The private mansion and its link to high-end real estate
The characteristics of a hôtel particulier reveal the important aspects that are the basis of its prestigious reputation. Some are associated with the names of large families who once resided there: the Hôtel de Rohan, the Hôtel de Soubise and the Hôtel de Nesles are among good examples. Depending on the roles associated with the different cities, the social classification of those who built private mansion varies. In Paris, large aristocratic families linked to the monarchy were at the origin of their construction during the Old Regime.
After the Revolution, the great industrial and financial bourgeoisie continued building these properties. In more trade-oriented cities, such as the ports of Nantes, Bordeaux and Marseille, shipowners had a prestigious reputation and build the city's main residences. In cities with more of a parliamentary status, such as Aix-en-Provence, Poitiers, Grenoble or Rennes, private mansion are the work of nobility, who performed high administrative functions. The blatant ostentation of some residences is most often aimed at rising above simple bourgeois houses, and for affirming one's status.