latin quarter, Maps

The Last Wooden Staircase

8 rue Boutebrie Paris 75005

The Rue Boutebrie has been around since the 13th century and began as Rue Erembourg de Brie, after a noble who lived there. There are two very interesting and old things on this street that make this girl giddy with glee.

1. If you’re an Original Gansta Paris History of our Streets faithful follower, you already know that the house at number 6 is OLD AS DIRT (not even the owner of the restaurant on the ground level knew the building’s age) because it has the signature gabled roof/maison à pignon that can only mean it was constructed before the 17th century. (These kinds of buildings with roofs facing the street were forbidden to be built after 1667 when King Louis XIV deemed them a fire risk. There are only about 20 or so of these old sexy beasts still in this area of Paris)

2. Thanks to the nice guy at Grains Nobles, I was able to breech the locked entryway at number 8 to take a peek at the historic treasure waiting in the hallway. Like a medieval prostitute with a bad case of the clap, this staircase has been AROUND.

Just a typical entranceway to a 16th century building right? WRONG!

This wooden sculpted masterpiece has been in this building since the late 16th century and was classified a historic monument in 1925. It is in incredible condition- it appears to have been resurfaced recently because I find it hard to believe anything this smooth and shiny could be 400+ years old.

I walked it up to the 5th floor hoping I could run into one of the apartment owners (whom I would automatically befriend because who doesn’t love a girl only 3 years past her prime with a passion for history and nice long legs? They would then invite me into their 16th century home where we would share a café and count the inevitable cockroaches who skitter past that undoubtedly live in their walls) but alas, no one was home.

Side Note: Gonnorhea was referred to as the clap before it was even Gonnorhea; described in medevial times as a clapping burning sensation during urination.

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