Built to house the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne (royal furnishings), the Hôtel de la Marine is one of two grand-scale palaces (along with the Hôtel de Crillon, now a luxury hotel) commissioned by Louis XV in the late 18th century to grace place de la Concorde. After the building was looted during the French Revolution, the French navy was headquartered here until 2015. It will open to the public from summer 2020, with guided tours providing an insight into its history.
Key events to have taken place in the building include the signing of le décret d'abolition de l'esclavage (decree of the abolition of slavery) in 1848. German troops were installed here from 1940 to 1944 during the Nazi Occupation of Paris.
When it opens, 6200 sq metres will be visitable, including its ceremonial rooms and 18th-century apartments, and an exhibition space. A ground-floor passage with a tea room, restaurants and a bookshop will connect rue Royale and rue St-Florentin.