Essential Architecture-  Architecture in the Da Vinci Code

Hôtel Ritz Paris

architect

Jules Hardouin Mansart

location

15 Place Vendôme, Paris

date

early part of the 18th century

style

Second Empire Baroque

construction

stone

type

hotel
 
In The Da Vinci Code, the protagonist, Robert Langdon, stays here while in Paris.
The Hôtel Ritz is a hotel located at 15 Place Vendôme, in the heart of Paris, France. The building was constructed in the early part of the 18th century as a private dwelling. In 1854 it was acquired by the Péreire brothers who made it the head office of their Crédit Mobilier financial institution.


History
The façade was designed by Jules Hardouin Mansart, the creator of the "mansard" roof. Converted to a luxury hotel by César Ritz, it opened on June 1, 1898. Together with the culinary talents of minority partner Auguste Escoffier, César Ritz made the hotel synonymous with opulence, service, and fine dining.

The Hôtel Ritz consists of the Vendôme and the Cambon buildings with rooms facing Place Vendôme and on the opposite side, rooms overlooking its famous garden. The hotel became a favorite of many of the world's wealthiest people, with luxurious suites named for some of its notable patrons from the past. These include Ernest Hemingway, for whom a bar in the hotel was named, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marcel Proust, King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, Rudolph Valentino, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo plus couturier Coco Chanel who made the Ritz her home for more than thirty years.


The Ritz garden café by the Swiss artist, Pierre-Georges Jeanniot (1848-1934).

In 1979, the Ritz family sold the hotel to Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed who refurbished it and in 1988 added the Ritz-Escoffier School of French Gastronomy. The hotel was where the owner's son, Dodi Al-Fayed and his companion, Diana, Princess of Wales, had visited when employee Henri Paul drove them from the hotel and crashed in the nearby Pont de l'Alma road tunnel.

The hotel in fiction
Noel Coward's play Semi-Monde takes place in the Paris Ritz. The play follows the extravagant, promiscuous, and ultimately cyclical life of a fictional Paris elite between 1924 and 1926.

The hotel was featured in the 1966 movie How to Steal a Million, with a romantic scene between Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole in front.

A more comedic "role" was played in the 1991 movie Une époque formidable ("Wonderful Times"), where bums (Richard Bohringer and Gérard Jugnot) try to get a room, using an unforgettable verbal trick.

In the Bret Easton Ellis novel Glamorama, a group of supermodels turned terrorists plant a home-made bomb in the Hôtel Ritz Paris, resulting in the hotel's collapse.

 

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