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Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris On Ile de la Cité


The Notre-Dame Cathedral,
a masterpiece of Gothic architecture is the most visited monument in France.
It is one of the most famous monuments in France. Built on Ile de la Cité, majestic and elegant, it stays up Paris for almost a thousand years. As one of the most prestigious architectural work in Paris, it provides Parisians with a constant creative inspiration.
The construction work begun in the 12th century. In a context of demographic, political and commercial expansion of the city, Maurice de Sully, Bishop of Paris, proposed to build a cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary in place of the Saint-Étienne church.
The last stone was officially laid in 1163 in the presence of Pope Alexander III. In the following centuries, the cathedral underwent several works to enlarge or restore it.




Saint-Étienne cathedral works were carried out at different times in the eastern part of Ile de la Cité, where Notre-Dame Cathedral is actually located.

Inside, the naves were separated by marble columns and the walls were covered with mosaics.

Saint-Étienne Cathedral has been regularly maintained and repaired, which allow it resist to withstand wars and the wear and tear of time. However, in the middle of the 12th century under the reign of Louis VII, Bishop Maurice de Sully made an extremely important decision: to build a new cathedral in place of Saint-Étienne, longer and higher than the old one.


It houses five naves, 37 chapels, three rosettes 13 meters in diameter, 113 windows and some 75 columns or pillars. It was known as many as 17 bells, but several were broken or melted down during the Revolution. Today there are only five left. Four of them are in the North Tower and the fifth, located in the South Tower. Several Christ, Mary and St. Louis ‘relics, including the Holy Crown the crown of thorns worn by Jesus before his crucifixion), lie here.
The western rosette, unique among the rosettes of all the cathedrals of France.



Its construction, begun under Bishop Maurice de Sully, lasted more than two centuries, from 1163 to the middle of the 14th century. The construction was completed in 1345.
The two rosettes that embellish each of the transept’s arms are one of the largest in Europe, each measuring thirteen meters in diameter.
Under the balustrade, there is the wide horizontal band of the gallery of kings. It features twenty-eight statues representing twenty-eight generations of kings of Judah.
In 1793, the Revolutionaries beheaded all these kings in response to their rejection of the monarchy, mistakenly believing that they were the kings of France. Seriously damaged during the French Revolution, the cathedral was restored in the 19th century by the architect Viollet-le-Duc.



In the Spring 2013, a hive has been installed on the Notre-Dame de Paris sacristy roof, in order to be involved in the preservation of dynamic biodiversity and to recall the man’s responsibility towards the nature. This hive was donated by Nicolas Géant, beekeeper, who already has many hives on the rooftops of Paris.
Despite the influx of tourists, the cathedral retains its religious functions. Nearly 13 million visitors and pilgrims visit it every year. Most of them are brave enough to climb the 387 steps that separate them from one of the most beautiful views of Paris.

Every Sunday at 6:30 pm, Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral hosts a Sunday Mass.

Since October 2017, Notre Dame de Paris is doing a light show for all Paris Guest every year.
Our expert concierge service at Guest Apartment Services Paris is very pleased to recommand this event and book tickets for our guests staying with us during this week performance.


Notre-Dame de Paris offers a building tour adapted made up of volunteers trained by the cathedral.  This tour, lasts about an hour (or less for the youngest), you will find audioguides at the reception desk in the cathedral.
These visits are free of charge and no reservations are possible.


Open from 8am to 6:45pm (7:15pm on Saturdays and Sundays)
You can visit the cathedral’s treasury every day from 9.30am to 6pm (these times may change during special occasions).

  ♦  6 parvis Notre-Dame – Place Jean-Paul II
75004 Paris
• Subway – Cité
• RER – Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame

 ♦   +33 (0) 1 42 34 56 10

 ♦   mailto:[email protected]

Hotel Lambert On Ile Saint Louis

It is considered as one of the “jewels of the 17th century”, the Hotel Lambert is located on Quai d’Anjou, at the east of Ile Saint-Louis, in Paris.

It is one of the best preserved most beautiful private mansions of that period.


