Paris - Ile De France
Elysee Palace - French President Residence
Elysee Palace, a lavish mansion
The Elysee Palace has been the official residence of the president of the French Republic since 1871.
Lavish decoration and unique furnishings turn it into the most prestigious palace of Paris.
The main building is framed by two wings.
The main entrance is at no55 Rue du Faubourg-St-Honoré.
It opens onto the prestigious Cour d'Honneur.
The Grille du Coq links the gardens to the Avenue Gabriel on the side of the Avenue des Champs-Elysées.
All the rooms overlook the gardens, except the Vestibule d'Honneur, which opens onto the Cour d'Honneur.
The Salon d'Argent is the official entrance to the private apartments located in the eastern wing.
It was decorated in Lilac and Silver, the colours of Caroline Murat, one of Napoleon's sisters.
The fabrics date from 1813, but have retained their soft and delicate shades.
They complement the white gold and silver of the panelling and furnishings and create a soothing atmosphere.
The cabinetmaker Jacob Desmalter produced the woodwork and furniture.
Napoleon signed his 2nd abdication in this room on June 22, 1815, after the defeat of Waterloo.
The act sits on the desk; he signed his 1st abdication in the Château de Fontainebleau.
Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte (the future Napoleon III) fomented his coup in this room on December 2, 1851.
Bibliothèque - Library
This room was the bedroom of Duchess of Bourbon, Caroline Murat, Napoleon I, Duke of Berry and finally Napoleon III.
It has retained its curved wall and is the only original room left from Napoleon III's private apartments.
Salle à Manger Paulin
The late president Georges Pompidou was a great fan of contemporary art.
In 1972 he therefore commissioned the designer Pierre Paulin with the transformation of this room which was part of Napoleon III's private apartments.
Paulin lined the walls with moulded polyester and boxed the ceilings with anodized aluminum.
Finally, he placed two round tables with tinted glass tops and cast aluminum central legs.
The dining room has always been subject to controversy, as it fails to blend with the other rooms of the Elysee palace!
Salle des Fêtes
The Banqueting Hall is located in the western wing of the Elysee Palace.
The lavish hall is reserved to the official ceremonies, important state dinners and receptions.
In 1984 President Mitterrand commissioned the opening of ten French windows on the south and east walls.
Guillaume Dubufe painted in 1896 the panels of the boxed-ceiling.
Finally, 18th century tapestries woven in the Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins adorn the walls.
The Salle des Fêtes opens onto the Winter Garden.
This former greenhouse was built in 1881 in order to grow exotic plants.
The room was entirely refitted in 1976 and in 1984.
A huge tapestry depicting a scene from the Bible adorns the western wall.
The 19th century crystal chandeliers are identical to those of the Salle des Fêtes and Salon Napoleon III.
The Winter Garden is now used for official receptions and occasional working meetings.
The Salon Murat has been the venue for the Conseil des Ministres since the presidency of Mr Pompidou.
The meeting takes place every Wednesday morning around the large table that takes up the whole room.
The president sits in the centre and faces his Prime Minister.
The walls of this room were fitted for Joachim Murat, the brother-in-law of Napoleon I.
They are adorn with two paintings of Murat by Horace Vernet and a painting of the Trajan Column in Rome.
The room boasts a console table with a porcelain decor from the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres dating from 1819.
Salon Napoleon III
The Salon Napoleon III is equally lavish!
The architect Joseph-Eugène Lacroix built it in the 1870's on the site of the Elysee Palace's former orangery.
An imperial eagle and the monogram RF (République Française) surrounded by an olive branch adorn each ceiling corner!
The salon Napoleon III is now used for press conferences.
Salon des Ambassadeurs
The Salon des Ambassadeurs was Murat's former ballroom.
It is now the room where the president traditionally receives foreign diplomats.
Once more we are in presence of exceptional furnishings.
This room is one of the most prestigious in the Elysee Palace.
The clock sitting on the fireplace has a dial showing the month, moon phases and zodiac signs.
The room contains also a bronze statuette of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and a chandelier dating from the Bourbon Restoration.
The floor is covered with a splendid carpet woven in 1990 in the workshops of the Manufacture Nationale de la Savonnerie.
The Salon Pompadour was the former state bedroom of the Marquise de Pompadour.
Napoleon I later used it as bedchamber.
A very nice portrait of the Marquise adorns the section of wall located between the two windows.
The current president uses it to grant audience to his guests.
The Salon Cléopâtre was the Marquise de Pompadour's former dressing-room.
Napoleon III converted it in a study.
The room was entirely renovated in 1992.
It takes its name from the Gobelins tapestry - Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra - that adorns it.
Salon des Portraits
The Salon des Portraits has direct access to the terrace.
It was named after the 8 portraits which adorn the upper walls:
Pope Pius IX, the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph, King Victor Emmanuel of Italy, Star Nicolas I of Russia, Queen Victoria of England, King Frederick William of Prussia, Queen Isabella II of Spain and King William I of Wurttemberg.
It was President Sarkozy's private study and boasts a contemporary desk created by the designers Chaix and Morel.
Salon des Aides de Camp
The Salon des Aides de Camp now serves for the official lunches and dinners.
It boasts a carpet coming from the Château des Tuileries, but the fireplace is a replica of that of Louis XIV's bedchamber at Versailles.
The Salon Doré or Golden Room fully deserves its name!
It is located in the heart of the Elysee Palace.
It has retained its original decor created in 1861 by the painter Jean-Louis Gogon for Empress Eugénie.
It boats a series of stunning Gobelins tapestries, carpets from the Manufacture Nationale de la Savonnerie, a Napoleon III crystal chandelier and finally a chest of drawers by Boulle!
The masterpiece of this room, though, is the Louis XV style desk created in the 18th century by the cabinetmaker Charles Cressent.
The Salon Doré communicates with the Salon Vert and its large oval table.
The Green Room serves as a meeting room for the president and his close advisers.
This salon Doré is the official study of the President.
Cour d'Honneur and Vestibule d'Honneur
Ministers, heads of state and official guests enter the Elysee palace via the Cour d'Honneur .
The president then greets them in the Vestibule D'Honneur.
The vast and bright Hall of Honour is adorned with Doric pilasters and tiled with white and red marble.
An impressive sculpture - Tribute to the French Revolution by Arman - stands against the main wall.
President Mitterrand sponsored this artwork composed of two hundred white marble flags.
A pair of crystal, gilt bronze and Italian marble candelabras frame it.
They were designed by the Chagot Brothers and earned them a prize at the Exhibition of Products of the French Industry of 1819.
Salon des Tapisseries
The Salon des Tapisseries is located next to the Hall of Honour.
This other elegant room is decorated, as its name suggests, with luxurious tapestries.
It contains a copy of the French Constitution.
The Hôtel d'Evreux didn't have an official staircase to link the Hall of Honour to the first floor.
The Escalier Murat was therefore built in 1806; its rails are adorned with gilded palm leaves.
It leads to a landing decorated with a bronze statue by Auguste Rodin, La Defense.
The statue is placed in front of a canvas named Europe painted by Dubois in 1811.
The landing leads to two antechambers decorated with portraits of former presidents of the republic and furnished in elegant Empire style.
Tip: The Elysee palace is open to the public on Heritage Days, each 3rd weekend of September.
Queues are massive, arrive before 7am if you can and be prepare to wait for 3/4 hours.
Directions: 8th district -No.55 Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré
Metro: Champs-Elysées-Clémenceau on Lines 1,13
Coordinates: Lat 48.870416 - Long 2.316754