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The Élysée Palace, Paris, France

August 1st, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Élysée Palace (Palais de l'Élysée, located 55, rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré in Paris, not far from the Champs-Élysées), is the official residence of the President of France, where his office is located and the Council of Ministers meets.

Important foreign visitors are hosted at the nearby Hôtel de Marigny (not a hotel in the English sense, but a palatial residence.) The Élysee has somewhat large gardens, in which the president hosts a party on the afternoon of Bastille Day.

The architect Armand-Claude Mollet possessed a property fronting on the road to the village of Roule, west of Paris (now the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré), and backing onto royal property, the Grand Cours through the Champs-Élysées. He sold this in 1718 to Henri-Louis de la Tour d'Auvergne, comte d'Évreux, with the agreement that Mollet would construct an hôtel particulier for the count, fronted by an entrance court and backed by a garden. The Hôtel d'Évreux was finished and decorated by 1722, and though it has undergone many modifications since, it remains a fine example of classic Régence style. At the time of his death in 1753, d'Évreux was the owner of one of the most widely admired houses in Paris.

Though it was first officially used by the government of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Hôtel d'Évreux was formally purchased for Louis XVIII in 1816. Under the provisional government of the Second Republic it took the name of the Elysée National and was assigned to the President of the Republic as official residence. In 1853, after his coup d'état that ended the Republic, Napoleon III charged the architect Joseph-Eugène Lacroix with renovations that carried on until 1867. Since then the essential look of the Palais de l'Élysée has remained the same.

The President also has the use of several other official residences, including a chateau at Rambouillet, a few miles outside Paris, and the Fort de Bregancon near Marseille in the south of France.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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