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The bedroom of Madame Thierry de Ville-d’Avray, decorated almost exactly as it once was.

The bedroom of Madame Thierry de Ville-d’Avray, decorated almost exactly as it once was.

Photographer: Ambroise Tézenas 

Pursuits
Design

Step Inside the Most Exquisite, Rare Interior in Paris

Restored after more than 200 years, the Hôtel de la Marine is the newest must-see in Paris.

First-time visitors to Paris will invariably check-off a series of boxes: the Louvre, the Luxembourg Gardens, perhaps a day trip to Versailles, if they have the time. Each is a relic of France’s prerevolutionary ancien régime, and each, in its own way, has been rebuilt or reconstructed over the past few centuries into some approximation of what it was like before France overthrew the Bourbon monarchy in 1789.

But there’s another building: The Hôtel de la Marine on the Place de la Concorde reopened last year after a four-year restoration, and is arguably a more complete representation of 18th century design than anything else in Paris. Finished in 1775 from designs by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, official architect to King Louis XV, the building was intended to be the repository for state treasures.