The Top Ten Oldest Places in Paris


We all know Paris is old. The city is brimming with ancient art and architecture, some dating back more than a millennium. Here is our top ten list of the places in Paris that have stood the test of time.

1. The Oldest House

The house of Nicolas Flamel, a famed alchemist who claimed to have found the Philosopher’s Stone, was built in 1407 at 51 rue de Montmorency in the 3rd arrondissement. The house, with tavern at ground level still stands and was restored in 2007.

Métro: Etienne Marcel (line 4) or Rambuteau (line 11)

image_1-22. The Oldest Square

In the beginning of the 17th century King Henri IV ordered the construction of the Place Royal, known today as the Place des Vosges. The square became a model of harmonious architecture in the French style and was the inspiration for other parks throughout Europe.  Today, the Place des Vosges is perfect spot for an afternoon pause or a play with the kids.

Métro: Saint-Paul (line 1)

3. The Oldest Restaurant

La Petite Chaise lays claim to the title of oldest resto in Paris, founded in 1680. The modern gastronomic fare comes at fair prices in the form of multiple fixed menus or items à la carte. 

36, Rue de Grenelle, 7th arrondissement
Métro: Rue de Bac (line 12)

4. The Oldest Pâtisserie

Desserts fit for a queen. Or more precisely, Stohrer was founded by the pâtissier of Louis XV’s queen, in 1725. Marie Leszcynska, the Polish princess refused to leave her favorite treats behind, they were that good and so Paris has benefitted ever since.

51 Rue Montorgueil, 2nd arrondissement
Métro: Etienne Marcel (line 4) or Sentier (line 3) 

5. The Oldest Chocolate Shop

A La Mère de la Famille is a Paris institution when it comes to bonbons. The grandfather of the brand, Pierre Jean Bernard, founded the Maison Bernard in 1761. The original supermarket and subsequent chocolate enterprise was situated at 35, rue Faubourg Montmartre and that’s still where you’ll find the shop today.

33-35 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 9th arrondissement
Métro: Le Peletier (line 7)

image_26. The Oldest Market

The Marché des Enfants Rouges is the oldest covered market in Paris. The small space has been maintained and renovated with the times but still counts numerous vendors and a wide variety of products including produce, meat and flowers. If the bustling ambiance appeals to you there is also the possibility to dine in the marketplace.

39, Rue de Bretagne, 3rd arrondissement
Métro: Temple (line 3)

image_1-17. The Oldest Bridge

The Pont Neuf, or the “New Bridge” is ironically the oldest bridge in Paris. The bridge was inaugurated by Henri IV in 1607 and in contrast to other bridges at the time the Pont Neuf never held houses. Nowadays it is admired for its grand arches in the Roman tradition.

Métro: Pont Neuf (line 7)

8. The Oldest Church

The Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Près has been subjected to numerous evolutions throughout its long history (vikings, revolutions, fires, overzealous architects…you name it) but its foundations have been in place since the 6th century.

Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Près (line 4)

9. The Oldest Street

The Rue Saint-Jacques in the Latin Quarter is most likely the oldest street in Paris. It was a main axe in medieval Paris but was used much earlier as the cardo (main north-south oriented street) in the Roman city of Lutetia.

Métro: Cluny-La Sorbonne (line 10)

image_110. The Oldest Tree

Across from Notre-Dame in the 5th arrondissement is the Square René-Viviani. Here blossoms every Spring the oldest tree in Paris. The locust tree, imported from America by a friend of the Royal Gardener, Jean Robin, was planted in 1601.

Métro: Saint-Michel (line 4)

 

 

5 thoughts on “The Top Ten Oldest Places in Paris

  1. Anthony Cole

    Not far from there is supposedly THE oldest restaurant in Paris, le Procope. Ben Franklin dined there. However I would not recommend it for dining. The food is awful and only tourists end up in there.

    Reply
  2. Vilma Pagan

    Estamos planificando para proximo ano el viaje a la ciudad Paris.

    Somos fanaticos de Monet y Paris Es cierto que hay 6 habitaciones para quedarse donde el vivio
    y cuanto seria por noche…

    Gracias

    Reply
  3. Dee

    Nice list.
    There is some debate about the oldest chocolate shop in Paris. Some say it’s A la Mere and some claim it’s Debauve & Gallais. Sometimes history can be so tricky. Having been to both, I love the pomp & circumstance (and the chocolates that Marie Antoinette loved made here) at Debauve but I love the people at A la Mere de la Famille.

    Reply
  4. Marlene Mohle

    We will have a lay over in Paris from 12:00, Noon until 9:00 am the next day. Does anyone have any suggestions on where we should stay, and what we should do for those few hours in Paris?

    Reply

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