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 is proudly located on rue Laferrière, in an old and private passageway where the poet Stéphane Mallarmé was born in 1842. Today, a charming hotel in the 9th arrondissement of Paris with a classic and elegant façade, links the history of the area with the life of the animated cultural district it has evolved into. A district where writers, artists and lorettes, all children of a world in full revolution, 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 neighbourhood steeped in history, the Lorettes were women in search of a better life who lived mainly in the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette district, from which their names originated. According to the journalist and politician Emile de Girardin, they could sometimes be mistaken for duchesses, because they knew how to handle a fan. Being women of the demi-monde, they differed from the Grisettes, women of mediocre status, often workers or lace makers by profession.

They were both established in this area for two reasons: firstly, the Lorettes took advantage of the cultural life of the Saint-Georges district to meet people and to choose their new lovers. Secondly, the rent in New Athens was very low, allowing them to live in elegant and newly constructed buildings, in apparent affluence, while waiting for the landlords to judge the healthiness of their dwellings.

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 alike, conquered by the premises of a modernity that was just waiting to blossom. This new district became a hotspot of intellectual activity and was frequented by such 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 movements of the 19th century that opened the way to a subjective art, in opposition to tradition.

Even today, the 9th arrondissement of Paris is the centre of Parisian culture with its theatres, cinemas, the opera, and its many museums. To discover all the district has to offer whilst staying in a comforting place, witnessing the past being 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 La Nouvelle Athènes, the trendy South Pigalle district, or the picturesque village of Montmartre famous for its Sacré-Coeur basilica and the Moulin Rouge. The Moulin Rouge is still one of the most popular places in the Parisian nightlife scene.