Square Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur

secret garden paris

Square Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur


It is unlikely that you would stumble upon this secret garden hidden behind the elegant Hôtel du Grand Veneur.

But if you did, you would find a tranquil and charming square rarely visited by tourists and often unknown to local Parisians.

secret garden marais


Not far from the free museum dedicated to the history of Paris; Musée Carnavalet and leaving behind the busy Rue de Turenne, take a short walk down Rue Villehardouin until what will appear to be a dead end until you find tucked away in a corner, this iron gate, it will lead you into the quiet and pretty Square Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur – Pauline Roland.

Hotel du Grand Veneur Paris



In the warmer months the secret garden bursts into life. Large colourful roses dangle from the surrounding arbour and enhancing the scene is the backdrop of the ancient townhouse, once known as Hôtel d’Ecquevilly but now most commonly referred to as Hôtel du Grand Veneur.

Hotel d Ecquevilly Paris



The Hôtel particulier gained the nick-name Hôtel du Grand Veneur after changing hands a few times from when it was built in 1637 when the Marquis of Ecquevilly took up residence in 1733.

He was King Louis XV’s officer in charge of hunting or in French, the Grand Vaneur, the master of the hounds and evidence of his ownership can still be found on the façade’s decoration today.


A large sculptured corbel under the scalloped balcony, represents a wild boar’s head.

Paris Door Hotel du Grand Veneur



Dogs can be found gracing the door knocker on the main façade on Rue de Turenne.





Also above the bright blue door a pack of hunting hounds are depicted at either side of another boar head.



sqaure saint gilles grand veneur



The small secret garden, Square Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur – Pauline Roland pays tribute to Calvados born, mother of two, friend of George Sand and feminist and socialist; Pauline Roland.

She spent 18 years of her life fighting for equality of the sexes and for women remaining in the work force, which subsequently landed her in jail for 7 months.

Upon the death of her friend and fellow collegue Flora Tristan, she took on the responsibility of raising Tristan’s daughter Aline Chazal, who would later become the mother of artist Paul Gauguin.

Pauline Roland died in 1852 as a result of her incarceration from a year and a half earlier.

paris secret garden
paris parks gardens
square saint gilles grand veneur pauline roland paris




Whether you decide on a quick stroll around to discover a secret hideaway in the centre of the Marais or use the opportunity to take a quiet break with a picnic lunch baguette and bottle of wine on a bench while you admire the façade of the grand Hôtel Particulier and soak up a piece of Parisian history away from the hustle and bustle and queues of the main monuments, you will no doubt feel rewarded that you found this delightful secret treasure.


There are many secret treasures to be discovered in Paris, you just need to know where to find them.

If you have found this information interesting or useful, please leave a comment or follow me on facebook for daily tips, photos and anecdotes, your feedback encourages me to keep this site up to date. Merci!

Paris Adèle’s Information Necessaire :

Hotel du Grand veneur paris

Square Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur – Pauline Roland

Entry Point :
14 Rue Villehardouin (Cnr Rue de Hesse)
Paris 75003 – MAP

Nearest Metro :
Saint-Sébastien-Froissart or Chemin Vert

Bus Lines :
20, 29, 65, 96

Opening Hours:
Weekdays: 8am – 5pm (Sept-Apr) 8am – 8:30pm (May-Aug)
Weekends: 9am – 5pm (Sept-Apr) 8am – 8:30pm (May-Aug)

Entrance :

Disabled Access :

Hotel du Grand Veneure (Door and front façade pictured right) :
60 Rue de Turenne
Paris 75003

Create your own discovery of the Marais with nearby places below :  Check the  MAP  to plan your tour.

  • Petit Fer a Cheval
    Petit Fer a Cheval
    This charming, historic bar in the 4th arrondissement and the heart of the Marais, is my all time favourite. Great food, full of character and friendly staff.
  • Bastille Markets
    Bastille Markets
    The Bastille Markets are everything you could hope for in a typical Parisian Market; vibrant, colourful, delicious and intoxicating.
  • Merci
    Sitting at the end of a cobbled lane-way, is a tiny red car with the number plate; Merci. You have just arrived at the stylish and innovative concept store.
  • Maison de Victor Hugo
    Maison de Victor Hugo
    Nestled in a corner of Place des Vosges, is the former home of famous author of the Hunchback of Notre Dame; Victor Hugo.
  • Musée Cognacq-Jay
    Musée Cognacq-Jay
    This stunning home of Samaritaine Department store founder, Ernest Cognacq-Jay and his wife Marie-Louise Jay, includes Fragonard, Rembrandt, Cézanne ...
  • Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
    Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
    This wonderfully, quirky, informative, interactive museum, doesn't take itself too seriously. Exploring the history of hunting.
  • Musée Carnavalet
    Musée Carnavalet
    Located in the heart of the Marais, this museum is dedicated to the history of Paris. Boasting 600,000 pieces, ranging from the 17th to 20th centuries.

