Prestigious Faubourg Saint Honore
The Faubourg Saint Honore developed along Rue Saint-Honore and Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore.
The two streets run through the 1st and 8th districts.
The 1st district is one of the least populated areas of Paris.
It is indeed home to nearly 330 listed monuments and 14 museums.
This high concentration of tourist sites turn it also into one of the most visited districts of Paris.
The aristocratic 8th arrondissement is a ‘new’ district that was developed with an urbanization of quality during the 18th and 19th centuries.
It is today considered the Paris Mecca of luxury fashion and Haute Couture.
The two streets are two of the most prestigious streets in Paris.
They are indeed bordered with an impressive number of Haute Couture boutiques and art galleries.
Rue Saint-Honore, named after the millers’ patron saint!
The Rue Saint-Honoré runs through the 1st district from the Rue de la Ferronnerie near Les Halles to the patrician Rue Royale.
It once was a muddy lane that connected the walled city of Paris with the remote Forêt de Rouvray.
The Bois de Boulogne is the only remnant of the vast forest that once covered the west of Paris.
The muddy lane lane was upgraded to a road during the 12th century in order to serve the newly built covered market Les Halles where it originated.
The Rue Saint-Honoré became the main axis linking the city centre to the Louvre and western villages.
It quickly became one of the wealthiest streets in Paris.
Indeed, artisans and merchants settled there because of the proximity of Les Halles.
Among them were a large congregation of millers and bakers who built several windmills on the Colline Saint-Roch.
Their thriving guild logically named the street after Saint Honore, the patron saint of their trade.
The windmills were eventually pulled down or transferred to other locations when the hillock was leveled in order to build Saint-Roch Church.
Duality of Rue Saint-Honore
The section of the street located near Les Halles remained working-class until the 17th century.
The Porte Saint-Honoré, the fortified gate on King Philippe-Auguste’s wall stood at the level of the current no.145.
It was demolished in 1553.
The Porte Saint-Honoré (1380-1636) on the second rampart built by King Charles V in the 14th century stood at the junction of the Avenue de l’Opéra and Rue Saint-Honoré.
The section of the street located between the two gates attracted the wealthy Parisians, courtiers and nobility.
Beyond that second gate, the Re saint Honore was no more than a country road!
It led to the Roule village and became known as Rue Neuve-Saint-Honoré.
The development of the district in the 18th century turned the Rue Saint-Honoré into a prestigious street.
It remained the rallying point for the nobility and finance for the past two centuries.
It also attracted young talented craftsmen whose names have now become the ultimate symbol of luxury.
Among them were the trunk makers Louis Vuitton and Lancel, the saddler Thierry Hermès and the fashion designer Jeanne Lanvin to name a few!
The Rue Saint-Honoré at Rue Royale.
This was where stood the Porte Saint-Honoré on the third rampart built by Louis XIII in the 1630s.
Louis XIV demolished this rampart in the late 17th century.
Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore
The Rue Neuve-Saint-Honoré was re-named Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore in 1702 when the faubourg became an official suburb of Paris.
From then on many courtiers, financiers and developers built their magnificent mansions along the street.
They transformed the ancient countryside into an affluent district.
Many of these mansions are now listed.
The Faubourg Saint Honore became an official district of Paris during the redefinition of the city limits in 1860.
The Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore ends at Place des Ternes in the 17th district.
Some of the mansions built along the street were converted into embassies and ministries.
You’ll also find that most French and foreign fashion designers bought some of these mansions in order to open a shop.
You’ll also come across the Elysée Palace at no.55 Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore.
The official residence of the president of the French republic is located almost opposite the Hôtel Beauvau, which is the seat of the Ministry of Interior.
The Préfecture of Paris opened some offices in the buildings of the former Hôpital Beaujon at no.208.
This mansion, built by the banker Beaujon in the late 18th century, was converted into a hospital during the Revolution.
The hospital closed in 1930 and was transferred to the north-west of Paris; the building remains.
The superb doors of the Embassy of Great Britain at no.35-37 are listed Historical Monuments.
The entrance gate to the Hôtel Marbeuf at no.31 is also listed.
So many prestigious buildings with a prestigious history.
The list is impressive and would endlessly fill pages!
Directions: 1st and 8th Districts
Metro stations: Palais-Royal-Musée du Louvre, Pyramides, Concorde, Madeleine, Saint-Philippe-du-Roule, Ternes
Coordinates and map Faubourg Saint Honore: Lat 48.871192 – Long 2.315927