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The Palace of the Legion of Honor

Published on November 23, 2007

The home of the Legion of Honor is still the Salm Palace, facing the Quai d’Orsay, which is widely admired by visitors to Paris.

Built just before the Revolution by the architect Pierre Rousseau for the German Prince Salm-Kyrbourg, the handsome edifice was purchased in the name of the Legion of Honor on May 4, 1804 by Grand Chancellor Lacépède.

In 1871 it was badly damaged by an incendiary mob during the Commune. But soon afterwards a public subscription started by General Vinoy, Grand Chancellor, among all the Legionnaires and holders of the Military Medal enabled it to be rebuilt.

Entrance to the palace is through a monumental arch on the rue de Lille and a colonnaded court of honor and formal garden. Along the front of the building is the motto of the Order, "Honneur et Patrie," inscribed in gold lettering.

Its rooms are famous, especially the circular salon under the cupola which faces the Seine and the salon of the grand chancellors. The latter is decorated with portraits of the illustrious figures who have headed the Order over the last 150 and more years.

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