Rue Edouard VII, a not-to-be-missed institution in Paris's 9th arrondissement

Rue Edouard VII, a not-to-be-missed institution in Paris's 9th arrondissement

Some places in the capital are both unmissable and too little known to the public ! The Place Edouard VII and the theatre of the same name are undoubtedly among them... This is a good opportunity to give you an idea for a visit, located in the same arrondissement as our hotel.

It lies between the Opera Garnier and the Madeleine church. Beginning at the Boulevard des Capucins, Rue Edouard VII was born in the wake of Baron Haussmann's major works throughout the capital, followed by the construction of Place Edouard VII. At the time, the area was occupied by two carriage-hire firms, Compagnie des petites voitures and Maison Brion. After their demolition, architect Henri Paul Nénot was commissioned to create this new block. The street was inspired by the Rue de Rivoli, with majestic arcades housing high-end boutiques. It also housed a luxury hotel and homes, all in identical buildings linked by a highly elaborate bas-relief.
Work took place between 1911 and 1913, with the official inauguration on 26 January 1914, with a statue of King Edward VII on horseback at the centre of the oval square. Privatised by Société Générale over the decades, the area was finally renovated in the 1990s, when the banking group moved its offices to the suburbs. The street was then opened up to pedestrians, much to the delight of Parisians and visitors alike.

A French place with British inspiration

But why was this islet named after an English monarch? Albert-Edouard, son of Queen Victoria and Prince of Wales for almost 60 years, became King Edward VII in 1901 and ruled for just 9 years, until his death in 1910. The islet named after him remains a tribute to the many visits he made to France, particularly to the nearby Opéra district. He was nicknamed "the most Parisian of the English" and the second Entente Cordiale between the United Kingdom and France was signed during his reign, in 1904.


Photo Théâtre Edouard VII

The Théâtre Edouard VII

Shortly before the street was inaugurated, English architect William George Robert Sprague was commissioned to design an auditorium to add to the square's appeal. A Kinémacolor, a cinematographic process developed in 1906, was installed there, but the company went bankrupt in 1914. The hall was converted into a theatre in 1916 : the Théâtre Edouard VII was born! Actor and playwright Sacha Guitry created some of his greatest hits here in the 1920s, launching his reputation for the century to come. It is now home to many boulevard plays and comedy shows.

Text : Elodie Lécadieu