Monday, August 17, 2009

Medieval Paris

There are few remains of medieval buildings in Paris - most of them burned because of their wooden construction among other things, but if you wander in Le Marais though you will see some of them. I already showed this one 2 years ago, and in this photo you can see a part of another one (on the left, with the wooden beams precisely - see a close up here) that apparently was built around 1540. If you're thinking "how amazing would it be to spend a night in a building like this!" Well... you can! This place is now a youth hotel called Le Mije. Ask for the place 12 rue des Barres.


  1. Wow it would be nice to stay there. I'll keep this in mind if I ever visit Paris, which is a dream of mine. My dream is to see the world actually...hehe

  2. Actually, I believe many were just covered over during the Haussman renovations, due to the threat of fire. There is at least 1 standing in the Marais with a big plaque that discusses this. I remember seeing it when going to visit the tour Jean sans peur, a remaining medieval monument in the Marais. You should check it out, Eric--the ceiling of the spiral staircase would make an excellent photo! It's on Etienne-Marcel, I believe.

    I also remember dining in a little Italian place near St. Michel that still had medieval beams, but the outside was covered as well. They're there, just hidden!

  3. I know of two other medieval buildings in Paris that I believe haven't been rebuilt. You can't tstay in them though. The first is the auberge Nicolas Flamel at 51 rue de Montmorency. Nicolas Flamel is mentioned in one of the Harry Potter books. The other is in rue Volta not far away from the Arts et Metiers métro

  4. Ah, monsieur in love with Paris, I stayed two doors down from the rue Volta house. Thanks for reminding me of that.

    Rue des Barres is really great, a nice experience walking behind Saint-Gervai Saint-Protais. Those are the church's gargoyles, aren't they?

  5. These are wonderful, Eric, merci. And the comments are great today (aren't they always?).

    Jeff, your friends have you on our minds!

  6. Very stony and timbery and medieval! This street is barely wide enough for jousting, though ~ they must have taken it elsewhere...

    Jeff ~ hope all's well.

  7. I know exactly where this is. I walked by it several times, and now wish I had paid more attention.


  8. I can imagine it was a lot less cleaner than this back in the 1500's! It's still amazing to me after all of this time how many things there are to discover in Paris.

    By the way, I had a chat with someone this weekend asking about language courses. For those of you who want to learn French (or another language), I can highly recommend Rosetta Stone as a good online learning tool.

  9. Very interesting, Eric. I'll show Dan - he is the history buff.

    Michael - I wonder if RosettaStone is good for Italian too - I think I am headed to Milan!

    Have a great week, everyone!

  10. hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

  11. Perspective is indeed lovely. Actually pretty much everything about this shot is lovely. Those medieval buildings just look amazing though.

  12. So nice to see you again Soosha! Now when do we see you in Paris??

    Anne, I'm taking Hindi as a test before an upcoming business trip to Delhi and have found it quite useful. Yes, Italian is online, but nothing is as good as learning the language over some vino and pasta!

  13. Hi,Eric,
    I've never seen the photo of medival age in Paris. That's wonderful.
    (In Tokyo, you could easily find at least one or two Edo era buildings in each cities or wards.)

  14. When I saw this photo, I didn't recognise this street immediately.

    It was when you mentioned the youth hostel that I realised I have walked down this street many times (well, more than 4 or 5!)
    as we usually stay near here when in Paris.

    As Jeff pointed out, that is the back of St. Gervais St. Protais where, for anyone who is interested, there is a beautiful sung mass on Sunday morning and it is always packed.

    My wife drags me along but I enjoy it really. It's nice to join in with normal Paris life and occasionally to meet the locals (who are always very friendly - just like you, Eric).

    One of the many interesting things about this fascinating Gothic church is its very attractive Classical facade (added later) which incorporates all three orders of Classical columns, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian.

    Just one of the little snippets of Paris info that I drop into the conversation when trying to impress people!

  15. As an American History major in college, I have always been enamored by our nations history...but what struck me the first time I landed in Europe is how we don't have anything old over here!

    (I should of course temper that comment since there was plenty going on here before Columbus stumbled upon North America, but I digress...)

    Anyway, I always love the sense of not only history in Paris, but of time....just think who else walked down the street and went into these very same buildings. It makes my head spin....

    Drummond, I have added that mass to our list for this fall...


  16. Sean - There's also a complete Latin mass sung at St. Nicolas du Chardonnet in the 5th if that interests you. I believe its the only church left in Paris where this is still done. I don't know what the schedule is, though.

  17. There is another spot in the Marais that has daub and wattle architecture.The building is on the street where Israel, the foodstore is located.

  18. Eric -- and there is that famous perspective that I love. I took my ex to see this street when we were in Paris—but mainly because that is our name (Barre), so it is "our" street!
    Jeff -- Petrea is right.
    Drummond -- love your tidbits!
    And where is notre petite reine? Still in Mexico??

  19. I like this, Eric! It's a view of Paris not often seen.

  20. Thanks, folks, for the kind words. Life is stressful sometimes!