor Hugo, read out a letter to the Paris council in the June of 1901, with a suggestion that the building at No 6, Place des Vosges should be turned into a museum.  Because the city was already looking at celebration plans to commemorate the work on Victor Hugo's birthday, the timing could not have been better if one had tried and in the March of 1902 the Maison de Victor Hugo was decided upon and was inaugurated on 30th June 1903.

However, if it had not been for the Paul Meurice who was Victor Hugo's executor, who provided his own collection, the foundation of the museum would never have even taken place and it was Victor Hugo's grandchildren that recreated their grandfathers' bedroom.

There is another place that Victor Hugo lived in Guernsey that is also now a museum and through his mistress they also donated a number of important articles, furniture and collectibles to the Paris council for display in the Maison de Victor Hugo.

Victor Hugo himself was not just an author and playwright, but was also a painter, designer and incredibly, even though a workaholic producing works like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Les Miserables and Les Chants du Crepuscule, he was also a politician.

The museum is a fascinating place for those that do not know anything about Victor Hugo or his works, yet is even more incredible for those that do, as you will get to walk back in time being able to picture exactly how he lived and worked.

Today, the museum is much more, as it is also a library and research centre and is host to different cultural projects all relating to Victor Hugo.

Within the apartment museum you will be able to view a period of Victor Hugo's life in each room.  With old documents, photos, furniture and drawings plus much, much more including parts of his childhood days before becoming a great figure in French literature, right though to a reconstruction of his death chamber, you will get an in-depth picture of his incredible life.

You will also be able to view the intricate details that many museums forget about, such as his own ink well and his very own hand writing, portraits of his family, plus some of his first editions of works and even the Chinese theme panels he created for his mistress.  Yet perhaps on a morbid thought, you can also see paintings of his funeral procession at the Arc de Triomphe in 1885 where millions of people came to mourn his death, as he was so popular at that time.

Although you can just go round the museum yourself, you can also arrange to have a guided tour as well and there is also a library, which you can go to if you have booked an appointment prior.

There is a museum shop on the ground floor where you can obtain lots of different memorabilia, gifts, and literature, which is not just in French!

It is open everyday of the week except on Mondays and holidays from 10am through to 5pm and because it is a City of Paris museum, it is free to enter for the permanent exhibits, although you would have to pay for the temporary exhibitions that are sometime held there.

Address & Contact Details:

Hotel de Rohan-Guemenee
6 Place des Vosges

Telephone: 1 42 72 10 16

Victor Hugo

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