Hotel de Suede, an inspirational place
A former Swedish boarding house or the site of what used to be a convent? If the history of this elegant building in Rue Vaneau remains shrouded in mystery, something remains certain: the Hotel de Suede is a haven favoured by many writers when they stay in Paris.
Several publishers accommodate their foreign writers there, certain that they will be able to work undisturbed in a comfortable setting. The most Parisian of all Spanish novel writers, Enrique Vila-Matas, mentions the hotel in the opening pages of “Doctor Pasavento,” in which he also refers to the visits of his Portuguese counterpart António Lobo Antunes. The latter, faithful to the place, appreciates its charm and along with other writers, is keenly attached to Rue Vaneau.
André Gide, Julien Green or Antoine de Saint-Exupéry all have in common the numerous walks they enjoyed through this iconic Parisian street.
According to the legend, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote their illustrious manifestoes there. Finally, American writer Jim Harrison, famous for his novel “Legends of the Fall” (among other bestsellers) is also very fond of Hotel de Suède for its exceptional view of the gardens and most of all, the birdsong.
In an interview given to a French newspaper a few years ago he referred to it as the only place in Paris where he did not feel oppressed. This is proof, if any more was needed, that the Hotel de Suède really is an exceptional place, a true patch of green nestled in the heart of Paris.