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Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville (BHV Marais)

Opening Hours:

  • From Monday to Saturday : from 09h30 to 20h00
  • Sunday: from 11h00 to 19h30

BHV MARAIS Celebrates 160 years ( September 13th 2016)

BHV Marais

  • The Bazar de l’Hôtel-de-Ville (the “bazaar of city hall”) is located in the historical and fashionable Marais neighborhood. It is facing the Hôtel de Ville and it is served by the Metro station Hôtel de Ville.
  • Opened in 1856, four years after the “Bon Marché”, The Bazar de l’Hôtel-De-Ville is one of the very first department store of the capital.
  • In 1991, the BHV is bought by the Galeries Lafayette group.
  • In 2012 the bazar de l’Hôtel-De-Ville was rebranded BHV Marais.The Gallerie Lafayette group undertook major renovations in order to give a new identity to the store
  • The store slogan is “style as a lifestyle”.

The success story of François-Xaviel Ruel

  • Xavier Ruel was an ironmonger from the city of Lyon. In 1852, he decided to settle in Paris to seek fortune.
  • He recruited street vendors to sell his stock of hosiery and he noticed that the best selling point was in the city hall area.
  • Therefore, François-Xavier Ruel and his wife Marie-Madeleine decided to open a hosiery shop at the corner of rue de Rivoli and rue des Archives.

The anecdote (The stroke of luck !!)

  • In 1855, Empress Eugenie’s horses are racing right in front of his shop and Xavier Ruel quickly mastered them. His act of bravery was financially rewarded and he decided to expand his shop.
  • François-Xavier Ruel diversified  in the hardware store and sale of toys and trinkets and acquired adjacent shops just two years after the opening of his business.

Xavier Ruel : A philanthropist

  • Department stores were popular in Paris during the second empire, the best known was “le Bon Marché” whose founder was Aristide Boucicaut.
  • Xavier Ruel took a close interest in social issues which will set him apart from his competitors.
  • In 1866, the bazar de l’hôtel-de-ville was the first store in Paris to offer labeled items sold at fixed prices and low enough to attract popular and middle class.
  • He created pension funds for his employees and a free clinic.
  • During the Paris Commune (revolutionary government) he distributed bread to the poor.

Museum Nissim De Camondo

The Mansion

  • Fascinated by the 18th century, Comte Moïse of Camondo built a mansion in the style of the Petit Trianon in Versailles.His aim was to recreate an eighteen-century artistic residence.
  • The mansion houses a beautiful collection of french decorative art from the second half of the eighteen century.
  • The museum is located a few steps from Parc Monceau.
  • He entrusted the construction of his mansion to the architect René Sergent (1865-1927).
  • The mansion was built between 1911 and 1914.
  • Today, the house is maintained in its original condition so that you can have a perfect picture of what it was like to manage and live in a private mansion at this time.
  • The modernity of the private house is impressing for the time of the construction. It was fully equipped, functional and comfortable ( heating system with warm, filtered air, compressed air elevators…).
  • The mansion houses some of the finest furniture and items from the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI.
  • You can admire the creations of cabinetmakers and carpenters that belonged to the Royal furniture repository such as Oeben, Riesener and Jacob.
  • You will discover the carpets from the Savonnery factory commissioned for the Louvre’s grande galerie.
  • The collection also displays pieces of the Orloff silver service ordered by Catherine II of Russia, porcelain services of the Sèvres factory and portraits by Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun.

The Camondo family

  • Moïse de Camondo was born in Istanbul into a Sephardic Jewish family.
  • The Camondo family owned a bank that became one of the largest banks in the Ottoman Empire.
  •  In 1867, the family was ennobled by Victor Emmanuel II.
  • The Camondo brothers Abraham-Behor and Nissim settled in Paris at the end of the Second Empire, in two mansions on rue de Monceau.
  • The two cousins of the next generation, Abraham-Behor’s son Isaac and Nissim’s son Moïse, became ingenious collectors.
  • Moise was passionate about the french art of the 18th century and needed a home that suited his tastes to house his collection of french furniture and artwork. As a consequence he rebuilt the family mansion with the help of the architect René Sergent.
  • He married Irène Cahen d’Anvers in 1891 and they separated in August 1897.
  • They got two children: Nissim and Beatrice who lived with him after the departure of Irène Cahen d’Anvers.
  • The first world war breaks out as the hotel has just been completed.
  • Nissim, became an airman and died for France in aerial combat in 1917.
  • After the tragic disappearance of his son, Moïse bequeathed his legacy to the French State in memory of Nissim and devoted himself  to his collection until his death.
  • During the second world war, the daughter of Moses, Beatrice, her husband Léon Reinach, and their children Fanny and Bertrand disappeared in the Nazi camps.

Opéra Garnier (Palais Garnier opera house)

Location: Place de l’opéra, 9th arrondissement, Paris, France.

