Private mansions

The old centre of Nîmes is dotted with magnificent 16th, 17th and 18th century private mansions with charming courtyards, spectacular staircases and details borrowed from Roman architecture.

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Private mansions

Hôtel de l'Académie

The motto "NE QUID NIMIS" ("nothing to excess") on the pediment dates from the humanist sixteenth century. Although it was completed in the seventeenth century several periods of history have left their mark on the residence: Renaissance decoration can be seen in the courtyard and the oldest part of the mansion dates back to the fifteenth century.

The mansion was sold to the Académie de Nîmes in 1919 and became its headquarters. For more than four centuries, this Academy has grouped scholars of Nîmes, forming a "royal academy" whose vocation is both intellectual and humanist. In the twentieth century, its members included famous personalities such as Louis Leprince Ringuet, André Chamson, Jean Paulhan, Marc Bernard Léopold Sedar Senghor and others.

16 rue Dorée
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Hôtel de la Baume

This mansion dates back to the seventeenth century and was owned by the De la Baume family to which Louis XIV entrusted many tasks. The main entrance used to be at 9 rue des Orangers. It is now a hotel whose Grand Courtyard is dominated by a large staircase.

An entire wing of the courtyard is taken up by the spectacular staircase that serves landings and flights of secondary stairs. The landings have large arches with stone balusters. 

Today this building is Hôtel**** Marquis de la Baume
21 rue Nationale
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Hôtel de Bernis

Hôtel de Bernis is one of the oldest and finest mansions in Nîmes. The fifteenth century Gothic facade has fine mullioned windows. The seventeenth century courtyard is remarkable.

The ground floor barrel vault housed a shop in the Middle Ages. The charming inner courtyard was inspired by the arena, with arches in which a well is set. The courtyard facades were reworked during the reign of Louis XIII in the style of the Temple of Diana.
3 rue de Bernis
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Hôtel Boudon

The oval entrance hall of this eighteenth century mansion, with walls dotted with niches, leads to the garden and a hanging Grand Staircase. The ironwork banister has a décor of scrolls and curves fashionable in the eighteenth century.

The building was remodelled between 1760 and 1770. The family initial can be seen on the ironwork balcony above the ceremonial gate in the centre of the street facade.

This mansion now belongs to the City of Nîmes and part is used as municipal offices.

4 rue de Bernis

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Hôtel de Fontfroide

The plain facade of this seventeenth century mansion hides a particularly elegant courtyard. The very deep balustered staircase makes it spectacular.

Hôtel de Fontfroide is in the old Les Garrigues shopkeepers' quarter.

Here, in the eighteenth century craft production contrasted with the industrial textile industry in the north of the city and craftsmen's shops rubbed shoulders naturally with the residences of the bourgeoisie.

14 rue de l'Aspic
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Hôtel Meynier de Salinelles

This mansion is remarkably charming, with a paved courtyard, mullioned windows and a sixteenth century spiral staircase in a tower. It has belonged to the Meynier de Salinelles family since the beginning of the eighteenth century.

Antique items can be seen in the vaulted entry passage. They consist of a funerary stele and fragments of carved early Christian sarcophagi.
8 rue de l'Aspic
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Hôtel de Régis

This mansion was built in the sixteenth century and altered completely in the eighteenth century. The stone façade with windows decorated in Louis XV style and the carved door are remarkable.

The charming courtyard paved with round pebbles (calades) features two Roman funerary steles and a spiral staircase remaining from the oldest part of the building.

14 rue du Chapitre
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Hôtel Rivet

David Rivet, a silk merchant and then a ship owner established in Cadiz decided to retire to his native town. In 1786, he had a sumptuous mansion built in the restrained neo-classical style.

A kind of covered atrium with four columns leads to an extremely elegant staircase. The Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-arts de Nîmes (the Art School) has used the building since 1987. The restoration work carried out then brought a few touches of contemporary art, such as the mosaic by Bernard Pagès on the floor of the entry hall.

Grand'Rue

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Hôtel de Rozel

This seventeenth and eighteenth century mansion is in the old Méjan quarter, whose administrative and legal vocation started in the fifteenth century. 

The street façade is regular, with a luxurious entrance framed with sunk draft stone masonry and topped by a medallion. Large consoles support an ironwork balcony. The courtyard façades punctuated at ground floor level by low arches are very regular. A door flanked by columns with Corinthian capitals leads to the staircase.
1 rue de la Violette
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Hôtel Villard

The residence of the Villard family, counsellors at the presidial and lords of Vallongue, was built in the seventeenth century. It has a very fine hanging staircase open on to the courtyard.

The wrought-iron banisters show meticulous workmanship and reflect the know-how of the craftsmen of the period.
5, rue Dorée
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Maison des Atlantes

This is one of the finest examples of civil architecture in Nîmes during the reign of Louis XIV.

It was rebuilt from 1676 to 1678 by the architects Pierre Cournon and Jacques Cubizol at the instigation of Jean Martin, a silk merchant. At the end of the eighteenth century, two bays were added at the eastern end; these are identical to those built in the second half of the seventeenth century. The entry is flanked by two atlantes topped by a moulded architrave, a foliated frieze and a cornice with a dripstone.
2, Plan de l’Aspic
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