The medieval still in Paris.

When searching for old Paris, nothing can get any better than the areas around Cluny, Sens,and the Village Saint Paul. All on both side of the river Seine in the  rive droite or right bank  or rive gauche or left bank of Paris.

You can easily trace this route on foot from the cour Carrée du Louvre and the donjon or fortress of the Louvre (now the museum) you come up and cross the street rue de l’Admiral de Coligny, and voilà you are in front of the church of Saint Germain l’Auxerrois, one of the oldest in Paris. The tower next to it does not belong to the church but to the mayors office of the 1er arrondissement or district of Paris and built in the 19C. Better see the gothic porch in front of the church of flamboyant gothic style the only in Paris together with the Sainte-Chapelle. The royal family came many times to pray here,and about this time going on the quai de la Mégisserie along the Seine was the territory of the tanners and saddle makers.

By todays pont du Change (old Grand-Pont) you have the great meatcutters area after being sold the animals from the nearby Champeaux (today Les Halles). Their church that of Saint Jacques only remains the tower or Tour Saint-Jacques today. If coming back to the place du Chatelet you can imagine there once stood the Grand Châtelet ,a huge fortress where the provost of Paris lived and was raze in the First Empire period (Napoleon I). A bit down you will come to the place de la Gréve where stands the Hôtel de Ville. The most important harbor port of the city was here as boats load and discharge merchandise on the Seine.

One of my most marvel buildings is near the place de la République near the old port des Célestins stands the magnificent Hôtel de Sens, 1 rue de Figuier (today its the library Forney since 1961 here). It has French style gardens and flamboyant  architecture style. The archbishop of Sens Tristan de Salazar ,made built his residence from 1475 to 1519 here. The famous queen Margot was one of its residents, and at less than 100 mèters (130 ft) the lycée (High School) Charlemagne where the kids played football (soccer) at the foot of the oldest longest remaining old fortress wall of Paris built by king Philippe Auguste(bordering the rue des jardins-Saint-Paul)  ,just in front of the church of Saint Paul Saint Louis, and behind the beginnings of the Village Saint Paul, where the stores are now in the old garden of king Charles V that used to lived in the Hôtel Saint Pol destroyed in the 16C.

You can continue your walk towards rue Figuier et de Fourcy to reach rue François-Miron, and from here the rue des Archives where at No 58 you will see the door of Hôtel de Clisson (built 1371 and now the national archives museum). A bit down at No 24 rue des Archives a door hides the only medieval cloister still in Paris, this is the Cloître des Billettes with its magnificent flamboyant ceilings , something to come and see .

Moving now towards the rive gauche or left bank , you can continue see the old fortified walls of Paris of king Philippe Auguste. At No 27 rue Mazarine you can come to the basement of the public parking second lower level to see the wall for several meters. At No 34 rue Dauphine, a kino medical cabinet occupies an old wall where you can see the foundations coming to the cellars of the building (need permission from the private cabinet but usually granted),and you need a flashlight. At the window of the old Maison de la Catalogne (of house of Catalunya) on No 4 cour du Commerce-Saint-André.  Cross over the carrefour de l’Odéon and go up rue de l’Ecole-de-Médecine to the old convent of Cordeliers (know by a rope monks carried around their waist) ,where the teaching were done even before the Sorbonne and where Danton had its club des Cordeliers in 1790.

At the other side of boulevard Saint-Michel you see the Hôtel de Cluny ,another middle ages look in Paris.  It was the Paris residence of the abbeys of Cluny in Burgundy, it is a building from the end of the 15C and was build to put together all their colleges (first were by place de la Sorbonne) and their gardens (near the Thérmes). It now houses the museum of the Middle Ages at 6 place Paul-Painlevé, 75005. It is a place that merits your visit, wonderfully done and preserve, as if you were inside an old cloister or a little castle from the renaissance Loire. Interesting things to see inside are the tapisserie in salle or room 22, the La Parisienne- statue in wood of Mary-Magdalene done around 1500, La 6é sens de la Dame, or the the lady in the unicorn dating from the end of 15C, The art of wars or Traité de Combat circa 1490-1500,only one in France showing the princes how to fight in combat. The temperatures are kept at 55% humidity levels constant, the tapisseries are hit with a low light as well as the Lady in the Unicorn, and temp are kept by room depending on the expose article. Do you know the American series Les Sopranos was filmed here? A must place to visit in Paris.

Hope you have enjoy this little walking tour of medieval Paris. More to come at Paris 1972, stay on.

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2 Comments to “The medieval still in Paris.”

  1. Hi Pedro,
    Yes that’s a lovely building, the “Hotel de Sens” with a beautiful garden behind. Did you notive the cannon ball lodged in the wall ? You can see it on your photo, on the flat pignon wall above the 2nd floor. That cloister is one of my favourite places in the Marais, astrange tale to be told about that place.

    Best regards and keep up the good work

    Paul

    Like

  2. aha good eyes Paul ! thanks for commenting. I do see the cannon ball now on the photo, but never into details Lol!!! I see something now and in one hour dont remember, need to use notes. I do go by a lot as shop nearby at Thanksgiving, and enjoy the Le dome resto there in the village for a quick cold one. Cheers

    Like

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