Paris - Ile De France

Faubourg Saint Honore in Paris - History

This page was updated on: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at: 8:51 pm

Prestigious Faubourg Saint Honore

The Faubourg Saint Honore obviously stretches along Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore, but we can easily include the affluent Rue Saint-Honore as it runs in its extension.

The two streets traverse respectively the 8th and 1st 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 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 to 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 became a road during the 12th century in order to serve the newly built covered market Les Halles where it originated.

The Rue Saint-Honoré was the main communication axis between the city centre and the Louvre and western villages.

It also quickly became one of the most affluent streets.

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 named the street after St. Honoré, the patron saint of their trade.

The windmills were eventually pulled down when the hillock was leveled in order to build Saint-Roch Church.

Development of Rue Saint-Honore

The street's eastern section, near Les Halles, remained working-class until the 17th century.

However, the section encompassed within the 1st and 3rd city walls soon attracted the wealthy Parisians, courtiers and nobility.

This section started at Porte Saint-Honoré, the fortified gate on King Philippe-Auguste Wall which stood at the level of the current no.145.

It stretched towards Porte Saint-Honoré on the second rampart built by King Charles V.

This gate stood at the junction of Rue saint Honoré and Avenue de l'Opéra, by the Comédie Française.

The Rue Saint-Honoré was eventually extended to Rue Royale.

This is where stood the 3rd Porte Saint-Honoré, on the rampart Louis XIII built in the 1630s!

Beyond that third gate, a country road - Rue Neuve-Saint-Honoré - led to the Roule village.

During the 19th century, the affluent Rue Saint-Honoré started to attract young talented craftsmen whose names became 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!

Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore

The Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré traverses the 8th district and ends at Place des Ternes in the 17th district.

The Rue Neuve-Saint-Honoré was re-named Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore in 1702 when the surrounding district became an official suburb of Paris or faubourg.

The Faubourg Saint Honore became a district of Paris during the redefinition of the city limits in 1860.

This triggered an unprecedented development and magnificent mansions soon lined the street.

Many of these mansions are now listed.

Many were converted into embassies, ministries and Haute Couture boutiques.

Impossible to name them all, but here are a few...

The Elysée Palace at no.55 has become the official residence of the president of the French republic.

It is located almost opposite the Hôtel Beauvau, which today accommodates 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 superb doors of the Embassy of Great Britain at no.35-37 are listed Historical Monuments.

So is the entrance gate to the Hôtel Marbeuf at no.31 ...

Directions: 1st and 8th Districts
Metro: Palais-Royal-Musée du Louvre, Pyramides, Concorde, Madeleine, Saint-Philippe-du-Roule, Ternes
Coordinates: Lat 48.871192 - Long 2.315927

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