Ploughmen's sins of the oldest house in Paris

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The façade - ©Anecdotrip.com / CC-BY-NC-SA The façade - ©Anecdotrip.com / CC-BY-NC-SA
Nicolas Flamel's house House

Here's the house of Nicolas Flamel, the oldest one in Paris! Because he saved money, Flamel, a well-to-do bourgeois and public writer, later bookseller at the University, owned several houses in Paris and spent a great amount of money to raise churches. After his wife Pernelle died in 1397, Flamel built houses in the rue Saint-Martin and rue Montmorency, where he lodged poor people, free of charge.

The rue Montmorency was at that time lined with abandoned lands. Flamel owned here a plot of land which belonged to Saint-Martin priory, and also bought two small stables. In 1407, a house called grand pignon ("big side wall") was raised: here's our house! Before he died in 1418, Flamel gave it to the Saint-Jacques parish: they had to rent it to the destitute.

Look at this inscription, on the lintel! It says: Nous homes et femmes laboureurs demourans au porche de ceste maison qui fut faite en l'an de grâce mil quatre cens et sept, some tenus chascun en droit soy dire tous les jours une patenostre et un avé maria en priant Dieu que sa grâce face pardo aus povres pecheurs trespassés. Amen. Here's the meaning: "We are men and women, ploughmen, living in this house raised in 1407. Each day, we have to say an ave Maria, praying God for the poor sinners who died. Amen."


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