The Paris City Hall, commonly called the Hôtel de Ville, is the building which has housed the municipal institutions of Paris (France) since 1357. It is located on Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, in the 4th arrondissement of Paris on the Seine river.

This site is served by the Hôtel de Ville and Châtelet metro stations.

Its total surface area is 55,000 m2.


In July 1357, Étienne Marcel, provost of the merchants (i.e. mayor) of Paris, bought the so-called maison aux piliers (“House of Pillars”) in the name of the municipality on the gently sloping shingle beach which served as a river port for unloading wheat and wood and later merged into a square, the Place de Grève (“Strand Square”), a place where Parisians often gathered, particularly for public executions. Ever since 1357, the City of Paris’s administration has been located on the same location where the Hôtel de Ville stands today. Before 1357, the city administration was located in the so-called parloir aux bourgeois (“Parlour of Burgesses”) near the Châtelet.

In 1533, King Francis I decided to endow the city with a city hall which would be worthy of Paris, then the largest city of Europe and Christendom. He appointed two architects: Italian Dominique de Cortone, nicknamed Boccador because of his red beard, and Frenchman Pierre Chambiges. The House of Pillars was torn down and Boccador, steeped in the spirit of the Renaissance, drew up the plans of a building which was at the same time tall, spacious, full of light and refined. Building work was not finished until 1628 during the reign of Louis XIII.

During the next two centuries, no changes were made to the edifice which was the stage for several famous events during the French Revolution. On 14 July 1789, the last provost of the merchants Jacques de Flesselles was murdered by an angry crowd. On 27 July 1794, Maximilien Robespierre attempted to commit suicide following a coup and was arrested along with his followers.

In 1835, on the initiative of Rambuteau, préfet of the Seine département, two wings were added to the main building and were linked to the facade by a gallery, to provide more space for the expanded city government. The architects were Étienne-Hippolyte Godde and Jean-Baptiste Lesueur.


The main facade, with a length of 143 meters and a height of 18.80 meters (26.80 meters for that of the corner pavilions and 50 meters for the campanile), includes a central avant-corps corresponding to the ancient monument built during the Renaissance. It rises at its ends into two pavilions, each flanked by a square corbelled turret, in which two access doors to the courtyards are pierced, closed by wrought iron gates, bearing the arms of the City of Paris. This central body and its two pavilions are widened on each side by a small wing set back six meters which ends in a corner pavilion.

Address: Pl. de l’Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris, France


Tuesday 10 AM–7 PM
Wednesday 10 AM–7 PM
Thursday 10 AM–7 PM
Friday 10 AM–7 PM
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed
Monday 10 AM–7 PM

Phone: +33 1 42 76 40 40

Main facts

Architectural styles: Renaissance Revival architecture, French Renaissance architecture
Architects: Théodore Ballu, Domenico da Cortona, Paul Abadie, Jean-Baptiste Lesueur, Édouard Deperthes
Completed: 1357; 1533 (expansion); 1892 (reconstruction)

See more:

20 arrondissements of Paris

Architecture of Paris

Museums of Paris

Entertainment in Paris

Bridges in Paris

Parks in Paris

Streets and squares in Paris

Shopping in Paris

Transport in Paris

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