Next to place de la Bastille, on #62 rue Saint-Antoine stands a great example of French seventeenth century architecture, l‘hôtel de Sully.
You have to come in through the porch to discover its magnificence. But you can stop at the bookshop just left coming in. It sells a selection of art books and photos you can look at.
It is called after duc de Sully, a former minister of king Henry IV who bought this house, which stayed his family’s property up to mid-eighteen century. The “hôtel” was built in 1625 by Jean Androuet du Cerceau, official architect of king Louis XIII.
The first courtyard, on rue Saint-Antoine side, is paved with coble stones. It’s style is both post – Renaissance neo-classic and early baroque.
These mixed influences are obvious when you look up at the statues on the wall.
And at the female creatures guarding the door leading to the second courtyard.
The second courtyard is more like a garden.
Hotel Sully is part of the Jeu de Paume museum, which other site is in Tuileries garden.
Just beginning (March 4), the current exhibition is called” la photographie timbrée”(postmarked photography) but as “timbrée” has two meanings, it also says “nutty photography”. It is dedicated to postcards of early twentieth century.
And going out through the small door on the right side, guess what : you’re back on place des Vosges.
Hôtel de Sully, 62 rue Saint-Antoine 75004 Paris, Métro Bastille or Saint-Paul. Tel : 33 (0)1 44 61 20 20. Current exhibition : ” La photographie timbrée”. All days except Monday 12 to 19, week-ends 10 to 19, price 5 euros, up to May 18.