It was built in 1639 by Louis Le Vau (Vaux le Vicomte and Versailles architect) for Jean-Baptiste Lambert, King Louis XIII councilor and secretary.
After Jean Baptiste Lambert death, his brother Nicolas Lambert de Thorigny inherited the Hotel Lambert. In 1732, the hotel is acquired by the farmer-general Claude Dupin, then by the Châtelet marchioness in 1739 who sold it again in 1745 to the farmer-general Martin de La Haye.
In 1843, the private mansion was bought by Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski, member of the powerful family of Polish magnates, became his palatial residence in central Paris, surrounded by the natural ‘moat’ of the river Seine, lent its name to his political faction. He and his brother, Konstanty Adam, were leaders of the liberal aristocratic faction of the Great Emigration from Poland.
Prince Adam gave luxurious parties at the hotel Lambert and it became a cultural Polish home, where one met George Sand, Honoré de Balzac or Chopin who played the piano.
En 1862, the hotel is classified as a historic monument. This hotel remained as it was, exception of the internal decoration.
In the post-war years, it was inhabited by the comedienne Michèle Morgan, but also by the Chilean billionaire Arthuro Lopez-Willshaw, and the well-known Alexis de Redé.


Hotel Lambert in 1900


In 1975 it became the current property of the Rothschild family which modernized it and added more bathrooms and 3 elevators.
The baron and the baroness Guy de Rothschild purchased and furnished it splendidly. They lived a brilliant life there, hosting intellectuals, famous personalities and artists.
One of the floors of the hotel is rented to one of their friends, the baron of Redé, who also gave memorable parties.


In 2007, after Guy de Rothschild death, the hotel is sold by his son to the brother of the Qatar emir, Abdallah Bin Khalifa-Al-Thani, who wished to modernize it.
The Qataris wanted to make a big luxury residence with an elevator for cars, which had sparked a controversy.
In July 2013 an important fire broke out in the attic and made numerous damages in particular in the last floors and the roof, which collapsed on “Cabinet des Bains” painted by Eustache Le Sueur.

The restoration works continued and the outside of the building was finished in February, 2018.



In the 17th century, Voltaire met her mistress, the marchioness of the Châtelet at the Lambert Hotel and later Jean Jacques Rousseau has been hired as secretary by Madam Dupin, the hotel new owner wife.

Guest Apartment Services Paris is honored to manage several exclusive properties
located just next to this prestigious address, the Hotel Lambert.

Sources et crédits: Wikipédia, Paris1900 l’art nouveau, Paris-promeneur, la Tribune de l’art, Paristoric

Hotel de Lauzun

The Hotel de Lauzun is a 17th-century noble town house, located on Quai d’Anjou, on Ile Saint-Louis, in Paris, where Guest Apartment Services runs several luxury properties.

Among the few Parisian hotels, it is the only one that preserved its rich carved, painted, mirrored and gilded interiors from Louis XIV era.

Also, it is the only private noble town house open to the public.


The Hotel de Lauzun was initially built by a wealthy financier, Charles Gruyn des Bordes, the son of a successful inn-keeper.

Gruyn des Bordes purchased the lot in 1641, but by the time he was ready for the construction, he had new neighbours to copy on Ile Saint-Louis, namely, the Hotel Lambert de Thorigny.

The owner was discreet about the Hotel construction. Today we don’t know exactly the name of the architect even although one mention the name of Charles Chamois. Gruyn who had Nicolas Fouquet as a patron shared in its disastrous fall.

Then the next owner was Antoine Nompar de Caumont, Duc de Lauzun, who is famous for his love affair with Louis XIV’s cousin La Grande Mademoiselle. Lauzun enriched many of the interiors and sold the Hotel in 1683.
The Hotel de Lauzun passed on to Cardinal Mazarin great niece, who run away from the convent of Chaillot with the Marquis de Richelieu and met up with him in London. In 1709 the Marquis de Richelieu sold the house to Pierre-François Ogier, who enriched its interiors.
In the 18th century, the Hotel de Lauzun retained its aristocratic owners until the French Revolution.

During that troubled period, the estate, like many others in the neighborhood, had its upstairs rooms and attics divided into apartments, rented by successful artisans.

 In the 1840s, when the Hotel (now known as Hotel Pimodan) belonged to the bibliophile and collector, baron Jérôme Pichon, the upstairs apartments were rented to the poet Charles Baudelaire (in 1843, for 350 francs) and the writer Théophile Gautier. While residing there, Baudelaire wrote the first poems of Les Fleurs du Mal.


 During the 19th century

By the middle of the 19th century, the banker Baron Jérôme Pichon became the Hotel owner. He restored it partially and house there his art collections.

The Hotel took the name of Hotel de Lauzun, in reference to the Duke whom Mr Pichon was an admirer.

In 1899, the City of Paris became for 300 000 Francs, the owner of the Hotel de Lauzun. She wished to settle a 17th century decorative arts museum there.

But in 1905, the Parisian municipality resold the Hotel to the grandson of Jérôme Pichon, Louis Pichon.
In1906, the Hotel de Lauzun is classified as historic monument. In 1928, Louis Pichon sold the Hotel to the City of Paris for 4 million Francs.

