Paris 17th district Monceau

Monceau

Paris 17th arrondissement Monceau

The village of Monceau grew rapidly under the Restoration: from 300 inhabitants in 1810, it counted 3300 in 1827 and with les Batignolles 6000 five years later. On February 18th 1830, Charles X granted autonomy to the two communes which were still dependent on Clichy, and they were named Batignolles-Monceau. In 1828 the church of St. Mary of Batignolles was founded, and the first town hall of this new independent municipality was established at 54 rue des Batignolles, to be rebuilt in 1846. It was demolished in 1971. The population continued to grow rapidly, reaching 14,000 inhabitants in 1842 and nearly 20,000 four years later. The Thiers fortifications in 1840 englobed Batignolles-Monceau.

Today this neighborhood boasts the largest number of private mansions/sqm in Paris, as well as numerous prestigious and typically Parisian apartments. History and Art enthusiasts love the neighborhood, for it is a remarkable witness to 19th and 20th century architecture.
Parc Monceau

Parc Monceau

At the end of the eighteenth century, the “fermier général” Grimod de la Reynière owned an immense plot of land between Monceau village and the “chemin de Monceau”. He sold it in 1778 to Louis-Philippe d'Orleans, Duke of Chartres and the future “Philippe Egalité” who landscaped it to create the “Folie de Chartres”. It was reduced in size in 1787 with the construction of the “Mur des Fermiers Généraux” but was nonetheless twice the size of area of today’s Parc Monceau. The duke built a rotunda, now listed, from which he could admire the ensemble. Confiscated at the time of the revolution, it was donated by Napoleon to Cambacéres and subsequently returned by Louis XVIII to the Orléans family. In 1852, it was divided into two: one the property of the Pereire brothers (rue Vigny, rue Murillo, rue Van Dyck, rue Velasquez, ...), the other the property of Paris. This part was landscaped in 1861 in its current form by Alphand who retained all that was possible of the old “Folie de Chartres”.

Generally speaking, until 1850 the Monceau plain was covered with grassland and crops. Farmers had however early in the century started to sell their plots to speculators who anticipated the coming development; acquisitions were often agreed at ridiculous prices, with plots purchased for 1.5 francs/sqm (about 20 euro today), and sold 400 francs/sqm at the end of the century (about 6000 euros), particularly during the intensive construction period between 1875 and 1885 carried out by the Pereire brothers. Parc Monceau was inaugurated by Napoleon III and refitted by renowned engineer Alphand at the request of prefect Haussmann. Ideal for romantic strolls, this English-style garden features a rotunda, a waterfall, numerous statues and original sculptures, and the Naumachie colonnade...

This mainly residential area is at the same time elegant yet bucolic.
The 17th arrondissement’s Golden Triangle

The 17th arrondissement’s Golden Triangle

The fruit of the Pereire Brothers’ ambition, the area considered as the "Golden Triangle" comprises rue Fortuny, rue de Thann, rue de Phalsbourg, rue de Prony and place General Catroux. These mark the borders of a particularly privileged area boasting numerous private mansions, mostly designed by architect Eugène Flamand and a witness to the rewards of success in business. Owning a property in this neighbourhood near Parc Monceau was a sign of success and wealth at the time, and is keenly sought-after to the present day. Numerous personalities have resided in the "Golden Triangle": Marcel Pagnol and Sarah Bernhardt (rue Fortuny), Rita Hayworth and Sacha Guitry (rue de Prony).
Place du Général Catroux

Place du Général Catroux

The location of this square was until 1862 bordered by a private park and wasteland used to stock paving stones for the city’s roads and pavements. Built in 1864, it was first named Place Malesherbes before being renamed in homage to the governor of Indochina who in 1940 joined General de Gaulle in London. He was the highest ranking officer to take this step, and consequently to a large extent legitimized de Gaulle’s position. Around Place du Général Catroux Haussmannian facades rub shoulders with more recent architectural styles. Extensive lawns feature statues of Alexandre Dumas father and son, and Sarah Bernhardt. N° 1 is a fine private mansion and one of the most curious buildings in the neighborhood: the Hôtel Gaillard, inspired by one of the wings of the Château de Blois, was built between 1878 and 1882 for the Comte de Chambord’s financier. It was bought by the Bank of France after 1904. Listed since 1999, it will become the “Cité de l’économie et de la monnaie”. At n° 20 is composer Charles Gounod's former home where he passed away in 1893.