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Paris - Ile De France

Faubourg Saint Honore in Paris - History

This page was updated on: Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at: 5:03 pm

Faubourg Saint-Honore, an affluent district of Paris

The Faubourg Saint Honore is today one of the most affluent Parisian districts.

It is indeed home to many embassies, ministries and official buildings such as the Elysée Palace, the official residence of the president of the French republic at 55 rue du Faubourg St-Honoré.

The palace is located almost opposite the Hôtel Beauvau, which today is the seat of the Ministry of Interior.

This mansion (208 rue du Faubourg St-Honoré), built by the banker Beaujon in the late 18th century, was converted into a hospital at the Revolution. The hospital closed in 1930 and was transferred to the north-west of Paris, and the Préfecture of Paris moved in.

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.

The Faubourg Saint Honore is also home to prestigious high-end fashion boutiques, jewellers and art galleries and is considered the Paris Mecca of luxury fashion and Haute Couture.

A new district

The Faubourg Saint Honore stretches on both sides of Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore and Rue Saint Honore, which respectively traverse the affluent 8th district and 1st district.

This 'new' district mostly developed after the redefinition of the city limits in 1860.

The aristocratic 8th arrondissement  started to be developed in the 18th and 19th centuries with an urbanisation of quality. Magnificent mansions, many of which today are listed, today contribute to Paris' exceptional architectural heritage.

The 1st district is one of the least populated areas of Paris; it indeed boasts the highest concentration of tourist sites and is one of the most visited districts of Paris.

Rue Saint-Honore, named after the millers' patron saint

The Rue Saint-Honore starts at Rue de la Ferronnerie near Les Halles and ends at Rue Royale, which links Place de la Concorde to La Madeleine Church.

Long before the construction of the covered market, the today prestigious street was a muddy track that started by the city's rampart and led to the remote Forêt de Rouvray (Bois de Boulogne).

It was upgraded in the 12th century in order to serve the newly built market.

It was also the main communication axis between the city centre and the Louvre fortress and western villages and therefore soon became one of the most affluent streets.

Artisans and merchants settled on its eastern end, by Les Halles, which remained populous until the 17th century. Among them was a large congregation of millers and bakers who erected several windmills on the Colline Saint-Roch.

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

Evolution of Rue Saint-Honore through the centuries

However, the western section of the street, closer to the Louvre palace, soon attracted the wealthy Parisians, courtiers and nobility.

This section started at Porte Saint-Honoré, the 12th century fortified gate that stood at the level of no.145; it stretched towards the 14th century rampart, 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, 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 then affluent Rue Saint-Honoré attracted 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 Neuve-Saint-Honore was re-named Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore in 1702 when the district became a suburb of Paris (faubourg). It ends at Place des Ternes in the 17th district.

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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