Hôtel de Condé
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Hôtel de Condé comprised almost all the terrain in the 6th arrondissement of Paris that is now enclosed within rues de Condé, Vaugirard and Monsieur-Le-Prince and the crossroads of the Odéon. The property was first built upon, in a suburban environment beyond the city walls of Philippe Auguste, by Antoine de Corbie, premier président of the Parlement de Paris. In the reign of Charles IX the property belonged to the naturalized Florentine banker Albert de Gondi, a favourite of the king. In the ruin of Philippe-Emmanuel de Gondi, father of the Cardinal de Retz, his hôtel was siezed.
In 1610, Marie de Médicis gave it to Henri II, Prince of Condé in part recompense for his agreeing to marry Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency, a former mistress of Henri IV. The hôtel was largely reconstructed by its new owner.
The Hôtel de Condé formed a vast ensemble of structures, with wings separated by narrow interior courtyards, with awkward intrusions and party walls; however, the main corps de logis opened upon an extensive parterre garden in the French manner, separated from the cour d'honneur by a fine wrought-iron railing. A series of three terraces descended to rue de Vaugirard, facing the Palais du Luxembourg. The garden was so spacious that, when it was necessary to close the Luxembourg Garden to the public, the gates of the princely residence could be opened, and the crowd could be admitted without the least encumbrage.