As many places of power in Paris, you can visit the Ministry of Justice for European Heritage Days. Head to the Place Vendôme to discover the place of work of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Eric Dupond-Moretti. The Hôtel de Bourvallais (housing the ministry) is almost invisible to tourists: and to be honest, eyes are more attracted by the Colonne Vendôme and the Hôtel du Ritz.
And yet, this is where the chancellors and the Attorneys General then have been living and working for 250 years. Or to put it another way, the building is filled with secrets to reveal. Expert eyes will find symbols of justice hidden a bit everywhere. There are six of them: the balance, hinting at the weight of actions; the Gladius sword, a decision weapon; the shield, a passive weapon to which we owe strength and victory; the scepter, extension of the arm, symbol of power and authority; as well as the hand, a tool of control; and the snake, symbolizing prudence.
The tour will take you to the different lounges of the private mansion, to the royal library, the office of the Attorney General, and minister of the justice! If you had to take a look to one item it is the press to make the seals. Yes, in France, the “Garde des Sceaux” (Attorney General in English) is the person making the seals to seal laws and other major reforms. The object is discreet but has a strong meaning. The latest affixing of a seal goes back to March 2002 with the law on parity.
Another magnificent decoration element is a tapestry from the Gobelins inspired by Raphael, adorning a stairway. It shows Apollo – God of Beauty, Light, Arts, and Divination – playing the 9-string violin at the top of the Mont Parnasse. He is surrounded by 9 muses and 18 poets. This is a wonderful place to visit at least once in a lifetime.
Please note that this year’s visit will be completed upon booking for the best touring conditions. You can sign up from September 8. Save the date!
European Heritage Days 2020 Program in Paris and the Ile-de-France Region:
And to get your bearings more easily, we've made you some themed guides:
Dates and Opening Time
From 19 September 2020 to 20 September 2020
75001 Paris 1
Horaires : 9h-18h samedi, 9h-17h dimanche