The History of the Arvor Hotel
In the heart of the City of Lights, between Pigalle and the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette church, the Arvor hotel proudly stands on rue Laferrière, in an old dead end where the poet Stéphane Mallarmé was born in 1842. Today a charming hotel in the 9th arrondissement of Paris with a classical and elegant façade, its history is intimately linked to the life of this lively and animated cultural district, where writers, artists and lorettes, all children of a world in full upheaval, once rubbed shoulders.
A charming hotel near La Nouvelle Athènes
The cultural history of the Hotel Arvor district begins at the beginning of the 19th century, with the construction of a new housing estate on the slopes of the Saint-Georges district, below the Butte Montmartre. Composed essentially of buildings and private mansions, this new suburb built between 1820 and 1860 was inspired by Antiquity in its architectural style, revealing a pronounced taste of the architects for Hellenic culture, which was very fashionable at the time.
This is why it was baptized in 1823 “The New Athens” by the journalist Dureau de la Malle, an appellation adopted by his contemporaries that was to cross history, until becoming mythical.
Rue Laferrière is a street opened at the beginning of the 19th century, which served the stables of the private mansions of the many bankers who settled in this emerging district, in particular Place Saint-Georges, whose surroundings were gradually occupied by the “swallows’ nests” of the “Lorettes”. The Hotel Arvor, located at number 8 of this street was built around 1850 and benefited from this cultural influence, to the point of welcoming Lorettes, these elegant and flirtatious women who lived off their charms under the July Monarchy.
Lorettes and Grisettes
Emblematic figures of this neighborhood steeped in history, the Lorettes were women in search of a better life who resided primarily in the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette neighborhood, the building from which their names originated. According to the journalist and politician Emile de Girardin, they could sometimes be mistaken for duchesses, as they knew how to handle the fan. Women of the demi-monde, they were distinguished from the Grisettes, women of mediocre condition, often workers or lacemakers of profession.
They were met in this district for two reasons: first, the Lorettes took advantage of the cultural animation of the Saint-Georges district to meet and choose their new lovers. Secondly, rent prices in New Athens were very low, allowing them to live in elegant newly constructed buildings in apparent affluence, while waiting for landlords to judge the healthiness of their homes.
An intellectual and artistic district
As soon as it was built, the particular atmosphere of La Nouvelle Athènes attracted, in addition to the Lorettes, artists, actors and writers, conquered by the premises of a modernity that was just waiting to blossom. This new district became a place of intellectual ferment and was frequented by illustrious names such as Eugène Delacroix, Théodore Géricault and Frédéric Chopin, to name but a few. It even saw French Romanticism flourish within its walls, one of the major currents of the 19th century that opened the way to a subjective art, in opposition to tradition.
Even today, the 9th arrondissement of Paris is a Mecca of Parisian culture with its theaters, cinemas, opera and museums. To discover it in a place full of conviviality, witness of the past but turned towards the future, the Arvor hotel is the perfect place. By putting your bags down in one of its comfortable rooms, you will be able to explore the New Athens, the trendy South Pigalle district, or the picturesque village of Montmartre, famous for its Sacré-Coeur basilica and its Moulin Rouge. The latter is still today one of the places impossible to circumvent of the Parisian night life.