Hôtel de Ville

The Fabulous Hôtel de Ville (French for "City Hall") is a sumptuously gorgeous French Renaissance style building in the center of Paris that houses the City’s administration and the Mayor. (ie: Paris City Hall) It has been the location of the municipality of Paris since 1357. Rebuilt in the 1870s, after a fire destroyed the original, its style was inspired by the Châteaux of the Loire Valley. The building is located adjacent to the Seine river on the place de l'Hôtel de Ville (City Hall Plaza), in the city's IV arrondissement.

Containing more than 600 main rooms, the building is more than 110 meters long and 85 meters wide, making it the largest city hall in Europe. At the time of its construction the structure was equipped with many experimental and state of the art technologies such as ventilation heating, hydraulic lifts, electric lighting and the telephone. The exterior is decorated with 108 statues of famous Frenchmen and 30 statues representing major cities. Female figures surrounding the clock in the central tower include characters for the Seine River and for the city itself.

The Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville, the plaza in front of the bulding, was before 1802 known as the place de Grève (French for "Square of the Strand"). Its former name is derived from the French word "grève" meaning a flat terrain covered with gravel or sand situated on the shores of the sea or on the banks of a watercourse. It was originally the first city harbor of Paris, serving as a river port for unloading wheat and wood on the sandy right bank of the Seine River. Later it was transformed to a modestly sized square where it become the civic center of medieval Paris due in part to its position as an end point of many intertwined alleyways. The square was later enlarged to its present size in stages at the end of the 18th century and again in the first half of the 19th century. The place de Grève is also remembered as the site of most executions in Paris from the time when the gallows and the pillory stood there between 1310 and 1830. Before the installation of a guillotine in 1792, people were beheaded, quartered, cooked, and burned at the stake for their crimes. The plaza today is used for numerous exhibitions and meetings; sometimes including a giant video screen to display major concerts and football matches. In the summer the plaza is transformed into an oasis of beach volleyball courts and palm trees, and in winter it serves as an ice rink.

The Hôtel de Ville is most famously the site of General DeGaulle's first speech following the liberation of Paris in World War II, where he greeted the crowd from a front window.

As one of the most striking buildings in Paris, The Hotel de Ville, is yet another “must see” in the long list of Paris sights.

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01 Paris: Louvre Museum - Notre dame Cathedral - Banks of the River Seine - Chatelet Tower - Place Vendome - Le Palais Royal - Le Louvre - L'orangerie - Pont Neuf - Pont de La Concorde - Le quartier Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois - Pont-Neuf aux Tuileries

02 Paris: Paris Stock Exchange - Textile district - L'Opera Garnier - La Concorde et les Tuileries - Place Vendome - Bourse - La Tour Jean-sans-Peur

03 Paris: Picasso museum - Centre Georges Pompidou - Republique - Conservatoire des Arts et Metier

04 Paris: Old Marais district - Modern Art museum - City Hall - Ile de La Cite; - La place des Vosges - L'Hotel de Ville - Notre Dame de Paris - La Conciergerie - La crypte archeologique - La Maison de Victor Hugo - La Sainte Chapelle - Pont de Sully

05 Paris: Pantheon - Botanical Gardens - Saint-Germain-des-Pres - Notre dame de Paris - Eglise de Saint Germain - Saint Michel - La mosquee de Paris - L'ile de la Cite; - L'Ile Saint-Louis - Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve - La crypte archeologique - La Sainte Chapelle - La Conciergerie - Les Arenes Lutece - Jardin des Plantes - Pont Neuf - Pont d'Austerlitz - Pont de Sully

06 Paris: Saint Germain des Pres - Latin Quarter - Luxembourg Gardens - La Tour Montparnasse - Musee d'Orsay - Palais / Jardin du Luxembourg - Cimetiere du Montparnasse - Observatoir de Paris

07 Paris: Eiffel Tower - Marais - Orsay Museum - Invalides (Napoleon's resting place) - Champs de Mars - L'UNESCO - Ecole Militaire - Pont de La Concorde - Pont des Invalides - Pont de L'Alma

08 Paris: Champs Elysees - Arc of Triumph - Elysees Palace - La Concorde et les Tuileries - Place Vendome - L'Opera Garnier - Le quartier de la defense - L'eglise Russe - L'orangerie - Place de La Madeleine - Boulevard Haussmann - Pont de La Concorde - Pont des Invalides

09 Paris: Opera House - Saint Lazare Train Station La butte Montmartre - Moulin Rouge - Galeries Lafayette - Musee de la Vie Romantique - Le quartier de la Nouvelle Athenes - Gare Saint Lazare

10 Paris: Est Train Station - Nord Train Station - Saint Martin canal - Place de la Republique

11 Paris: Republique Plaza - Leather district - La place des Vosges - Bastille - Cimetiere Pere Lachaise - Boulevard Belleville

12 Paris: New Opera House - Nation Plaza - Vincennes Park - Gare de Lyon - Le Viaduc des Arts - Le Parc de Bercy - Bibliotheque Francois Mitterrand - Pont National - Pont de Tolbiac - Pont de Bercy - Pont Charles de Gaulle - Pont d'Austerlitz

13 Paris: French National Library - Chinatown - Croulebarbe aux Gobelins - Bibliotheque Francois Mitterrand - Orly - Le quartier de la Butte-aux-Cailles - Pont National - Pont de Tolbiac - Pont de Bercy - Pont Charles de Gaulle - Parc de Montsouris - Observatoire de Paris

14 Paris: Montparnasse Train Station - Observatory - Cimetiere du Montparnasse - Parc de Montsouris

15 Paris: Vaugirard Street - Beaugrenelle Antiques Area - La Tour Montparnasse - Paris Expo / Porte de Versailles - Ecole Militaire - Pont Mirabeau - Pont du Gariglialo - Parc Andre Citroen - Cimetierre de Grenelle - Cimetiere du Montparnasse

16 Paris: Trocadero Plaza - Boulogne Park - Parc des Princes - Stade Roland Garros - Champs de Mars - Palais des Congres / Porte Maillot - Promenade Hector Guimard et l'Art Nouveau - Le quartier de la defense - Auteuil - Musee d'art Moderne - Palais Chaillot - Bois de Boulogne - Pont de L'Alma - Pont de Grenelle - Pont Mirabeau - Pont du Gariglialo - Parc Andre Citroen - Cimetiere de Grenelle

17 Paris: Wagram - Ternes - Jacquemin Museum - Le quartier de la Defense - Sacre-Coeur - Palais des Congres / Porte Maillot

18 Paris: Montmartre Hill (home of Amelie Poulain) - Church of the Sacred Heart - Moulin Rouge - Stade de France - La Basilique Saint-Denis - Gare du Nord - Roissy Charle de Gaulle

19 Paris: Villette Techno Park - Buttes Chaumont Park - Geode - Zenith - Roissy Charle de Gaulle - Boulevard Belleville

20 Paris: Pere Lachaise Cemetery (Jim Morrison's resting place) - Place de La Nation - Roissy Charle de Gaulle - Boulevard Belleville

92 Paris: Parc des Expositions - Parc de Sceaux - Issy-les-Moulineaux - Roland Garros - La Defense

93 Paris: Eurodisney Park