☆ Private Mansions (hôtel particuliers) ☆
One has to go back to the Middle Ages to find the origins of the Parisian “hôtel”..
The residence of a powerful lord or rich bourgeois was set around an interior courtyard..
In the 16th century the U-shaped plan became the fashion: a main building, looking on to both the courtyard and the garden, was flanked by two wings..
In the 17th century, the model spread to the Marais and the faubourgs Saint-Germain and Saint-Honoré, giving rise to wonderful architectural mansions..
Although the hôtels Biron, Carnavalet, de Cluny, Dassault, Matignon, Salomon de Rothschild and de Sully are the most well-known, there are countless others to be discovered as you walk around..
☆ Hôtel de Cluny, now National Museum of the Middle Ages ☆