  • In 1858, Felice Orsini, an Italian revolutionary tried to assassinate Napoleon III.
  • The imperial couple ( the emperor Napoleon III and the empress Eugénie) escaped the bombing attack in front of the Opera Le Pelletier.
  • The bomb caused terrible damage among the crowd.
  • Napoleon III, decided the next day the construction of a new building. He wanted the new opera to embody the magnificence of the empire and to meet the luxurious pleasures of the imperial court.
  • An international competition was launched to designate the architect.
  • In 1861, the project of the young architect Charles Garnier was selected among 171 proposals.
  • Charles Garnier was then only 35 years old !
  • The baron Haussmann was prefect of Paris and was chosen by Napoleon III to carry out a massive urban renewal program in the capital.
  • The construction of the new building began in 1867 out of sight behind tall fences.
  • In 1867, the main facade was unveiled. The empress Eugénie exclaimed: “What sort of style is that? this is neither Greek, nor Louis XIV or Louis XVI!” to which Charles Garnier responded: “this is Napoleon III”.
  • The construction was interrupted by the war of 1870 and the fall of the second empire.
  • The inauguration of the building took place on January 5, 1875 in the presence of the President of the Republic, Mac-Mahon.
  • Napoleon III, who died two years ago, will not see the building he ordered.

 

Did you know?

  • Marc Chagall’s superb ceiling above the stage and auditorium features famous opera and ballet productions.
  • The acoustics of the hall is essentially due to the construction.
  • The beautiful chandelier of the opera weighs 8 tons of pure bronze and crystal. In 1896 the chandelier fell on the audience killing one person.
  • Since 1982, four hives are installed on the roof of the building. The production of honey is sold in the Opera shop.

Sightseeing & City Pass in Paris‎

The Paris Pass

An all-in-one flexible and comprehensive sightseeing package.

The Paris Pass
  • Time Saver
  • Money saver
  • Stress reliever

The Paris Pass will enable you to:

  • Free entry to over 60 museums and monuments such as Louvre Museum, Orsay Museum, The Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, Pompidou centre.
  • Free entry to the best Paris attractions including the Hop-on hop-off tour, the River Seine cruise, the Palace of Versailles, the Fontainebleau Castle and much more.
  • Free and unlimited public transport around Paris by Metro and RER (Zones 1-3).
  • Special offers at selected shops and restaurants in central Paris.
  • A free Paris guidebook full of useful information.
  • Skip-the-Line entrance at top Paris attractions and museums such as the Louvre Museum, Orsay Museum, Arc de Triomphe, Pompidou Centre.
  • The possibility of  downloading  the new Paris Pass app to your smartphone device.
  • A map of Paris city.

Reviews and Website

Paris Pass Review Video

Essential French phrases for travellers

Greetings and Salutations

Hello! (Also good morning!)

Hi!

It is an informal and relaxed greeting. It is to be used with accointances. Note that the “t” on the end of the word is silent.

Hey there!

This is an informal way of greeting someone, it can be used as an exclamation meaning “hello” or “hi.” It is similar to the English exclamation “peek-a-boo!”.

Welcome!

What’s up?

Informal greeting.This literally means “what’s new?

See you soon!

It expresses your desire to see the other person soon, but without giving a precise time frame. The final “t” is silent.

See you later!

“A tout à l’heure” or “A plus tard” is used when you are going to see the other person again later the same day. You are not giving a precise time, but it is understood that you will likely see the person later that same day.

Goodbye!

Have a nice day!

Thank you and please in French

Thank you

Thank you very much

Thank you from the bottom of my heart

Speaking difficulties

Do you speak English?

I only speak English

I understand

I don’t understand

I don’t know

Asking for help

Travel related words and phrases

Passport

Suitcase

Number

Ticket

A bag

A seat

A round trip ticket

A one way ticket

How much does the ticket cost?

I would like to book a ticket

Interesting figures about the Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum is the largest in the world

  • The total area of the Louvre Museum is of 243000 m2.
  • 73000 m2 are dedicated to showrooms.
  • There are 14.5 km of halls and corridors.
  • There are 2410 windows.
  • There are 3000 locks.
  • There are 10 000 steps.
  • There are 70 elevators.

The largest collection of works in the world

  • 460 000 works of art constitute the collections of the Louvre.
  • Only 35 000 are exhibited and 2000 lent annually to other museums or institutions around the world.
  • To visit the Louvre Museum as a whole, you would need 3 days and 2 nights of non-stop visit … and this, by spending only 10 seconds to each of the works on display.
  • The largest painting of the Louvre remains The Wedding Feast at Cana (1563), by the Italian artist Paolo Veronese whose surface reaches 67 m2. It is closely followed by the coronation of Napoleon painted by David with 60 m2 of surface.
  • It houses the probably most famous painting in the world: the Mona Lisa

The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world

  • With more than 10 million admissions in 2018, the Louvre broke all records and rose to the top of the podium, becoming the most visited museum in the world
  • Indeed, in 2018, the Louvre saw a huge spike in visitors thanks largely to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s “Apesh*t” video, released in June.

Thanks to Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Paris' Louvre Museum Broke Its Visitor Record in 2018

The number of employees at the Louvre

  • More than 2100 people work at the museum
  • Including 1200 guards, 65 preservatives and 48 firefighters