ACUDB - Hotel de Sully

In 1634, the Duc de Sully, a fairly dashing 74-year old, expanded his townhouse to include a building at the bottom of the small garden which - still today - juxtaposes the Place des Vosges (then the Place Royale). By now a tad senile, he was known to prance about the square's arcades wearing outdated jewelry. Meanwhile, his wife, who was 50 years his junior, went from one lover to the next.

It was from the terrace of this hôtel that Madame de Sévigné and her friends watched the poisoner and alleged sorceress Catherine Deshayes, known as "La Voisin", being carted away to be burned at the stake at the place de la Grève on November 10, 1680.

It was also while coming out of this same hôtel that the young Voltaire, already the darling of Parisian society, was set upon by the servants of nobleman Chevalier de Rohan, who later had him imprisoned at the Bastille. They had quarreled over an actress. Voltaire was later cleared and would receive an annuity of 1,200 livres.