Reminiscing in the Parlor : Leisurely Viewing Stereographs
Staircase of the Hotel de Ville, Paris, France
Processing Method:
Albumen Print
Print Size:
7 x 3.438
One tissue stereograph of the Staircase of the Hotel de Ville, Paris, France. The photograph shows a large, grand, double staircase. On the front there is a decorative embossed edge around the photographs. The back has the initials "M.F.H," and the name of the site. This stereograph is part of a number of tissue cards, several dated 1877, and seems to have been from a grand tour of England, Germany, Italy and France.
e Hôtel de Ville (French for "City Hall") in Paris, France, is the building housing the City of Paris's administration. Standing on the place de l'Hôtel de Ville (formerly the place de Grève) in the city's IVe arrondissement, it has been the location of the municipality of Paris since 1357.

During the Franco-Prussian War, the building played a key role in several political events. On October 30, 1870, revolutionaries broke into the building and captured the Government of National Defence, while making repeated demands for the establishment of a communard government. The existing government was rescued by soldiers who broke into the Hôtel de Ville via an underground tunnel built in 1807, which still connects the Hôtel de Ville with a nearby barracks. On January 18, 1871, crowds gathered outside the building to protest against speculated surrender to the Prussians, and were dispersed by soldiers firing from the building, who inflicted several casualties. The Paris Commune chose the Hôtel de Ville as its headquarters, and as anti-Commune troops approached the building, Commune extremists set fire to the Hôtel de Ville. The blaze gutted the building, leaving only a stone shell.

The reconstruction of the building was directed by architects Théodore Ballu and Pierre Deperthes following an architectural contest. They rebuilt the interior of the Hôtel de Ville within the stone shell that had survived the fire. While the rebuilt Hôtel de Ville is from the outside a copy of the 16th century French Renaissance building that stood before 1871, the new interior was based on an entirely new design, with ceremonial rooms lavishly decorated in the 1880s style.

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