Sunday 6 February 2011

Upstairs Downstairs

Nearly opposite the Saint Germain de Charonne church are two matching houses with a pair of rather curious winding staircases. The houses were in the heart of the old village of Charonne and clearly quite ancient, but what is the story behind the raised entrances?

The answer is a very simple one, but also one we might not initially imagine. According to the Michelin guide "Idées de promenades à Paris", the doors were positioned at ground level up until the middle of the 19th century when it was decided that the terrain should be made flatter for the agricultural workers who passed by each day and who found it a little bit too steep!

The ground was levelled off, but a solution had to be found for the residents of these properties who now found themselves six feet above ground level. Simple - an elegant winding staircase!


Hotel la Defense said...

Enchanting, I have never noticed these 2 houses, there are quite remarkable, though.

PeterParis said...

... and the houses became much nicer! The only problem is of course, if you have a problem with your legs. :-)

c'est Jeff ici said...

I am enjoying your blog. I've spent a lot of time walking around Paris over the last 25 years and yet much of what you present here is new to me. I like the quality of the photography as well.

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