Begun in 1865 under the orders of architect Reimbeau, completed in 1868 by architect Jean Baptiste Couty and built in the middle of the Napoleon III epoch, this Old Prefecture was required in front of the Macdonald district and centred on avenue de La Marck.
The building was inspired by Louis XIII and it combines: rusticated stone, the cartouche and oculus of Louis XIII, a sitting dog central to the Renaissance trend, a Louis XIV roof, broken at the JA Mansard and a Palladian central distribution staircase.
It was successively headquarters of the General Staff, the residence of the Prince Imperial and the Emperor Napoleon III as well as Sub prefects. Napoleon III spent 3 nights and left at dawn on 2 September 1870 to sign the act of surrender of his army and himself at Bellevue Castle.
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