Since 2013 the Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Paris (IEA), a research institute in social science, hosts symposiums or conferences in the building.

If today everybody can admire the reception hall of the first floor with its beams and its big marble fireplace or the beautiful apartment of the second floor,

thanks to the Baron Jérôme Pichon, and his nephew Louis, who, 150 years ago, saved this precious vestige of the Great Century.

The most famous ice-cream in Paris


Since the mid-fifties, gourmands – Parisians and tourists – have been hurrying to sample the artisanal creations of the ice-cream maker’s Berthillon. Launched by Raymond Berthillon the brand produces nearly 1,000 liters of ice cream and sorbets every day.
The house located on the Ile Saint-Louis in Paris was first a café-hotel before becoming one of the most important ice-cream makers of the capital. Salted butter caramel ice cream, Tiramisu or chocolate, wild strawberry sorbet, wild blackberry or raspberry rose, many amazing fragrances have been on the menu for more than 60 years.


Raymond Berthillon was born on December 9th 1923 in Burgundy.
His parents ran a bakery and, after leaving school, he joined the family business.
He married and moved with his wife to his in law’s café-hotel, located at 29 Rue Saint Louis en l’Ile.
In the family hotel, his work as a pastry cook became boring.
One day he bought fruits in Les Halles and started to make ice-cream for the neighborhood’s children.
His reputation started with the word to mouth through families and friends.
Later on the hotel rooms were eliminated to make space for production facilities, including a “laboratory” which has, over the years, come up with more than 70 flavours of ice cream and sorbets


It was only in 1961, when the food critics Henri Gault and Christian Millau enthused about “this astonishing ice cream shop hidden in a bistro on the Ile Saint-Louis” in the first edition of their eponymous guide, that Berthillon became famous.
It acquired a cult following among foodies as much for the rarity of its products as for their taste.

He proposed daily flavours (ranging from standards like strawberry and vanilla to the more exotic liquorice and rhubarb, or foie gras and lavender) depended on the fresh ingredients available. For many years it was Berthillon’s habit to get up at 4.30am every day to take delivery of fresh milk, cream and eggs from Normandy or visit the wholesale market at Les Halles.


Today, the company expanded and now the whole family help Raymond Berthillon to make and sell ice-cream.
Next to the ice-cream boutique a tearoom has been created to propose Muriel Delpuech (Berthillon’s granddaughter) cake’s creations like her famous Tarte Tatin.
What makes the success of the house and its notoriety ever shaken is his love for home-made, family development and use of natural products. “Everything is artisanal. For example, the caramel and salted butter fragrance is prefabricated for professionals, but we select and work on the ingredients ourselves, “says Raymond Berthillon’s granddaughter, who now runs the shop with her mother.

For half a century, Berthillon specialties are:


Berthillon is still innovating to surprise and satisfy with its amazing flavors, from the most classical to the most original ice-cream.


The last invention of Berthillon’s company is a vegan ice-cream creation with almond’s milk and no gluten and additives :


The founder Raymond Berthillon died in 2014 at 90 years.


This home-made know-how is extending beyond the parent company, which since the 70s, got used to credit note of the retailers – chocolate makers, delicatessens or restaurants – to extend his products.
They are about hundred and ten in Ile-de-France, of which seven only on the Ile Saint-Louis! A chance of a lifetime for these coffees and shops which have only to post the initials “Berthillon” to attract the crowds and sell in the heart of summer hundreds of ice-cream at the hour.

According to the guide The Ten Best of Everything, The Ultimate Guide for Travelers, “Berthillon” is being part of the ten best ice-cream maker in the world”. The shop attracts a lot of tourists as well as celebrities resident of the Ile Saint Louis.

If you come on the Ile Saint Louis you absolutely have to stop at the ice-cream boutique “Berthillon” to taste the world most famous ice creams.
However, you will have to be patient in a line that sometimes can last a 45 minutes waiting.


Sources et crédits:, Télé, et « Ils ont fait l’Ile Saint Louis » de Brice Payen

A Famous wine shop on Ile Saint Louis

The first and the oldest chain of wines in France, has opened on the Ile Saint Louis
in the 19th Century, under the reign of King Louis the 18th.


The story began when, at that time, wine was drunk on the spot, in cabarets or wine shops.
To drink some wine at home, the unique option was to buy a barrel at a wine merchant or by a producer
In 1822 Louis Nicolas invented a new wine sales concept that was going to revolutionize all the consumer habits: the wine bottle.
He opened his first wine cellar on the Ile Saint Louis.


