If the romance of Victor Hugo’s novels, such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame or Les Misérables, has captured your imagination, you’ll love visiting the Maison de Victor Hugo in Paris. This intimate museum is located in the southeast corner of beautiful Place des Vosges. Stroll around the square to number 6 and look up to the second floor to see the windows where Hugo once lived.
The buildings surrounding the Place des Vosges were inaugurated in 1612 in honor of Louis XIII’s wedding to Anne of Austria, and they’ve always been a fashionable address in Paris. Victor Hugo moved into a 3,000 square foot apartment in October 1832 with his wife Adele, and it is here that Hugo wrote much of his most famous work Les Misérables and many other important works. The entire building was converted into a museum dedicated to Hugo’s life and works, and is now managed by the City of Paris.
Inside the museum, visitors can explore a reception hall with family portraits, a salon with an impressive collection of Chinoiserie, or Chinese style art and design, a family dining room, and Hugo’s bedroom with his original writing desk.
Hugo’s creativity and passion extended well beyond writing, and the museum displays some of his drawings and the Gothic-style furniture he designed. It’s such an unique experience to be so close to where Hugo lived and to see the moments of daily life frozen in time. Hugo had the unusual preference to write standing up, and you can see how high his writing desk was compared to a nearby chair.
The Maison de Victor Hugo museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Closed Mondays and holidays. The audio guided self-tour is only 5 Euros and provides a lot of information. The museum is open on Sunday afternoons, which is a lovely time for strolling in the Marais, since many of the shops are open (a rarity for Paris). Click here for more information on the museum, which can be can be reached easily from three métro stops, Saint Paul, Chemin Vert, or Bastille.
Thank you to Mary Ann Grisham for contributing this excellent blog post!