This palace is in front of the Pont de la Concorde (1790), creating a symmetrical relationship with the Madeleine. Today it is the seat of the National Assembly. It is the work of four architects: Giardini began it in 1722, Lassurance continued its construction, and Aubert and Gabriel completed it in 1728.
It was originally built for the daughter of Louis XIV, the Duchess of Bourbon, who gave her name to the palace.
In 1764 it became the property of the Prince of Conde and was extended to its present dimensions. Napoleon had the facade built by Poyet between 1803 and 1807. On the portico is an allegorical pediment (Cortot, 1842). The other allegorical bas reliefs on the wings are by Rude and Pradier.
Interior. It contains a wealth of works of art. Between 1838 and 1845 Delacroix decorated the Library with paintings illustrating the History of Civilisation. Also in the Library are busts of Diderot and Voltaire, sculpted by Houdon.
We now walk along the typical Rue de Lille which, along with Rue de Varenne, Rue Grenelle and Rue de I’Universite, still preserves the spirit of the Faubourg St-Germain of former times.
PALAIS DE LA LEGION D’HONNEUR – In Rue de Lille no. 64, this building was constructed by the architect Rousseau in 1787 for the Prince de Salm and burnt down in 1871 during the period of the Commune; it was rebuilt in its original form in 1878. Headquarters since 1804 of the order of the Legion of Honour (instituted by Napoleon in 1802), it has a majestic portal and a colonnaded courtyard. The building contains the Museum of the Legion of Honour, containing many relics and documents related to the order created by Napoleon and other European orders of chivalry.
Alongside this building is the Gare d’Orsay, a railway station built in 1900 but today almost completely in disuse. Continuing along the Seine, we reach the picturesque bridge, the Pont des Arts, in front of the Louvre: it is the city’s first iron bridge, and is now open only to pedestrians.