Bourbon Palace

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Portal of the Palais Bourbon opposite the Place de la Concorde

The Palais Bourbon is a building in the 7th arrondissement of Paris , directly connected to the Place de la Concorde on the right side of the Seine via the Pont de la Concorde . The former Hôtel particulier is the seat of the French National Assembly , the lower house of the French Parliament.


The plenary hall of the National Assembly

The palace was originally built for Louise Françoise , Duchess of Bourbon and legitimate daughter of King Louis XIV. The planning was in the hands of the Italian architect Lorenzo Giardini in collaboration with the French builder Jules Hardouin-Mansart . Giardini monitored the construction progress from 1722 until his death in 1724. Until completion in 1728, Pierre Lassurance , Jacques Gabriel and Jean Aubert were subsequently entrusted with the construction management.

Since it was not a royal residence , the building was initially not referred to as a palais (palace), but as a maison de plaisance (pleasure house). Initially, the building consisted of just one main part with simple wings that ended in pavilions . A small grove with carefully arranged trees separated it from the nearby Hôtel de Lassay , which was built at the same time for the Marquis de Lassay, the lover of Louise Françoise de Bourbons.

King Louis XV acquired the palace in 1756, initially for the Crown and then sold it to Louis V Joseph de Bourbon , Prince von Conde and grandson of the original owner. He had it expanded in 1765 by Jacques-Germain Soufflot .

During the French Revolution , the Palais Bourbon was nationalized and, from 1798, became the meeting place of the Council of Five Hundred . As part of Napoleon's plans for a more monumental Paris, a classicist portico was added on the side facing the Place de la Concorde, which was intended to form a counterpoint to the similar colonnade of the La Madeleine church at the end of Rue Royale .

Ceiling painting in the Palais Bourbon by Eugène Delacroix : Babylonian captivity (between 1838 and 1847)

In the course of the restoration by the Bourbons after 1815, the palace was repossessed by the ninth Prince of Condé, Louis Henri Joseph de Bourbon, Prince of Condé , and most of it was rented to the Chamber of Deputies , who finally acquired the building from his son in 1827. The interior of the building was extensively adapted for the purposes of the Chamber of Deputies. The corridors and numerous side rooms were redesigned and a spacious library was set up. The interior decoration was designed, among others, by Eugène Delacroix , who later became a member of parliament himself.

With the February Revolution of 1848 , the Chamber of Deputies was replaced by a constituent assembly with 900 members elected by universal, direct suffrage, and in 1849 by a legislative national assembly with 750 members.


The north facade of the building on the left bank of the Seine faces the river. Upstream, on the opposite bank, the western end of the Jardin des Tuileries was already at the time of construction , while the Champs-Élysées was just beginning to emerge.

Today's Place de la Concorde , directly opposite , was built from 1755, about 30 years after the building was completed; the Pont de la Concorde was not even completed until 1790. The Palais Bourbon today forms the southern end of the line of sight in north-south direction. At the other end of this line of sight is the La Madeleine church .

The Palais Bourbon today

Today the facilities of the National Assembly are spread over several buildings. The neighboring Hôtel de Lassay , connected by a gallery to the Palais Bourbon, is the official residence of the President of the National Assembly. In 1974 a seven-storey office building was erected in the Rue de l'Université , which is connected to the Palais via an underground corridor and in which the offices of the MPs are located. In 1986, another building on Boulevard Saint-Germain was acquired to meet the need for space, which had increased due to an increase in the number of MPs to 577 . The Palais Bourbon and its outbuildings now have a floor space of 55,000 m² with around 2,000 rooms for around 3,000 people.

Web links

Commons : Palais Bourbon  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 48 ° 51 ′ 43.5 "  N , 2 ° 19 ′ 7.3"  E