Palais Royal

Standing opposite the Louvre, this building was constructed in the time of Richelieu. This incredible site, with its turbulent history, is a real small town in itself with gardens, theatres and institutions, all of which you can explore during your stay at the Hôtel Brighton.

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An historical landmark, the Palais Royal was the scene of historic events in the city of Paris and bears witness to Parisian life in past ages, as in its theatre, the Comédie Française, where Molière is the presiding spirit. 

The turbulent history of Palais

The Palais Royal, standing just opposite the Louvre, to the north, is a vast group of monumental buildings including the palace, the gardens, the galleries and a theatre, as well as different administration buildings. Built by Richelieu in 1624, the "Cardinal Palace" as it was nicknamed, was the residence of Anne of Austria and of the young Louis XIV during the events of the Fronde. It was at this period that it was named "Palais-Royal". Philippe, Duke of Orléans, also nicknamed "Philippe-Egalité" and the father of the King Louis-Philippe, inherited the palace just before the French Revolution. Boutiques, theatres and cafes proliferated, to the joy of the rioters. Philippe-Egalité saw it as a means to inherit power. The palace became a famous meeting place for French society festivities. In 1871, the building was given over to several of the Republic's institutions, and today houses the Council of State, the Constitutional Council, the Culture Ministry and the Comédie FrançaiseThe Palais Royal Courtyard was redesigned by Daniel Buren at the request of François Mitterrand in 1986. The project, called Les Deux Plateaux, was strongly criticised, and is made up of different black and white cylinders of various heights. The title of the work is enigmatic but may suggest the two pans of a scale, the symbol of Freemasonry, which was dear to Philippe-Egalité.

The theatre and the Place Palais Royal near the Hôtel Brighton 

Founded in 1637, also by Richelieu, the theatre was taken over by Molière in 1660. Later, Lully created an opera house with a music academy that was unfortunately demolished in 1781. It was only in 1799 that the Comédie Française moved here with its now famous Salle Richelieu. Today, plays by the greatest classic authors are performed here. Molière's plays are the most performed. In front of the Comédie Française is Place Palais Royal with its notable landmark, the work by Othoniel Le Kiosque des Noctambules, set up beside the Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre metro station. This contemporary art sculpture is made of Murano glass and aluminium.

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