A labor of love and money—$157 million!—the finally finished renovation of the Hôtel de la Marine, a fabulous neo-Classical palace, means the landmark is now open to the public for the first time in 250 years. Built in the years between 1757 and 1774, and designed by Louis XV’s chief architect, Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the palace is steeped in history. Just as the designers of the Paris couture depend on France’s best textile houses, embroiderers, and ribbon and button makers, so this four-year project employed carpenters, gilders, tapestry experts, and countless other craftspeople deeply versed in historic techniques. The result is another jewel among the palace-museums of Paris. —L.J.
Hôtel de la Marine 2 Pl. de la Concorde, 75008 Paris, France Get Directions »