The Hôtel de Ville is the City Hall of Paris, housing the city's administration since 1357. It has also been the home of the Mayor of Paris (currently Bertrand Delanoë) since 1977. It is located on the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville (formerly known as the Place de Grève) in the 4th arrondissement, close to the Seine River. To the north of the building, there is the Centre Pompidou, while to the south, the Notre-Dame Cathedral.
In 1357, the first municipal building was erected near the Place de Grève (Square of the Strand) by the water merchant, Étienne Marcel, and it soon came to be known as the House of Pillars. Ever since the Paris' administration has stayed in this location. In 1553, King Francis I decided to build a city hall worthy of the then biggest city in Europe. Two architect were assigned to design the building: Italian Dominique de Cortone and Frenchman Pierre Chambiges. The construction of the Hôtel de Ville was not completed until 1628 when the king of France was Louis XIII. The building, created in the Renaissance style, was tall and spacious. No changes had been made to the the City Hall until 1835 when it was enlarged by two wings to the main building, the work of Étienne-Hippolyte Godde and Jean-Baptiste Lesueur.
The Paris Commune used the Hôtel de Ville as their headquarters only to eventually set it on fire in May 1871, destroying it almost completely. Reconstruction of the hall, which began in 1873, lasted for 19 years and was led by architects Théodore Ballu and Édouard Deperthes, who retained the original Renaissance style of the façades. The Hôtel de Ville is decorated with more than a hundred statues of famous Parisians and 30 statues representing French cities. At the central tower, there is a clock with several feminine sculptures representing Paris, the River Seine, 'Work' and 'Education'. Inside the City Hall, there is a large staircase and a spacious ballroom called Salle des Fêtes with stained glass windows and several chandeliers. The interior of the building is in the Empire style.