Maison de Victor Hugo – Victor Hugo’s Apartment in Paris

The Maison de Victor Hugo Shows the Boundless Creative Talent of this Writer:

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Chinese Living Room in the Maison de Victor Hugo

Located in the south-eastern corner of Place des Vosges is the Maison de Victor Hugo, the apartment that Victor Hugo rented and lived in with his family for sixteen years. Although the richly decorated rooms that you see here are reconstructions of certain rooms of different houses occupied by Victor Hugo, they are interesting because Victor Hugo himself created and chose the decorations. The author’s life story is told through the collections of drawings, paintings, furniture, ornaments and documents in the apartment.

Victor Hugo’s Apartment

In 1832, Victor Hugo rented the second floor apartment of the 17th century townhouse known as the Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée which occupies a corner in the Place des Vosges (formerly known as Place Royale). He, his wife Adèle and their four children lived here till 1848 and this apartment is one of the two properties where he lived for the longest period, the other being Hauteville House in Guernsey.

During his time in this apartment, Victor Hugo wrote many of his successful works, including a major portion of the very popular Les Misérables. In the rooms of his apartment he also received and entertained many eminent writers, politicians and poets.

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Living Room in Maison de Victor Hugo

When Victor Hugo went into exile in December 1851, his furniture and other belongings from the apartment were put up for auction or destroyed. Luckily, some of these were bought by his good friend Paul Meurice.

Through the generosity of Paul Meurice, a devoted friend of Hugo, the Maison de Victor Hugo was created in 1902 to honour the centenary of Victor Hugo’s birth. A substantial amount of the photographs, manuscripts and mementos were donated by Paul Meurice and Hugo’s descendants.

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Juliette Drouet’s dining room in Guernsey

The rooms are organized to reflect three stages of Hugo’s life: before exile, during exile and post exile.

  • Before Exile: Antechamber (from Place Royale) and the red drawing room (Place Royale)
  • Exile : The drawing room of Juliette Drouet (Victor Hugo’s mistress) with its Chinese furniture and porcelain, Juliette Drouet’s dining room in Guernsey and Victor Hugo’s drawing room (Rue Clichy)
  • After Exile : Study (Place Royale) and Victor Hugo’s bedroom (Avenue d’Eylau)

A visit to the Maison Victor Hugo is a visual treat and shows the boundless creative talent of Victor Hugo. Not only was he an eminent poet and writer, but as we can see from the Maison Victor Hugo, he was also a DIY enthusiast as well as an interior designer. He enjoyed visiting second-hand markets

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Victor Hugo’s bedroom

during his exile in Guernsey where he would pick up bits and pieces from the markets and turn them into unique pieces of furniture. According to his diaries, he would have bought over sixty chests between 1857 and early 1858.  Victor Hugo would make sketches of his design which he then gave to his cabinetmakers in Guernsey to build.  He would create a table out of a door or make a dresser from chests, etc.  He spent months on the interior fit-outs of his Hauteville House in Guernsey and also designed the Chinese living room and dining room for Hauteville Fairy, Juliette Drouet’s house in Guernsey. This stunning Chinese living room is one of my favourite rooms at Maison de Victor Hugo.

The Maison de Victor Hugo is a must-visit for fans of Victor Hugo or anyone who admires antique ornaments, furniture and designs.

Entry to the permanent collections in the Maison de Victor Hugo is free. There are also temporary exhibitions showcasing the works of Victor Hugo at the Musée Victor Hugo, but entry fees apply to these.

See Victor Hugo’s house at our Maison de Victor Hugo gallery Here.

Open Times:
Tuesday to Sunday – from 10:00 to 18:00
Closed on Mondays and bank holidays

Entry: Permanent Collections – Free
Library by appointment only.

Address:
Maison de Victor Hugo
Hôtel de Rohan Guéménée
6, place des Vosges, 75004 Paris.
Tel. 01 42 72 10 16 Fax 01 42 72 06 64

How to Get There:
Métro: Bastille, Saint-Paul, Chemin-Vert.
Bus: 20, 29, 65, 69, 76 and 96

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