One thing that we find really extraordinary about Paris is the sheer number of architectural marvels that it contains. Many of these are in the form of government buildings that one might not give a second thought to.
The Monnaie de Paris (Paris Mint) is one such marvel. Situated on the left bank of the Seine across from Île de la Cité just upriver from the distinctive dome of the Institut de France, the Monnaie boasts one of the longest reverfront façades in Paris. In a city packed with beautiful façades, the Monnaie’s exterior doesn’t particularly stand out (apart from its size). But the interior is quite a different story.
A little history
The Monnaie de Paris was founded in 864 AD. Operating in two sites, one in Pessac in southwest France and the other this building in Paris, it is the oldest continuously operating mint in the world. It houses the very high tech, high security facilities for producing the French Euros today.
The current Hôtel de la Monnaie (which is open to the public) was designed by Jacques-Denis Antoine and finished in 1775. It is a key example of pre-Revolutionary Neoclassicism in Paris.
The interior detail, as you will see in the photos, is astonishing.
This is not in any way intended to be a comprehensive article on the Monnaie. In fact the Monnaie houses temporary exhibitions, Guy Savoy’s restaurant, the Monnaie de Paris shop, the 11 Conti Museum, a cafe bar, concept stores, and an architectural tour, garden and Mansart Wing. There is a lot to see.
If you are interested in visiting it, it’s probably best to start at the official website here https://www.monnaiedeparis.fr/en where you can find out about opening hours, ticket prices and other practical information.
But we do hope we have stirred your curiosity and interest enough to want to visit. It is well worth it for the architecture alone.
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Georgianna and David