As you can see from the map below, 122 rue de Provence is not far at all from several of the tourist sights in Paris. But if you happen to pass the building today, although it now houses offices, here’s a fascinating story you can tell your companions.
Back in the day, this building was one of the most opulent brothels in the area.
The establishment, known as One Two Two, opened in 1924. The building had formerly been the private home of a rather grand prince (Napoleon’s brother-in-law in fact) but was ideal for its new role.
With its relatively large number of rooms, many of them could be themed specifically for sexual role play. This even included a couple of torture chambers. And now, most of the businesses in the building are law firms. I’m making no comment.
The One Two Two was host to several well-known patrons in its day, including the rich and famous. The brothel had an attached restaurant and its servers (female staff of course) unsurprisingly wore high heels, small cover-nothing aprons and camellias in their hair. That’s all. And to think that there’ll be lawyers where the camellia girls worked.
Articles about the brothel today usually mention that several Hollywood stars frequented the place ‘to enjoy the restaurant’. This being Paris, i really doubt that the food was the very best the city had to offer though. The camellia girls and the post-prandial activities were much more likely attractions. “Oh, the One Two Two? I absolutely only go there for the restaurant, you know”.
In its heyday, the brothel serviced about 300 clients – often the rich, famous and influential.
The brothel remained open until 1946 and found itself in demand during World War ii as it was frequented by high-ranking German officers needing some relief after the rigours of their day.
The reason for the 1946 closure was governmental. The local authorities in Paris came under increasing pressure to ensure that all such establishments were closed down permanently.
It does make me wonder though how many of the Paris officials were themselves clients of One Two Two.
WHERE IS THE RUE DE PROVENCE?
122 Rue de Provence
122 Rue de Provence,
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.