Essential Architecture-  Paris

Patisserie Stohrer




51 Rue Montorgueil, 2nd.








Paris is filled with this sort of typical residential building that has a shop on the ground floor. The combination began in the Middle Ages and continues today, in part because every generation of architect breathes fresh life into the style. The apartment with shop combination has given Paris its wonderful small neighborhoods. This particular address is interesting because the pastry shop, similar to so many across the city, has a very specific Rococo history. In 1725, the unfortunate bride of Louis XV arrived in Paris. Marie Leczynska was spectacularly unsuited for the position; her lack of French was the least of her problems. To distract the miserable girl, her father sent her off to Paris with a dowry that included a personal pastry chef. Mr Stohrer introduced Viennese-style pastries to the royal court, but his sweet confections couldn’t improve the royal marriage. After five years in the tension-filled palace, Stohrer decamped and opened his own shop, here on the Rue Montorgueil. His court connections guaranteed an immediate public for his cakes. Here, he invented the “puit d’amour,” a flaky pastry shell stuffed with pastry cream or jelly. The shop stayed in his family for several generations; the decor you see inside the bakery today was painted by Paul Baudry in 1864, who is remembered primarily for his lobby decoration in the Opera Garnier. Today, you can buy a fabulous “bombe framboise” and stand outside this facade, eating cake and admiring the discrete elegance of the building’s facade. Looking at the main door of the building, you’ll discover a quiet irony. This address has no architect’s name attached to it, yet when the building was constructed, the architect responsible obviously set up his office here, carving the tools of his trade into the lintel over the door. His carved billboard remains: a Classical Ionic pillar, a compass, an axe, and other trademarks of his trade, an anonymous but permanent signature.


By Lisa Pasold (Special thanks to