Elysee Palace

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Palais de l'Elysée, courtyard view
Main portal of the Palais de l'Elysée

The Élysée Palace [ eli'ze ] (French Palais de l'Élysée ), named after the nearby Avenue des Champs-Élysées in the heart of Paris , is the official residence of the President of the French Republic . It is located north of the Seine at 55  Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in the 8th arrondissement , just a few steps from the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and the Place de la Concorde .


First king in the palace: King Louis XV.
Abdication in the Élysée Palace: Emperor Napoleon I.

The Élysée Palace was built between 1718 and 1722 according to the plans of the architect Armand-Claude Mollet , who had recently sold the surrounding property to and from the Count of Évreux, Henri-Louis de la Tour d'Auvergne has now been commissioned to build a residence for him.

After the death of the Count of Évreux in 1753, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, better known as the Marquise de Pompadour , acquired the palace and had it stylishly refurbished inside by her architect. The garden was enlarged according to their ideas and expanded with colonnades and arbors as well as a labyrinth . At that time, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson had been the official mistress of the French King Louis XV for many years . , to whom she bequeathed the residence in 1764. The house was now owned by the Bourbons and served King Louis XV. initially as a guest house for ambassadors and later also as an exhibition space for paintings. In the meantime (1773) the king sold the palace to a banker; his grandson, King Louis XVI. But bought it back in 1786 and left it to his cousin, the Duchess of Bourbon .

When the Bourbons were overthrown in the course of the French Revolution in 1792 and the Duchess of Bourbon was captured in April 1793, the Élysée Palace (then known as the Hôtel de Bourbon ) was initially empty and served as a warehouse for confiscated furniture from emigrants and prisoners . Although the Duchess got the palace back four years later, she later went into exile in Spain and sold the palace to an entrepreneurial family who used it for prestigious events.

In 1805 the imperial prince and marshal Joachim Murat , brother-in-law of Napoleon I , acquired the palace and had it extensively rebuilt. Even today the main staircase ( l'escalier d'honneur ) is called Escalier Murat (literally "Murat staircase"). Murat also built the ballroom, which is still called Salon Murat today . The French cabinet ( Conseil des Ministres ) has met in this room since President Georges Pompidou was in office . There were originally four large paintings that depict the Tiber , the Rhine , the Nile and the Seine . Of these, the painting of the Tiber with Rome at the moment Murat crossed the river with his cavalry and the painting of Benrath Palace in Düsseldorf , a residence of Murat as Grand Duke von Berg , are left today. The emperor made Murat Grand Duke of Berg in 1806 and King of Naples in 1808 . After Napoleon left the building, it was renamed the Elysée-Napoléon Palace. Only a few months later, however, the emperor divorced his wife, Empress Joséphine , and left the property to her before he repossessed it in 1812 and, two years later, when the fall of his empire could no longer be stopped, his abdication there signed and went into exile.

In 1816 the Elysée Palace returned to the Bourbons , and King Louis XVIII. handed it over to his nephew Karl Ferdinand, Duke of Berry , who moved in with his newlywed Maria Karolina of Bourbon-Sicily. When the duke died four years later, Ludwig Philipp , who was the last French king from 1830 until the February Revolution of 1848 , took over the palace.

The French National Assembly declared the palace by decree in 1848 as the official seat of future presidents of the Second Republic . However, this lasted just four years, namely until Ludwig Napoleon Bonaparte (nephew of Napoleon I), who was elected first president, quickly appointed himself emperor of a new empire . It was not until he was captured during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 that he was deposed in France, where the republic was proclaimed for the third time. Even if the first President of the Third Republic , Adolphe Thiers , was not yet able to direct his work entirely from the Élysée Palace, from 1873 he was finally the official seat of the French heads of state.

On January 22, 1963, General Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer signed the Élysée Treaty here .

The Élysée Palace as an authority

The Secretary General is the head of the civil service. Since April 2014 this has been Jean-Pierre Jouyet . Subordinate to him are the presidential advisers (French: conseillers techniques ), who support the presidents in the areas of social policy, economy, culture, etc. a. to advise. The cabinet director (French directeur du cabinet ) has another important position. The president's spokesman and the presidential mail staff report to him. The General Staff is directly assigned to the President.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides the diplomatic advisor, also known as the Sherpa . Since May 2012 this has been Paul Jean-Ortiz . He works with consultants for the various regions of the world. Analogous to the US government, there has also been a security council and a security advisor ( Secrétaire général du conseil de sécurité ) since 2002 . Direct employees of the President have the title of conseiller auprès du Président . There is a personal secretariat, the military commander of the Elysée Palace and the director of the palace, who is responsible for the kitchen and decor.

The government headquarters officially has 150 employees. Around 850 additional employees are paid from the ministries' budgets. The most important advisors have their offices in the palace itself, many others work in the surrounding buildings in the Rue de l'Élysée , which is closed to through traffic , and the diplomats there in the Hôtel de Hirsch .

Residence of the President

In the east wing of the palace is the residence of the president, which he can use as an apartment. Nicolas Sarkozy also used the La Lanterne state estate in Versailles during his time as President ( 2007 to 2012) .


  • In 1989 Christian Didier managed to get to the site of the Elysée Palace. The security forces eventually overwhelmed him. Didier said he did so in order to hand over a secret dossier on Raoul Wallenberg to François Mitterrand. Didier was subsequently admitted to the psychiatric clinic . In 1993 Didier murdered René Bousquet .

See also


  • Palais de l'Élysée, Présidence de la République . Foreword by President Jacques Chirac. Brochure published by: Services de l'Administration et de la Conservation des Résidences Présidentielles, Service photographique de la Présidence de la République. Palais de l'Élysée. Paris undated

Web links

Wiktionary: Élysée Palace  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations
Commons : Élysée Palace  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Michael Huber: President Sarkozy doubles his income . Die Presse October 30, 2007 , accessed September 15, 2011
  2. www.vanityfair.fr

Coordinates: 48 ° 52 ′ 13 ″  N , 2 ° 18 ′ 59 ″  E