Did you know that this historic building and its clock once belonged to Le Temps magazine?

Published by My de Sortiraparis · Photos by My de Sortiraparis · Published on March 11th, 2023 at 11:14 a.m.
We often pass in front of it and marvel at the beauty of its facade and its clock, but do you know the history of this building that was once the stronghold of the magazine Le Temps? We tell you...

Among the most beautiful clocks in Paris is the one in the former building of the daily newspaper Le Temps. If you look up rue des Italiens, you will be surprised by its beauty. This building, built in 1911 for the magazine Le Temps, had to have a beautiful clock. We tell you the history of the place.

The former building of the magazine Le Temps in Paris is full of history. Founded in 1861 by Auguste Nefftzer, the newspaper was inspired by the English model The Times to become a large moderate and liberal organ, open to foreigners. Although it sold for three times as much as the popular dailies, it became an irreplaceable source for its Parisian and provincial colleagues the next morning.

According to Wikipedia, it had a large audience among France's political, economic and intellectual elites, and was considered a reference for international events.

With its large, austere format, without illustrations or headlines, Le Temps established itself as a serious and impartial voice in the French media landscape. Its analyses were recognized for their rigor and impartiality, and it was often the semi-official mouthpiece of French diplomacy abroad. In domestic politics, the paper claimed to "speak the republican right" and was a firm opponent of the Second Empire and its risky foreign policy.

Le Temps had its ups and downs throughout its history. After the defeat and loss of Alsace in 1871, Nefftzer handed over the management of the newspaper to Adrien Hébrard, who consolidated its influence and made it the organ of reference of the Third Republic. In the interwar period, the paper's circulation increased, but its diplomatic positions eventually became confused with those of Great Britain. After France's defeat in 1940, Le Temps rallied to the cause of the Vichy government.

However, after the Liberation, much of public opinion regretted the absence of a serious and impartial newspaper in the new press. To compensate for this lack, Le Monde was created in December 1944, under the direction of Hubert Beuve-Méry. The new editorial staff amalgamated journalists from the former Temps and young Resistance fighters and set up shop in the rue des Italiens.

The premises of the former Le Temps magazine building in Paris were known for their elegance and prestige. They were specially built in 1911 for the newspaper, in the Art Nouveau style, with wrought iron balconies and decorative stained glass windows. The building was also equipped with a central heating system and two modern elevators.

Immeuble rue des Italiens - immeuble Le Temps - les plus bleus horloges de ParisImmeuble rue des Italiens - immeuble Le Temps - les plus bleus horloges de ParisImmeuble rue des Italiens - immeuble Le Temps - les plus bleus horloges de ParisImmeuble rue des Italiens - immeuble Le Temps - les plus bleus horloges de Paris

The premises of Le Temps were also the scene of important meetings between political, intellectual and cultural figures of the time. According to Wikipedia, personalities such as Georges Clemenceau, Émile Zola, Jean Jaurès and André Gide frequented the newspaper's offices to give interviews and exchange ideas with journalists.

However, the offices of Le Temps were also the scene of dark moments in French history. In 1940, after France's defeat by Germany, Le Temps was forced to leave Paris and retreat to Lyon, before finally ceasing publication in 1942. During the Occupation, the premises on the rue des Italiens were occupied by German forces, who used the newspaper's presses to print their own propaganda.

After the Liberation, the premises were taken over by the new editorial staff of Le Monde. When Hubert Beuve-Méry and his team moved into these premises in 1944, they inherited a place steeped in history, which symbolized both the heritage of the "big press" and that of the small quality press. The building, with its imposing Haussmannian façade and monumental clock, has become a symbol of the French press and its important role in the political and cultural life of the country.

Today, although the premises have been refurbished for other uses, they remain an important place in the history of the French press, bearing witness to the great political and cultural developments in France over the past centuries.

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
From January 1st, 2023 to December 31th, 2027

× Approximate opening times: to confirm opening times, please contact the establishment.


    5 Rue des Italiens
    75009 Paris 9


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