Look across the façade of the Hôtel de Ville to see intricately carved statues and a dark, imposing clock tower. Step inside and stroll beneath lavish chandeliers. Admire exquisite painted ceilings as well as works by some of France’s most renowned artists.
Originally constructed in the 16th century by King Francois I, the Hôtel de Ville was largely destroyed during the Paris Commune of 1871. Architects Theodore Ballu and Edouard Deperthes restored the structure to its former glory several years later, decorating it with neo-Renaissance styling. Visit this striking building, now used as the seat of the city council and as a space for local exhibitions.
Stand in the square in front of the hall and marvel at the long main façade. Along the cream-colored exterior, rows of squared windows sit above arched entranceways. Get closer to view the 108 stone figures that represent historical, illustrious Parisians. Above these is the iconic black clock tower. Notice several feminine statues positioned around the clock, symbolizing the Seine River and Paris as a city.
Inside make your way up a wide, flowing staircase to the ballroom. The function room is a replica of the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles and it is illuminated by giant crystal chandeliers. Check out the regular exhibitions held throughout the year, featuring national and international art. Ask at the reception desk to find out what coincides with your visit.
The Hôtel De Ville is in the center of Paris, close to the banks of the River Seine. Walk from your hotel or hop on the metro. The site has a small admission fee. Book a guided tour in advance. Visit the square in front of the hall to enjoy an ice rink during the winter and an artificial beach during the summer, perfect for sunbathing or games of volleyball and soccer.