Napoleon 1 and the Empress Josephine were among the many distinguished guests who once visited the Hôtel Moët & Chandon, which now forms part of the Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Claude Moët founded Champagne House Moët & Chandon in 1743 and was one of the first to settle outside the protective ramparts of his native town of Epernay in the 1740s. He also ordered the building of cellars, a press house and gardens on the site of the current Hôtel Moët.
Claude Louis Nicolas succeeded his father as head of the family, followed by his grandson Jean-Rémy who joined the business in 1788.
In 1793 Jean-Rémy Moët commissioned the building of the Hôtel Moët and occupied the property shortly after completion. Originally designed as a private residence, the Hôtel Moët was a gracious, two-storey home with a false gable that lent the structure a sense of lightness. White stone and slate created a look of quiet elegance. The main central block was flanked by two advancing secondary wings with ornamental stonework, forming a three-sided courtyard in the manner of the cour d’honneur characteristic of palatial style.
In the last quarter of the 19th Century the two secondary wings were refurbished, followed in 1898 by the redevelopment of the building as a whole. The first floor was galleried (and widened in the process) and relief floral decorations and medallions were added to the facade.
Heavily bombarded on 19 and 20 July 1918, the property was completely destroyed except for the facade. What you see today is an exact replica of the original, complete with the two secondary wings. The decorative elements were discarded in favour of a more mellow look and the top floor was rebuilt to include a central roof terrace.