Situated at the very centre of the Palace, the Salon Doré also has a central role as the office of the President of the Republic.

Emmanuel Macron in the Golden Room © Présidence de la République

While Fifth-Republic Presidents have had their office there, some, like Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, have chosen to make it a ceremonial one, while actually working a few metres away in a more austere room.

The decoration chosen in 1861 for Empress Eugénie, Napoleon III’s wife, remains intact in this room. The imperial couple’s monogram, “NE”, visible above the doors, is a reminder of its former occupant. The dominance of black in the room’s contemporary furniture, which includes a desk by Thierry Lemaire and a painting by Pierre Soulages, highlights the brightness of the decoration.

Golden Room © Présidence de la République

The room had another occupant in the past, long before the Fifth-Republic Presidents. Need a clue? The letters “NE” appear above the doors, standing for Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie, who chose this decoration, unchanged since 1861.

Like other rooms in the palace, the old decoration is combined with more contemporary works, like this painting by Pierre Soulages.

Pierre Soulages, 2 DÉCEMBRE 1989 © Présidence de la République