Louis Nicolas, who first worked in sales and then in the wine bottle delivery to the individuals created the Company Nicolas. His trade was flourishing and he decided to multiply the shop’s opening, which reached the number of 45 in 1900 and 138 in 1919.
Then he created various services as the home delivery in 1840, the availability of cool wines in 1988.



Nicolas was also a precursor in using the advertising. From 1922, posters presented Nectar, the delivery man carrying 32 bottles. Between the two world wars, the most famous illustrators competed to reinvent Nectar’s character.
One of the posters, created by Cassandre, is exposed at the MoMA in New York.


Bought by the Rémy Martin group in 1984, the brand passed in the Castel group in 1988.
The success of the brand was developed with a strong distribution network, especially present in Ile-de-France area, by opening 300 shops between 1988 and 2012.
Convinced by its traditional brand potential, Nicolas extended its network, largely very Parisian, developing it in other regions: about 300 shops opened in 24 years.
In 2018, the wine merchant runs 498 shops in France and more than fifteen worldwide.


The company sells mainly wines and champagnes but also spirits.
In 1966, Nicolas was one of the pioneers selling the Beaujolais Nouveau on large-scale.
In 1995 the group launched a local wine range “Les Petites Récoltes” which proposed a lower price selection than the other one sold by the company.
In 2016, the company created the e-reservation and extended its range with “Les Grumes” and “Cub’Collection”
Over the years, Nicolas became one of the best wine merchants in France. The one located on the Ile Saint Louis is recommended by Guest Apartment Services to buy wine or champagne for any special occasion.

Sources et crédits : Wikipédia,, Capital

La Bibliothèque Polonaise de Paris

It is located on Ile Saint-Louis, in the heart of Paris, in a magnificent 17th century building.
There are preserved manuscripts, valuable archives as well as an important collection of art works.


The Poland kingdom insurrection against the Russian domination, begun in 1830 and ended in 1831 with the storming of Warsaw by the Russian army.
This defeat pushed several thousand Polish to choose the exile, largely in France: it was the beginning of the Big Emigration.
In 1832, a group of exiled created the Historical and Literary Society, headed by Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski, national leader of government during the insurrection.


Its first task was to safeguard the remaining books, documents, archives and treasures of national prime importance.
It became a historical resource center, opened for Polish and other researchers use and also for visitors.

In 1866, the Historical and Literary Society has been recognized as a public utility by Napoléon III.

It is then fixed aim “to unite into one entity and to disseminate the writings and documents on the history of Poland, present, future, this in order to maintain and strengthen the global commitment to the Polish cause”.

The Polish Library was created a few years after the Literary Society: at a time when the Polish nation was without State, it was the biggest independent cultural institution.


Entirely renovated and modernized at the beginning of the 21th century, the Polish Library of Paris welcomes the readers and the researchers who want to deepen their knowledge of the French-Polish relations and Poland history.
The Bibliotheque Polonaise of Paris has several reminder of the biggest Polish romantic poet of the 19th century, Adam Mickiewicz and the famous composer Frédéric Chopin.
The collections of the Library count 200 000 volumes, among which 50 incunabular, thousands of old books and he archives contain 5000 units of manuscripts.


Entirely renovated and modernized at the beginning of the 21th century, the Polish Library of Paris welcomes the readers and the researchers who want to deepen their knowledge of the French-Polish relations and Poland history.
The Bibliotheque Polonaise of Paris has several reminder of the biggest Polish romantic poet of the 19th century, Adam Mickiewicz and the famous composer Frédéric Chopin.
The collections of the Library count 200 000 volumes, among which 50 incunabular, thousands of old books and he archives contain 5000 units of manuscripts.


The second is the only place in France dedicated to the greatest Polish composer, Frédéric Chopin. Exiled in Paris in 1831, Chopin lived there until he died.

He was the legendary pianist of the Salle Pleyel, the ballads and the waltzes, and also the pedagogue the most admired in Paris, European capital of the romanticism.


The last one presents a choice of collections coming from the Boleslas Biegas, Polish artist, sculptor, painter and playwright, linked to the movement of the Viennese Secession.
He has lived in Paris since 1901 with his friends who were in the movement “The Feather”.
In this museum, you can find Biegas works and some are more esteemed than Rodin sculptures.


Today, the Library remains an important center of the Polish culture in France, playing at the same time the role of library, archives and museum.
Guest apartment services is proud to run several luxury properties closed by this historical library.

Sources et crédit : Bibliothèque polonaise Paris, Wikipédia, Paristoric, La Société des Amis de la Bibliothèque Polonaise de Paris.