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Victor Hugo House in Paris; a treat for literature lovers

Victor Hugo House in Paris; a treat for literature lovers

Here at the Hotel Marais Bastille, we are within easy walking distance of the Place des Vosges, a beautiful square dating from the early 17th century. Designed and built by royal decree, it seems to embody the essence of the architectural charms of the Marais, a district steeped in history and culture. It is well worth visiting simply to sample the uniquely tranquil atmosphere of the place, but the Place des Vosges boasts an additional attraction for lovers of fine literature; it is the location of the Victor Hugo House in Paris. Victor Hugo House Paris - Photographer Dalbéra via wikimedia

A literary shrine that should not be missed

Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885) remains to this day a giant of the literary world. A poet, novelist and dramatist, he was associated with the Romantic Movement of the 19th century. Amongst his extremely prolific output, he wrote Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and Les Misérables, two of the most acclaimed novels ever published. Hugo was also noted as a humanist and a vigorous campaigner for social causes, especially those involving the impoverished and oppressed. Millions of people turned out to mourn him when he died.

Between the years 1832 and 1848, Hugo and his wife Adèle, along with their four children, lived in an apartment on the third floor of the Hôtel de Rohan Guéménée at 6, Place des Vosges (which was then known as the Place Royale). Here, prior to his exile on the island of Guernsey, he wrote a number of major works, including much of Les Misérables, and also played host to literary contemporaries such as Alexander Dumas.

Following Hugo’s death his friend and executor Paul Meurice campaigned for a memorial museum devoted to the writer, and on June 30th, 1903, La Maison de Victor Hugo was inaugurated, with a large part of the original collection donated by Meurice himself.

La Maison de Victor Hugo is a small but impeccably detailed museum devoted to the life, work and times of the writer and boasts an impressive collection of his letters, manuscripts, drawings, first editions, photographs and other personal memorabilia, including artifacts collected by the writer during his travels. Here you can gain a deep impression of how he lived and the circumstances in which he created works of genius.

Within you will see such intimate items as the writer’s own inkwell, Chinese style panels he created for his mistress, Juliette Drouet, and reconstructions of his childhood days. It’s almost like a trip back into the 19th century. There is even an effective reconstruction of the room in which he died, which was carefully recreated by the writer’s grandchildren. The permanent exhibit is free, although there may be an entrance fee for temporary exhibits.

Fans of the writer will undoubtedly love this literary shrine, but even those who are unfamiliar with his works will find this recreation of 19th century life fascinating.

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• Victor Hugo House Museum Maison de Victor Hugo, 6 Place des Vosges, Paris 4ème Subway: Bastille, lines 1, 5,8 • Place des Vosges

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Picture copyright holder: Featured picture: Tourist Office Paris - Photographer Agnès Moreau Above: By dalbera from Paris, France [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Hotel Marais Bastille, a 3 star Design hotel in the heart of Paris.

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