You might also like some of these off the beaten path Parisian treasures :

  • Belle Époque Brothels
    Belle Époque Brothels
    Lavish brothels dotted around Paris during the Belle Epoque were easily identifiable, some relics exist today, if you know what to look for.
  • Square de Montsouris
    Square de Montsouris
    A hidden jewel, begging to be discovered. Eclectic maisons wrapped in greenery, unseen by most tourists to Paris.
  • Secret Garden Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu
    Secret Garden Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu
    A secret garden in an unusual location, right in the centre of Paris that thousands of tourists pass by each day without knowing it exists.
  • La Galcante
    La Galcante
    Vintage periodicals and books fill this small quirky, off the beaten path shop in a secluded courtyard where you may find the perfect Parisian souvenir.
  • Lavirotte Building and Square Rapp
    Lavirotte Building and Square Rapp
    Exquisite Art Nouveau building with one of the most beautiful doors in Paris & a tiny square that offers a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Passage de l’Ancre
    Passage de l’Ancre
    Who would know a delightful, tranquil little piece of paradise could be hidden away behind an unassuming crooked doorway in the heart of Paris.
  • Rue Crémieux
    Rue Crémieux
    A tiny paved street, that oozes charm, lined with pretty colourful houses that will take your breath away, still one of Paris' best kept secrets.
  • Musée des Arts Forains
    Musée des Arts Forains
    Transport yourself back in time. Ride spectacular antique carousels, play ancient fair-ground games and admire colourful memorabilia.
  • Villa Olivier-Métra
    Villa Olivier-Métra
    Pretty cottages with colourful shutters line this serene leafy path with quaint personal touches added by residents who have a playful sense of humour.
  • Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève
    Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève
    A remarkable and historic reading room with its spectacular ceiling, books lining the vast long walls and rows of green reading lamps.
  • St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute
    St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute
    Hidden away on a leafy hill is the oldest Russian Orthodox Theological Institute in Western Europe.
  • Restaurant Foyer de la Madeleine
    Restaurant Foyer de la Madeleine
    Lurking deep in the cellars of L’église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine is one of Paris' best kept secrets, Restaurant Foyer de la Madeleine.
  • An Angel in Paris
    An Angel in Paris
    Soaring high above, with it's delicate wings nestled under a fourth floor balcony and yet remarkably this rare Paris secret often goes unnoticed.
  • Bibliothèque Richelieu
    Bibliothèque Richelieu
    Millions of books line the walls of this historic library under monumental ceilings and finally, it is open to the public.
  • The Secret Passage
    The Secret Passage
    This lush and adorably sweet top secret passageway is a pure delight. Let me show you where to find it and how to gain entry. But sssh ... it's our secret.
  • Passage Boudin
    Passage Boudin
    Creeping vines, colourful flower boxes and an unusual semi-circular building that would be more at home in the Mediterranean is just some things you will find.
  • Cité Florale
    Cité Florale
    A secret micro village hidden away, in a small pocket, off the beaten path in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. Discover why it is called the Floral City.
  • La Butte aux Cailles
    La Butte aux Cailles
    A secret hideway with cobbled streets, a sweet village square, interesting street art and friendly, affordable cafés, tucked away in the 13th arrondissement.
  • Rue de Mouzaïa
    Rue de Mouzaïa
    Off the beaten path, Rue de Mouzaia will make you feel blessed that you discovered this secret hideaway and it’s surrounds in the 19th arrondissement.
  • Rue des Thermopyle
    Rue des Thermopyle
    Apart from locals taking a short-cut, or Parisians on a quiet stroll, what you will find here is a wisteria filled, rustic cobbled pathway.
  • Square Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur
    Square Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur
    Hidden away behind the Hôtel du Grand Veneur in the Marais is a little known secret square with a surprising artistic connection.
  • Salvador Dali Sundial
    Salvador Dali Sundial
    Many people pass this hidden gem by Salvador Dali tucked away on the Left Bank of Paris unaware that they only need to look up.

One Response to Square Saint-Gilles Grand Veneur

  • http://Judith%20B.%20Dunn

    …so very many wonderful places to discover and explore!  I love the Musee Carnavalet, and having discovered it on day while wandering the Place des Voges… I fell in love with it!  It has some of the most interesting historical items and displays about Paris! I have taken several visitors there and they felt like they had found a real gem in Paris… and they did!  J. Dunn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.