Hôtel de Salm

The Legion of Honour Museum is next door the Orsay Museum, so no excuse for not visiting it!

Legion of Honour Museum - Hôtel de Salm riverside facade
Hôtel de Salm riverside facade

You won’t be disappointed as the museum was founded in the beautiful Hôtel de Salm, which is considered as a fine illustration of Classical architecture.

In 1872, the German Prince de Salm commissioned the architect Rousseau with the construction of the mansion.

Napoleon I acquired it in 1802 to transfer the  collections of La Grande Chancellerie de la Légion d’Honneur which he had just founded.

The Hôtel de Salm was ready in 1804 and Napoleon inaugurated his museum.

Legion of Honour Museum

This museum became our Legion of Honour Museum.

Legion of Honour Museum - facade on Rue de Bellechasse
Facade on Rue de Bellechasse

The interior of the building sadly burned  during the Paris Commune of 1871, but was reproduced to the identical in 1878.

The outside fortunately escaped the flames.

It is therefore adorned with its original low reliefs dating from 1872.

An elegant rotunda enhances the architecture of the riverside facade.

The Legion of Honour Museum had two entrances.

A monumental triumphal arch on Rue de Lille leads into the Cour d’Honneur.

Legion of Honour Museum - Entrance arch on Rue de Lille
Entrance arch on Rue de Lille

The public entrance, however, is located in Rue de Bellechasse, opposite Orsay.

The unusual museum traces the history of the Legion of Honour through extensive collections.

These include French uniforms, military decorations, manuscripts and paintings, but also a large array of collections of foreign orders to name a few.

Definitively a museum to visit.

Directions: 7th District – No.2 Rue de Bellechasse
Metro: Solférino on Line 12 – RER C: Musée d’Orsay
Coordinates: Lat 48.860298 – Long 2.324680

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