NFT Paris Île de la Cité

Île de la Cité


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Posted By:  Alex G
Photo:  Alex G

Hotel Dieu Hospitel
How about taking advantage of your visit to Paris to stay at the hospital for a night or two? Here is how that would be possible--and, quite possibly, even very desirable. Hotel Dieu is one of the world's longest-operating hospitals. It first opened in the heart of Paris, on the main island, in... 651. Not to worry – medicine has made some solid progress in the last 1,500 years, and Hotel Dieu is now a cutting-edge hospital. And so, how would you like to spend a night there? Not as a patient, but simply as guest. The hospital sits right on the island where Paris first started, just across from Notre Dame. No other hotel can match that pedigree. What makes this possible is the transformation of a good part of the attic into guest rooms for family members of patients. When these rooms are not used by families, they are, quite pragmatically, made available to anyone for rent. The set-up of the rooms is a bit Spartan, and the prices, at €130 for two, feel slightly inflated in regard to the overall service provided. But the view is splendid, and the location of your residence beats anything the city can offer--especially when you consider that the island hosts, in all, one (tiny) hotel. And the hotel means business--their website even features an English version.

Posted By:  Alex G
Photo:  Alex G

The English claim that Sweeney Tood "the demon barber of Fleet street" was from London. Parisians have it otherwise. If you visit Notre Dame, see for yourself. To the left of Notre Dame Cathedral, where Hotel Dieu hospital now stands, street "rue des marmousets" once ran. "Kids" street” was well known for its baker, and for some fabulous meat pies. One day, back in 1427, people started to take notice of a dog that stood wailing and howling for three straight days by the door of the barber who ran a shop right next to the baker's. The police were sent in. 3 days earlier, the dog's master, a visiting foreign student, had been slain by the barber. The barber, it turned out, was "in business" with the baker. He made it a habit to kill strangers and throw them into the basement that he shared with the baker, providing supplies for the (by now infamous) meat pies. Today the shop is gone--did it ever exist in the first place? But Parisians guarantee it--Sweeney Todd is no Londoner.

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