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Beaumarchais lived here, the most fabulous parties took place here, and great names have stayed here. Yet for more than half a century, the Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil, also known as Hôtel des Ambassadeurs de Hollande, has been left slumbering in the heart of Le Marais. This winter, a part of this incredibly unique building, recognized as one of the most beautiful in Paris, will come to life again and open its doors to the public once more.

The Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil is classified as a National Heritage Site, and its high doors carved with two gargoyle heads and the coat of arms belonging to the family that acquired the townhouse in the 17th century, give one a hint of its impressive stature that lies within. These doors open onto the Cour d’Honneur, surrounded by two buildings, where one immediately senses a breath of magic and of mystery in the air. At the entrance four sundials have kept their polychrome in spite of the years gone by.

The two ephemeral boutiques break from the traditional codes of Chanel. Each space has been left in its untouched state – exposed stone walls are bare having been simply adorned with facades of transparent glass, giving pride of place to the history of this hotel which over the centuries been witness to so many lives. The floor, with its worn appearance, is made from resin to resemble Corten steel. This desire for purity also offers a glimpse of the immense renovation in progress of these buildings and those hidden in the rear courtyard.

Like a stroll through time and history, it reminds us that a piece by Chanel is anchored in modernity and the air du temps, yet is also transmitted from one generation to the next. The Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil is one of its most beautiful showcases yet.

Chanel’s ephemeral boutique will remain open to the public until May 2017.

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