Nestled in the southwest corner of the Place des Vosges, at N°6, the Maison de Victor Hugo hosts a free museum dedicated to the life and work of the great 19th-century French figure.
Walking through the seven rooms of the writer’s home, you’ll learn about his prolific work as a novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, and artist, as well as his work as a statesman and human rights activist.
In 1832, at the age of 30, Hugo and his family settled into this large apartment on the second floor of l’Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée. The author lived and worked here for 16 years, writing some of his most-famous texts in his study, including much of Les Misérables and the beginnings of La Légendes des Siècles and Contemplations. His friends Alexandre Dumas, Honoré de Balzac, Lamartine, and other celebrated authors also frequented the home.
The first floor (one floor up) of the museum holds temporary exhibitions with drawings, documents, and manuscripts. Upstairs, on the second floor (or third floor for Americans), you’ll enter Victor Hugo’s home. Furnished and decorated to reflect the different periods in the author’s life, the apartment offers a moving, immersive experience. It’s also a bit unsettling, I must say, to get such an intimate look into the life of such a great man. Especially the astonishing and exotic “Chinese lounge”…
Admission is free, so if you’re a literature lover or fan of history like me, there’s no reason not to visit while you’re in Le Marais. I do recommend paying the 5€ for the audio guide, though—you’ll get much more out of the museum. From time to time, the first floor of the museum also hosts temporary exhibits that do charge an entry fee, but the permanent collection remains free.
Are you a fan of Victor Hugo? Get an original portrait of this iconic French figure to decorate your home or to wear with pride.