Café de la Paix

Novel Le testament Donadieu Georges Simenon (1937)
Georges Simenon's headquarters in La Rochelle, the Café de la Paix, plays its role in the writer's first full-length novel.
Café de la paix / Café des Colonnes La Rochelle
"La Rochelle, Cafe de la paix, and the historical cinema of the CGR group" by thierry llansades is licensed under

“At the Café de la Paix, Place d’Armes, a wallpaper merchant, who had already drunk three aperitifs and was engaged in an interminable game of belote, sighed ‘What is my wife going to pass to me!”

Excerpt from Le Testament Donadieu by Georges Simenon

A small piece of life of the Café de la Paix appears in Le Testament Donadieu by Georges Simenon. While a host of events seem to be unleashed against several protagonists, a wallpaper merchant is quietly busy with his card game in the bar.

Discovering La Rochelle in 1927 after his break-up with Josephine Baker, the Belgian author sat under the columns of the building to enjoy a hot drink. This small stop will multiply and will make the Café de la Paix, its real name, the headquarters of the creator of Maigret.

It was in this same establishment that in 1939, Georges Simenon learned of the declaration of war via the TSF, the wireless radio of the time. To everyone’s surprise, he ordered a bottle of champagne and exclaimed, “At least this one will not be drunk by the Germans!”.


Georges Simenon invented more than 9,000 characters in his works.

Café de la Paix

Opened in 1793 in a former hospital, the military café, which became the Café de la Paix in 1900, is a part of the history of La Rochelle.

From 1712 until the beginning of the 19th century, the Saint-Etienne hospital, founded by Anne Forestier to relieve the city’s hospitals, took up residence in this brand new building. Despite the death of its founder in 1740, the premises continued to house a health care establishment until the early 19th century.

It was during this period that one part of the building became a theater and the other a military café. In 1852, the neighboring houses were bought and allowed the future Café de la paix to expand. In the first half of the 20th century, the theater became a movie theater still in operation today.

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By Damien Duarte

Monday, February 7, 2022

Passionné par la culture pop depuis son enfance, ses références vont de Donald Duck à Batman en passant par Marty McFly. Fantripper dans l'âme, voyager sur les traces de Ghostbusters, James Bond ou des héros de romans comme Cotton Malone fait partie d'un séjour idéal et réussi !

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