The Palais de la Femme
The ‘social hotel’ belongs to the Salvation Army.
It was built in 1912 where the Filles de la Croix convent used to be, and had various assignments. The convent was built on a 42-hectare plot. Several prominent people were buried there among which probably Cyrano de Bergerac. The nuns were expelled in 1792.
The building bought by the State Property office was first used to store fodder, then as a funeral home, and even as a prison. It was demolished in 1906.
In 1912 the ‘Fondation des Maisons ouvrières‘ (Foundation for workers’ Lodging) built a working-class hotel with 143 rooms, used as a hospital during World War I.
In 1926 it was bought by Achille Peyron, General of the Salvation Army, and turned into a shelter for single women in precarious situations.
Since 2009 it has further focused its project and become the ‘Centre d’Hébergement et de Stabilisation’ (‘Accommodation and Stabilisation Centre’).
The headquarters of the Salvation Army in France are at 60 rue des Frères Flaviens, in the twentieth arrondissement in Paris. The French organisation was forbidden during German occupation, but was revived after the war.
It has a double purpose, one is the Congregation of the Salvation Army with 25 appointed evangelists all over France, and the other is the Foundation of the Salvation Army with over 120 establishments and social aid services in France.
The Salvation Army was launched during the industrial revolution. It was founded in 1878 by the English pastor William Booth shocked by the sight of working class crowds hoarded in the poor East-end districts of London. For him social, political and economic progress is rooted in a deep inner change, the person comes to terms with himself thanks to the power of the Gospel. But William Booth also knew that before talking to people about the Kingdom of God you should offer them decent living conditions on earth. Such is the origin of the now popular motto: ‘Soup, Soap, Salvation’.
He was inspired by the military structure to organise and set to work the numerous converts who followed him. His organisation had a hierarchy, a discipline, a uniform, rules. This method has proved its efficiency.
Nowadays the Salvation Army is an international structure established in 120 countries with 2.5 million Salvationists all over the world. It works wherever it is required and where help is accepted. The international headquarters are in London under the authority of a General who coordinates the work on a global level.
The Palais de la Femme
94 Rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris, France
Paris and the ProtestantsDiscover 19 places in the centre of Paris which symbolise Protestantism. Just click on the map! A walking tour complemented by photographs, texts and sound tracks to improve your tour.