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L'Hotel Ephrussi-Rothschild, 19 Avenue Foch, Paris, France

The property was built in 1859, for the widowed Madame André Monpelas who together with her husband and Francois-Etienne Violet had established what became one of Paris' best known perfumeries in 1833. Designed by architect Jean-Alexandre Thierry (1810-1890) who had recently completed the Temple Israelite de Paris, it was among the first of the mansions built on Baron Haussmann's newly laid out grand avenues stemming off from L'Étoile. The street was iniatially known as the Avenue de l'Impératrice, but after 1870 it was known as the Avenue Bois de Boulogne and it was not until 1929 that it became Avenue Foch.

The Ephrussis

After the death of Madame Monpelas in 1878, it was acquired by the second son of King Louis-Philippe I, Louis-Charles d’Orléans, Duc de Nemours. The Duc died in 1897, and the house was purchased by Baron Maurice Ephrussi (1848-1916) and his wife Charlotte (Béatrice) (née de Rothschild) (1864-1934). The Ephrussis diviorced in 1904, but Béatrice retained her Paris town house. When she died in 1934, she left her Paris home to her brother, Édouard de Rothschild (1868-1949), and her art collections were left to the Académie des Beaux-Arts to be put on display for the public at her beloved Villa-Île-de-France (Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild), Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

Édouard de Rothschild and Germaine de Rothschild

Duiring the Second World War Édouard and Germaine (nee Halphen) (1884-1975), retreated to the Château de Ferrières but eventually were forced to flee the country in 1940. Their home on the Avenue Foch was one of several to be requisitioned by the Gestapo. The family recovered the property after the war, and it remained in the Rothschild family until 1979. Today, the house, one of the surviving example of the houses that once lined the avenue in the architectural style of Napoleon III (Second Empire), serves as the official residence of the Ambassador of Angola. 

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