Luxury debauchery, or the 3 most luxurious brothels in the history of Europe

Luxury debauchery, or the 3 most luxurious brothels in the history of Europe

Categories: Design and Architecture | Europe

It offers modern men an impressive selection of entertainment for every taste, starting with airsoft and computer games, ending with fitness and night drifting. A century and a half ago, the choice was more modest — horse racing, cards, hunting and ... brothels. The popularity of the latter was so high that the best artists and sculptors did not disdain to decorate their interiors with their works, and writers and poets praised them in their works. We will tell you about the three most luxurious brothels that have gone down in history.

Luxury debauchery, or the 3 most luxurious brothels in the history of Europe

The notoriety of these institutions only fueled interest in them. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, brothels were not just houses of vice, but also a kind of salons where bohemians gathered. Pablo Picasso, Henry Miller, Marcel Proust, Guy de Maupassant, Ernest Hemingway and even women-Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf did not deny themselves the pleasure of spending time in the hospitable walls of elite brothels.

A dish from the elite Parisian brothel "Shabane"

The staff of the brothels quite corresponded to the visitors — the courtesans were educated and erudite, well versed in painting, music and literature and could support a conversation on any topic, even about politics. These ladies fell in love with themselves and inspired creators to create masterpieces that have entered the treasury of world art.

The interiors of this Parisian brothel were not inferior in luxury to the royal palaces. This is not surprising, because the visitors of "Shabane" were also members of many European royal families. Expensive foreign guests were taken to this brothel, and serious state affairs and large transactions were discussed in its apartments.

Luxury debauchery, or the 3 most luxurious brothels in the history of Europe

Foreign delegations visited Shabane under the pretext that the official program delicately referred to as"a visit to the President of the Senate". The construction and furnishing of this brothel cost its owners an incredible 1,700,000 francs at that time (about 9 million modern euros or 820 million rubles).

Luxury debauchery, or the 3 most luxurious brothels in the history of Europe

There was even a "Shabane" near the Louvre, on Shabane Street, 12. Visitors to the institution joked for good reason that the brothel could compete with the neighboring royal residence in terms of luxury and abundance of masterpieces on the walls. Among the numerous canvases that decorated the walls of the brothel were 16 paintings by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, written specifically for the brothel. The post-impressionist artist himself was a regular visitor to this place and he even had a separate table in the local restaurant.

The Shabane rooms were decorated in different styles and the visitor, if desired, could feel like a sultan from the fairy tale "One Thousand and One Nights", a Roman patrician, a hero of a Scandinavian saga or a Japanese emperor. By the way, the Japanese-style apartments were awarded the first place on the The World Exhibition of 1900 for the most extraordinary design.

Luxury debauchery, or the 3 most luxurious brothels in the history of Europe

The legendary bath from the Prince's room

The Prince of Wales had a private room in the Shaban, designed in the Indian style. The future King of Britain, Edward VII, even ordered to hang his family coat of arms over a luxurious four-poster bed. The copper bath from this room, decorated in the form of the bow of a sailboat with the figure of a naked virgin, has become a legend. Later, it was purchased for 112 thousand francs by Salvador Dali.

An institution with an unusual name was opened in 1924 in the 8th arrondissement of Paris by a former employee of the "Shabane" brothel, Madame Dorian. The money for the implementation of the grandiose project was given by her husband, businessman Marcel Jamet. The unusual name of this brothel was due to the fact that in the 20s of the last century, the authorities of Paris banned advertising their activities and giving them catchy names. Therefore, the brothel was named after the number of the house 122 on Provence Street, in which it was located.

Luxury debauchery, or the 3 most luxurious brothels in the history of Europe

The mansion where the brothel "One-two-two"was located

This house of tolerance can be called a 5D attraction without exaggeration. In 22 rooms of the institution, different epochs and situations were recreated, as well as a complete immersion in the atmosphere was provided. For example, in the "Pirate Room" there was a smell of the sea, a fresh breeze was blowing, and the bed in the form of a boat was swinging with the help of an ingenious mechanism. At will, you could even arrange a storm with salt water splashes and lightning!

Luxury debauchery, or the 3 most luxurious brothels in the history of Europe

But the main pride of "One-two-two" was the restaurant Le Boeuf à la Ficelle with exquisite European cuisine, where customers were served by waitresses dressed only in aprons and high-heeled shoes. Among the clients of the institution were such persons as Katharine Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf.

The Sphinx brothel became the first elite brothel in Paris, located on the Left Bank, on Montparnasse. The owner of the business was Mrs. Martha Le Maistre, whom the visitors of the hot spot knew as Madame Martounou. This enterprising lady arrived in Paris from New York, where she sold the bar very successfully before the fall of Wall Street. Nevertheless, the money earned from the sale of the business overseas was not enough to purchase premises in a bohemian area.

Luxury debauchery, or the 3 most luxurious brothels in the history of Europe

Therefore, Martuna took two criminal authorities from Marcel, Francois Spirito and Carbon Fiber fields. The Sphinx brothel opened its hospitable doors on April 24, 1931 at 31 Edgar-Quinet Boulevard. Nowhere was the true purpose of the institution mentioned-officially it was an "American bar" with the so-called "maison close", that is, a closed club.

The owners of the" Sphinx "did not spray themselves like the owners of" Shabane "and" One-two-two " — they maintained their brothel completely in a luxurious pseudo-Egyptian style. This was a very successful decision, since after the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922, Egyptomania did not subside in Europe.

Luxury debauchery, or the 3 most luxurious brothels in the history of Europe

There was another important difference between Sphinx and other brothels. This club was not exactly a brothel in the literal sense of the word. The workers of the" American bar " were engaged in consummation, unwinding visitors for expensive drinks, and worked as an escort. The scale of the institution was amazing — sometimes a thousand bottles of champagne were drunk in its halls in one evening! "Sphinx" was a brothel of a unique format — everything was so decent there that some clients came with their wives and children.

Luxury debauchery, or the 3 most luxurious brothels in the history of Europe

On April 13, 1946, the so-called "Marthe Richard Law" put an end to the era of brilliant brothels. All legal brothels have closed or gone into the shadows to vegetate, remembering their former greatness. At the time of the introduction of the ban on brothels in France, there were 1,500 establishments, of which 177 were located in Paris and its suburbs.

Keywords: 18+ | Brothel | Courtesan | Paris | Prostitutes | Champagne | Elite

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