Maison de Victor Hugo

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Maison de Victor Hugo Paris

Maison de Victor Hugo

Tucked away in the south-eastern corner of the elegant and oldest planned square in Paris; Place des Vosges you will find the former home of author and poet Victor Hugo.

Renowned for his novels Les Miserables and Notre Dame de Paris; or better known in English as The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

 

Maison de Victor Hugo

 

 

Climbing the stairs to the 2nd floor of the Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée you will arrive at the understated antechamber. The sparsely decorated room with black and white tiles adorning the floors is just an entrée to a riot of colour that awaits.

 

victor hugo museum paris

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Damask wallpaper and heavy matching velvet draps creates a lush backdrop for some stunning pieces of art that line the walls.

victor hugo museum paris

 

 

But everything is not as it seems.

 

Although the 30 year old Victor Hugo and his wife Adèle Foucher moved here in 1832 one year after the publication of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and resided here until 1848, his private residence has been reconstructed from a collection of recovered pieces from various homes he lived in over the years.

 

museum victor hugo paris

 

 

 

 

The man responsible for offering a large donation and instigating Maison de Victor Hugo in 1902 was Paul Meurice.

victor hugo museum paris

 

 

 

Meurice was only 18 when he met Victor Hugo and a great and long lasting friendship was forged.  It was Meurice together with Hugo’s son Charles who brought the play Les Misérables to the stage.

 

Victor Hugo was a man ahead of his time.

Today it is considered fashionable to work from a standing position at a high desk but this was Hugo’s preferred method to write and the evidence is here. The desk where he crafted words into memorable novels and poems.

 

victor hugo chinese porcelain

 

Not only was Victor Hugo one of the greatest writers of his time but he also enjoyed drawing and interior design.

This Asian inspired room recreated from his time in exile displays his collection of Asian artefacts, porcelain and furniture that he helped design and paint.

 

victor hugo museum paris

 

 

 

A lot of care and attention has gone into recreating the life of Victor Hugo,  in this small 7 room museum, offering us a glimpse of a very complex man.

A man who wouldn’t marry his childhood sweetheart until after his disapproving mother’s death. A man who was artistic and gifted but also political and stood tall and firm for what he believed in.

 

victor and adele hugo

 

 

 

 

But also a man who was filled with great despair after the accidental drowning of his 19 year old daughter Léopoldine and her husband Charles Vacquerie who died in vain trying to save her. Their precious lives cut short only 7 months after their wedding.

 

victor hugo bed paris

 

 

The smallest room in the house, decorated in plush red velvet and the most sombre is that of Victor Hugo’s Bedroom.

The carved timber, four poster bed in which he died in 1843 was donated to the museum by his grandchildren.

I suggest, if you can to wait until the small crowds that populate the room disperse, so you can have some quiet time in the dimly lit room.

 

place des vosges paris

 

Before you leave the museum peel back the heavy velvet drapes and peer out the window to admire the spectacular view that afforded Victor Hugo of the central garden of the colonnaded square. 

 

Before Place des Vosges was instigated by Henri IV, it was on this site where Henri II died during a tournament and prompted Catherine de Medicis to demolish the then Hotel des Tournelles.

Later in 1612, to much fanfare for the wedding of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria Place des Vosges was inaugurated and would become the inspiration for architecture across Europe.

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victor hugo museum

Paris Adèle’s Information Necessaire:

Maison de Victor Hugo – Official Website
6 place des Vosges
75004 Paris  –  MAP

Opening Hours:
Tuesday – Sunday
10am to 6pm

Nearest Metro:
Saint-Paul or Bastille

Entrance: Free to permanent exhibitions

Disabled Access: Yes – check website for further information

 

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