Paris - Ile De France

Hotel de la Paiva - Champs-Elysees Avenue

This page was updated on: Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at: 4:20 pm

Hotel de la Paiva and Esther Lachmann

The Hotel de la Paiva is one of these elegant mansions that line the prestigious Avenue des Champs-Elysées.

The best artists of the mid 19th century built and decorated it for the daughter of a humble Polish Jewish tailor.

Esther Lachmann became one of the most prominent courtesans of Paris after marrying the wealthy Prussian Count Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck.

However, her dazzling social ambitions were no longer compatible with a commoner's name!

Esther therefore chose a new identity with hints of nobility... thus appeared La Paiva!

Her parties were famous and attracted the Parisian smart set.

La Paiva entertained countless personalities of the Second Empire, politicians, artists, writers and entrepreneurs.

Among those were the Goncourt brothers, the writer Théophile Gautier or Léon Gambetta who was Prime Minister from 1881 to 1882.

The Italian Renaissance Hotel de la Paiva

La Paiva spent lavishly for the decoration of her Italian Renaissance style mansion.

The most lavish architectural features are probably the yellow onyx staircase and the elaborate painted ceilings.

She also built a Moorish style bathroom and bought large collections of canvases and furniture...

A riot of ostentatious luxury.

She obviously made up for the lack of resources she had suffered as a child.

However, nothing lasts.

In 1877 La Paiva aka Esther Lehmann and her husband escaped to Silesia after she was accused of spying during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870/71.

She died in 1884 without being able to return to the palace of her dreams.

Her mansion is still there, so are her initials on the wrought iron gate and the double entrance which once allowed carriages to exit without having to turn around.

The superb Hotel de la Paiva is now a restaurant.

Directions: 8th district - no25 Avenue des Champs-Elysées
Metro: Franklin D. Roosevelt on Line 1
Coordinates: Lat 48.869334 - Long 2.307998

Chateau de Raray, a superb illustration of French Classical

August 1 2020

Chateau de Raray, the setting for Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast movie

The elegant Classical Chateau de Raray, north of Paris, served as setting for the filming of Cocteau's movie Beauty and the Beast
Saint-Blaise-des-Simples Chapel - Grave of Jean Cocteau

July 23 2020

Saint-Blaise-des-Simples Chapel, Jean Cocteau’s burial-place

The poet Jean Cocteau is buried in Saint-Blaise-des-Simples Chapel in Milly-la-Forêt, a chapel he decorated during the restoration work of 1959
Richelieu mausoleum in front of high altar in Sorbonne Chapel

June 5 2020

Sorbonne Chapel and Cardinal de Richelieu tomb

Sorbonne chapel, the college’s private chapel, is a masterpiece of French classical architecture that houses Cardinal Richelieu’s mausoleum
Villa Seurat - Maison Quillet at No.8 by Lurçat

May 14 2020

Villa Seurat, a showcase of Modernist architecture

Villa Seurat, a showcase of the Roaring Twenties’ Modernist architecture and a Cité d’Artistes where Arthur Miller wrote Tropic of Cancer

Sign up to our newsletter

Travel France Online will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates via our newsletter. By selecting the boxes on the form you confirm your acceptance to receive our newsletter.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by Contacting Us

We will treat your information with respect. For more information please visit our privacy policy page