Have you ever wondered what Paris was like in the Middle-Ages? If the French capital is often represented by the famous Eiffel Tower, its Haussmann architecture and its typical roofs, we are far from thinking about its medieval past.
It is true that of all times Paris have crossed, the Middle-Ages is not the time period with the most remnants. Out of the 2,185 monuments in town, about thirty come from the Medieval era. If Middle-Age Paris seems to be relatively little represented in the landscape of Paris monuments, it doesn’t prevent some treasures from being famous around the globe. And proof of it, the Notre-Dame Cathedral!
From its most famous monuments to its most secret vestiges, Middle-Age Paris deserves to be known. So, ready to go back in time?
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The Two Towers
Between the Eiffel Tower and the Montparnasse Tower or the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, one thing is certain: in Paris one likes to be in the air. And this will to touch the sky is not new. There are medieval towers in the heart of the capital that deserve to be known. And it is perfect as they can be visited!
The first one, the Tour Saint-Jacques is hard to miss. It stands 54 meters high in the middle of a Parisian square in the Châtelet neighborhood. Dating back from the 16th century, it displays flamboyant gothic style and used to house the bell tower of the Church of Saint Jacques de la Boucherie now disappeared.
Not far from there, by the Etienne Marcel area in Paris 2nd arrondissement is found a second medieval tower, a little bit more secret: the Tower of John the Fearless – or Tour Jean Sans Peur. This fortification tower is also the last vestige of a disappeared building: the hôtel des Ducs de Bourgogne. Dating back from the 15th century, it was used as a dungeon and backstairs.
The Parisian Hogwarts
If you are a Harry Potter fan, the Hôtel de Cluny will take you to your favorite universe. Nestled in the Latin Quarter, this private mansion from the 15th century displays flamboyant gothic style like the Tour Saint-Jacques. Today, it houses the Musée de Cluny devoted to the Middle-Ages.
In its collections are found the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry as well as the original heads that adorned the façade of the Cathedral Notre-Dame. The annex of this uncommon museum is found by the Termes de Cluny, one of the rare vestiges from the Antiquity still visible today in Paris.