In the 18th century, the next Parisian neighbourhood to take off was the Faubourg Saint Germain.
One of the main reasons nobles were attracted to this part of Paris was the construction of the Invalides, a beautiful military hospital and retirement home built by Louis XIV.
The building of the Invalides opened up a whole new area for development, which was seen as larger, quieter and less polluted than the Marais.
It also provided easier access to Versailles.
Many of these spectacular townhouses still exist today, and have been repurposed as ministries or museums.
They include the :
- Hotel Matignon (the Prime Minister's residence)
- Hotel Biron (the Rodin museum)
- Hotel de Salm (the HQ of the Legion of Honour)
- Hotel de Lassay (the President of the National Assembly's residence)
- Hotel de Brienne (the Ministry of Defence)
- Hotel du Châtelet (the Ministry of Labour)
- Hotel de Villeroy (the Ministry of Agriculture)
- Hotel de Roquelaure (the Ministry of Ecology)
- Hotel de Rochechouart (the Ministry of Education)
- Hotel de Boisgelin (the Italian embassy)
- Hotel de Galiffet (the Italian cultural institute)
- the beautiful Hotel de Bourbon-Condé (privately owned)
The Faubourg Saint Germain has remained fashionable ever since.
It is one of the main locations described in Proust's famous novel A la Recherche du Temps Perdu.