When you walk along the busy rue des Francs Bourgeois in the Marais district, you’ll probably notice the House of Jean Hérouet. It stands out from other buildings nearby for its elegant turret. The mansion gives us a good image of civil architecture from the 16th century in Paris.
The House of Jean Hérouet: a bit of history
The house was commissioned in the beginning of the 16th century by Jean Hérouet, personal secretary of the Duke of Orléans and a royal treasurer.
Hérouet had it built entirely of stone in Gothic style.
The mansion stayed in the same family until 1582. Then it came into possession of other rich families (Pelloquin, Tillet and Villarceau).
The house was heavily restored in the 19th century. But it was left in a bad state when WW2 broke up.
The 1944 aerial bombings
Alas, it was severely damaged through Luftwaffe bombings in the night of the 26th August 1944.
The attack was catastrophic for the district. In three streets only (Francs Bourgeois, Vieille du Temple and Rambuteau), the bombs killed 66 and injured 118.
Eventually it was decided to rebuild the mansion. For many this was done without much consideration. Only the turret recalls the past of this grand house.
Today a store occupies the ground floor of the house (which cannot be visited).
The Gothic turret
The mansion is recognisable by its round turret crowned with a pointed roof.
Located at the corner of the house, the fine corbelling turret certainly draws attention. The dominant style is Flamboyant Gothic. Therefore it was designed at a time when the burgeoning of French Renaissance occurred in Paris.
Moreover, the first residents had a three-mullioned window placed there. This strategic position allowed them to oversee the neighbourhood.
Where to find the House of Jean Hérouet
The House of Jean Hérouet is located in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris, at the corner of rue Vieille du Temple and rue des Francs Bourgeois.
Closest métro stations: Rambuteau (line 11), Hôtel de Ville (lines 1, 11), Saint-Paul (line 1)
Read more about the Hérouet Mansion in French on my friend Sabrina’s blog TuParisCombien.
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