Monday, September 7, 2015

Hôtel de Bellegarde (Hôtel Lambert)

In 1623, the duc de Bellegarde is the Governor of the Province of Burgundy. For various reasons, the PCs decided to try to persuade Bellegarde to sanction an investigation that they were asked to undertake. Since this would involve traveling to his province, they decided to try and meet him by finagling an invitation to an upcoming party that he was hosting. I wanted this to be an opportunity for courtly social interaction, both to showcase those characters who excel in that and to provide an obstacle rich environment for the less social, more combat focused PCs. And I wanted a map as one of the underlying tools to tie everything together and to allow the players to control where their PCs would go in a sandbox fashion.

The duc, like many Les Grands (the greatest nobles of France) maintains a town residence or hôtel in Paris. For my campaign, whenever possible I use actual locations, floor plans, and images. Sometimes that may not be possible, either because the information is unknown or because I am just unable to find the information in a reasonable time. I do the best I can, but I am not a historian, I'm not fluent in French, this is a hobby, and I'm 6,152 km from Paris so my resources are limited.In the case of the duc de Bellegarde, I wasn't able to find his actual residence*, so I invented one. I found a residence that I liked, Hotel Lambert, that had a floor plan and, since it still existed, also included photos to give me a sense of what the place might have looked like. 

Here is the entry from my Paris Environs:

(H2) Hôtel de Bellegarde                  [D7-D8]

Located along the right bank not far from the Church of St. Gervais, the Hôtel de Bellegarde is bounded on one side by the Rue de la Mortellerie and on the other by the Place aux Veaux as it runs along the Seine River. The main entrance to the Hotel is on an unnamed side alley connecting the Rue de la Morallerie with the Place aux Veaux. (The plans and pictures are the Hôtel Lambert, a grand mansion townhouse, on the Quai Anjou on the eastern tip of the Île Saint-Louis, in Paris which was not owned by Bellegarde; also the location is changed to the right bank.)

And here are the floor plans:


Ball Room

Here's a PDF version for use in play.


  • Hotel Lambert 
  • Floor plans copyright Kyoto University Library.

* Turns out I later found a residence for Bellegarde here. Now I have to decide what to do about that. Since the invented site has been used twice now and its riverside location was a significant element of both occassions, I decide to leave things as is. It isn't the first, nor will it be the last departure from real history. If you are interested in the actual location here's what I found. 

Located on what is now rue Séguier, the hotel was a residence built in 1612 for the duc de Bellegarde by the architect Jacques II Androuët du Cerceau, and was enlarged in 1617. It was later known as the Hotel Séguier. The hotel was inhabited by Pierre Séguier from 1634, and then by his widow. Immediately after having received the keeper of the seals (become Chancellor) Séguier began  carrying out important work expanding and modernizing the hotel (1636-1647).

The building was a three-body logis arranged in a U around the Court of honor, with a flag to the South and a long wing leading to Bouloi Street. This new body building, designed to house two galleries superposed, divides the garden into two.

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