PAN Paris

Hôtel de la Païva – Guided Tour in French

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  • December 15, 2019
    11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Located at 25 avenue des Champs Elysees, the Hôtel de la Païva was the home of the Marquise de la Païva, a famous 19th-century courtesan. Built in the decade from 1856-66 by the architect Pierre Manguin, this mansion is the sole remaining example of the magnificent palaces that once lined the Champs Élysées. It is a remarkable and rare example of the Second Empire‘s architecture and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage monument. It was decorated by the greatest artists of the time in Renaissance style. The Hôtel de la Païva, with its large yellow onyx staircase, Moorish-style bathroom, sculptures, paintings, and a ceiling by Paul Baudry, is a unique place.


The property is where the self-styled Marquise de la Païva, or “La Païva”, seduced rich and famous men including English lords, while claiming to be an aristocrat. In fact Esther Lachmann was from Polish peasant stock and fabricated her background while breaking into London and Paris society at the height of the Victorian era.

She married the wealthy Portuguese Marquis de la Païva, who helped her build the Païva mansion. But she soon grew bored with her Marquis, divorcing him so as to marry the equally rich Prussian Count Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck, who was 12 years her junior.

This enabled her to add features to the mansion, including a hand-carved staircase made of gold marble and onyx imported from Algeria. When La Païva died in 1884, her German husband kept her body intact in embalming fluid and used to cry over it every night.

PAN has reserved a limited number of places in this tour @23€. To sign up, please pay above.


Meet-up at 10:50 at the following address: 25 avenue des Champs Elysées Paris 8

M° Franklin Roosevelt

Bus 83




25 avenue des Champs Elysées, Paris, 75008