The original name of the Hôtel du Général d’Elbée was Hôtel Particulier Lebreton des Grapillières. It was built in 1767 by the eminent Mr Boucheron, the man responsible for draining the wetlands on the far bank of the canal port. Mr Lebreton des Grapillières, Mayor of Noirmoutier from 1794 to 1797, then purchased the property. The building was bought and sold by several well-to-do families before being abandoned in the early 20th century. It was later used to store salt, then as the Customs Office.
The building was not restored until after World War II, when it was made into a hotel.
In an unusual twist, the hotel now bears the name of a Royalist general, or more accurately, the “Commander-in-chief of the Vendéan Army”, who led the Vendée uprising during the French Revolution. And yet, Général Maurice d’Elbée never lived in the residence. He was, however, tried in the building. Condemned to death, he was subsequently executed in 1794 in the Place d’Armes across the street. The Commission Républicaine, which had requisitioned the hotel, watched the execution by firing squad from the balcony.
This establishment is one of Noirmoutier’s last remaining vestiges from this period of French history. That is why it was so important for us to keep this memory alive by using his name.
Today, this 18th century building and official historic monument is getting a new lease on life.