Where to find the oldest house in Paris?

Oliver Gee
Oliver Gee - [email protected]
Where to find the oldest house in Paris?
The facade of the oldest house in Paris. All photos: Lina Nordin

Keen to check out the oldest house in the City of Light? Here's how to find it.


So which exactly is the oldest house in the historic city of Paris?

There has been years of debate on the topic, but experts apparently agree now on which takes the prize, according to Le Figaro newspaper.
Unsurprisingly the title has been given to a house that lies smack bang in the middle of the city. 
The building is located at number 51 Rue de Montmorency in the third arrondissement, not far from the Etienne Marcel Métro station (see map below).
Photo: Google Maps
The stone house is understood to date back over 600 years - and claims an interesting history indeed.
The building, which has been listed as a historical monument since 2011, was the first home of writer Nicolas Flamel.
If the name Nicolas Flamel sounds familiar to you, that's no surprise. The man became known after his death as one of the most famous alchemists in the world and was said to have created the Philosopher's Stone - "a legendary substance, allegedly capable of turning inexpensive metals into gold."
Flamel's name crops up in popular culture from Harry Potter to the Da Vinci Code, and there's even a street in Paris named after him. 
Today, the stone house shows no sign of alchemy backgrounds at all, although signs (pictured above) indicate that it was the home of Flamel.
Text above the door reads: "We, ploughmen and women living at the porch of this house, built in 1407, are requested to say every day an 'Our Father' and an 'Ave Maria' praying God that His grace forgive poor and dead sinners."
For those who are already planning on checking out the house, you won't have to travel much further to see what Le Figaro says is the second oldest house in Paris. 
Just five minute's walk away at 3 Rue Volta, close to the Arts et Métiers Métro stop in third arrondissement, stands a Chinese food shop that also dates back centuries. 
At the start of the first world war, experts dated the building back to the 13th century, which would have made it the oldest building in the city. 
However, new research has confirmed that it was actually built between 1644 and 1655, the paper reported.  
Of course, there are much older buildings in Paris if you want to continue your tour. 
The Notre Dame Cathedral, for example, dates back to 1163 and La Sorbonne university was completed in 1257.
If you're looking for something a little more "modern", you can always try the Eiffel Tower from 1889, or you can jump into the 21st century and check out the Louis Vuitton Foundation that was designed by Frank Gehry and opened in 2014. 
The two oldest homes are just five minutes from each other. Photo: Google Maps


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