Savonnières stone (limestone originating from Lorraine), chalk or brick were often used in the classical constructions of the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly for private mansions.
The private mansion was a type of residence that appeared in the 17th century. It reflected the high social standing of its sole owner. The entrance was usually through an imposing and elaborate porch, allowing the arrival of carriages into the courtyard.
Go to 2 Rue d Chastillon to see a fine example built in chalk. Just next to the Hôtel de Ville, Hôtel Dubois de Crancé and then Hôtel Nicolas Durand at 68 Rue Léon Bourgeois are both built in Savonnières stone.
Focus on… Sainte-Marie Convent
The brick and chalk façades in alternating layers sometimes represent simple horizontal lines or create more original and complex geometric patterns. Sainte-Marie Convent, which today hosts the Departmental Council, is one of the finest examples of Champagne’s architecture along the banks of the Mau. It can be found at the intersection of Rue de Chastillon and Rue de Jessaint or viewed during the Eau’dyssée boat trip.