The neighbourhood

The Institut of France

The Institut-de-France-Paris-Hotel-des-Saints-Pères-Esprit-de-France

The Hôtel des Saints Pères invites you to discover this splendid establishment in the heart of the 6th arrondissement of Paris, located on the Quai de Conti, opposite the Louvre, on the left bank.

Originally a "parliament of the learned world", the Institut de France, with its palace, is a true architectural masterpiece which also shines outside Paris with the numerous donations it receives.

The "parliament of the learned world"

The Institut de France was originally a college created by Cardinal Mazarin in a palace called "le Palais de l'Institut" built opposite the Louvre, on the other side of the Seine. Its construction was entrusted to Louis Le Vau, the architect of Versailles. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in the capital, easily accessible from the Hôtel des Saints Pères. The college functioned until the French Revolution in 1795. It was not until the reign of Napoleon in 1805 that the Institut de France was created by grouping together all the academies that were then sitting in the Louvre. The idea was to bring together the best minds in the nation to form a "parliament of scholars". There were five academies:

  • L’Académie française
  • L’Académie des inscriptions et belles lettres
  • L’Académie des sciences
  • L’Académie des beaux-arts
  • L’Académie des sciences morales et politiques

The Institut is a real community of experts working to support scientific research, with prizes awarded in the domain of science, and also helping to developing talent and encouraging creation in all fields.


A rich national heritage

Within the Palais de l'Institut there are architectural marvels, starting with the remarkable dome of the chapel. The Mazarin Library, the oldest public reading library in France, holds rare works such as the printed Gutenberg Bible. The other library, that of the Institut, holds at least a million books. Outside its walls, the Institute has an impressive heritage due to the many donations it has received. These national treasures include

  • Château de Chantilly
  • Musée Marmottant
  • Musée Jacquemart-André
  • The House of Claude Monet in Giverny
  • The Greek Villa Kérylos
  • Château de Langeais
  • The House of Louis Pasteur
  • The Manoir de Kerazan
  • The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

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