The school was on the Rue d'Isabelle in a quarter close to the central park and near the grandeur of Rue Royale with its stately 18th century houses. The Rue d’Isabelle and the Isabelle quarter had an ancient past, remnants of which could still be seen.
Even though the school building itself was no more extraordinary than the other schools in the neighbourhood, there was an unexpected treasure, tucked away behind the house; a delightful big garden with a line of ancient fruit trees. This garden was to provide Charlotte with a haven of peace right in the centre of the city. It is described in full detail in her novel Villette, and one can imagine her relishing every opportunity to escape from the pressures of school life to the bower (berceau) and the allée défendue.