7th arrondissement of Paris
The maps and aerial photographs below illustrate material about 7th arrondissement of Paris. The 7th arrondissement of Paris is one of the 20 arrondissements (administrative districts) of the capital city of France. It includes some of the major tourist attractions of Paris, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Hôtel des Invalides (Napoléon's resting place), and a concentration of such world-famous museums as the Musée d'Orsay, Musee Rodin, and the Musée du quai Branly.
Situated on the Rive Gauche—the "Left", or Southern, bank of the River Seine—this central arrondissement, which includes the historical aristocratic neighbourhood of Faubourg Saint-Germain, contains a number of French national institutions, among them the French National Assembly and numerous government ministries. It is also home to many foreign diplomatic embassies, some of them occupying outstanding Hôtels particuliers.
The arrondissement is home to the French upper class since the 17th century, when it became the new residence of French highest nobility. The district has been so fashionable within the French aristocracy that the phrase le Faubourg—referring to the ancient name of the current 7th arrondissement—has been used to describe French nobility ever since. France's 2nd richest district in average income and Paris' 1st, this arrondissement is part of Paris Ouest, alongside the 6th, 8th, 16th arrondissements and Neuilly, and is usually considered the most aristocratic district of the area.
During the 17th century, French high nobility started to move from the central Marais, the then-aristocratic district of Paris where nobles used to build their urban mansions (see Hotel de Soubise) to the clearer, less populated and less polluted Faubourg Saint-Germain that soon became the new residence of French highest nobility.
The district became so fashionable within the French aristocracy that the phrase le Faubourg has been used to describe French nobility ever since. The oldest and most prestigious families of the French nobility built outstanding residences in the area, such as the Hôtel Matignon, the Hôtel de Salm, or the Hôtel Biron.
After the Revolution many of these mansions, offering magnificent inner spaces, many receptions rooms and exquisite decoration, were confiscated and turned into national institutions. The French expression "les ors de la Republique" (literally "the golds of the Republic"), referring to the luxurious environment of the national palaces (outstanding official residences and priceless works of art) comes from that time.
During the Restauration, the Faubourg recovered its past glory as the most exclusive high nobility district of Paris and was the political heart of the country, home to the Ultra Party. After the Fall of Charles X, the district lost most of its political influence but remained the center of French upper class' social life.