Palais de la Legion d’Honneur (also known as Palais de Salm) is the headquarters for the French Legion of Honour (founded by Napoleon), located next to the Musée d’Orsay.
Originally, the palace was built for Prince Frédéric de Salm-Kyrbourg(giving the initial name, Palais de Salm) from 1782-1788, from plans by architect Pierre Rousseau.
However, not long after, the events of the French Revolution (1789-1799) saw the palace nationalized…
…with the just-founded Legion of Honour, Legion d’Honneur (legiondhonneur.fr), acquiring (and renaming) the palace in 1804, from instructions of Napoleon (who, in fact, had founded the French order).
PHOTO: Facade for the palace, a view from Quai Anatole France, near the main entrance to Orsay art museum.
PHOTO: The statues on the facade are by Jean Guillaume Moitte and Philippe-Laurent Roland. Sphinx statue on the picture, on the Seine river side of the palace, was done inspired by the Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt.
The palace’s exteriors are from a rebuilding that was done after a fire destroyed much of the building during the Paris Commune, in 1871. The rebuilding was completed from plans by architect Anastase Mortieri.
Today, the palace includes Musée national de la Légion d’Honneur et des Ordres de Chevalerie (www.musee-legiondhonneur.fr), a national museum for the Honorary Legion.
The building also has residence for the Legion of Honour’s chancellor and official headquarters for the organization — the highest ranked order inParis and France, in fact.
Palais de la Legion d’Honneur
Address: 2, Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France
Official website: Musee-LegionDHonneur.fr
Collection highlights at the museum include…
- Napoleon’s personal medallions,
- more than 300 portrait paintings from France’s history, and
- a separate section for the history of knightly orders in countries other than France.