latin quarter, Maps

Cutting Corners

Have you ever noticed funny looking corners on old buildings in Paris?

There is a reason!

These corners were cut concavely to reduce damages done by medi-Evil Knievel style drivers who took corners too sharp in their carriages or wagons. They were also a way for Stone Masons to show off their Stereonomy skills. (No no, not the study of stereos. This is a technique used when cutting three dimensional solids into wacky shapes)

You can find similar Anti-Carriage Wheel Damage Devices at the entrances of many buildings, known as chasse roues/wheel chasers.

Here is a picture of one of my favorite truncated streets corners in Paris.

Black and White photo taken by Charles Marville, 1866

Located at the corner of Rue Maitre Albert and Place Maubert in the 5th, if you get up real close, you can see a super illegible description behind a plate of plexiglass.

This indicates the height of the water level from a flood in 1711, as well as stating that this building was created just a year prior in 1710.

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