In the heart of the sixteenth arrondissement, hidden from view, is the Maison de Balzac. The only surviving Parisian home of the writer, which is today a museum.
It was in this hidden house that the novelist wrote his finest works, notably The Rabouilleuse. It is here that we find one of Paris’ three literary museums. Balzac came here to take refuge under the name "M. peugnol" to escape pursuit from his creditors.
Its curious architecture forces one to descend three floors to get to the first– Balzac’s apartment was on the top floor. To enter in his time, you had to know the password, but now it’s quite simple. In 1910, Louis Baudier de Royaumont decided to open a museum here, but it wasn’t until 1960, after its acquisition by the City of Paris, that is was open to the public.
Balzac’s apartments haven’t moved. Even some of the writer’s furniture and personal belongings can still be found here - the rest was auctioned by Madame Hanska, his wife. In the study, the writing desk is in the same place as is his famous turquoise cane and coffee maker bearing his initials. In the other rooms there are paintings, drawings and an impressive genealogy of characters from the Comédie Humaine. La Maison de Balzac also contains a lipary with more than 15,000 documents, including books annotated by the author and newspaper clippings.