The building and its history

A charming place in the heart of old Neuchatel

An ancient Renaissance city, an architectural complex that dates back to the twelfth century and a maze of streets and lanes with their still intact medieval charm, is the beautiful landscape that frames the Les Galéries Marval.

The galleries are located in a historic building known as the ancient Marval Court, once home of the Marval family, whose most famous member, Samuel Marval, was awarded, by the King Louis XIV, of Gold Medal and Chain as captain of the Swiss Guards.

The building is in the outer part of the Court (quaint ancient  borough) at the foot of the castle walls which gives  its name to Neuchatel It was one of the first constructions  erected when the city was extended beyond the walls, dated from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Anyway the  Marval Court has not remained like that till the present day: several renovations, improvements and changes have taken place over the centuries as well as a reconstruction after a great fire in the 18th century.

Over the centuries the Marval Court has had several owners and it was the spectator and protagonist of historic events for the city of Neuchatel but it always remained a symbolic building for the borough, loved by residents and tourists. Its fortunes and its secrets were also the subject of a thorough historical and architectural investigation commissioned by the ministry for Cultural Heritage in the eighties of the XXth century. It displaces some ancient finds such as some pictorial decorations with hunting scenes and a perfectly preserved column dating back to the Roman times that welcome the visitors of the shopping centre.

Nowadays Les Galéries Marval is based in the Marval Court a two-storey shopping centre planned in 1987, completed in 1993 that is now being redeveloped  to make it a meeting place for the city