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Hotels Notre Dame Paris Hotels near the Notre Dame in Paris France



Notre Dame de Paris :

Steps away from the Notre-Dame, smack in the heart of tourist-filled, car-clogged Paris, lies a cool and serene haven, known only to a few visitors, although it’s well-known to most Parisians. And it’s where I’m going for lunch and, surprise, it’s a hospital.

Probably not your first choice for a typical Paris meal, but the Hôtel Dieu, right across from Paris’ most famous cathedral, holds secrets of the kind that tourists cherish, once stumbled upon.

As the oldest hospital in Paris, the history of the Hôtel Dieu is steeped in legend. The Roman Emperor Julien II is said to have built a residence over the remains of a Druid temple. Centuries later, around 651, Saint Landry, the 28th Bishop of Paris, built a hospital at or near this site.

Ironically, the hospital was originally built to confine rather than to cure the sick. Guards were posted at its gates to keep those inside from getting out and infecting the city. During the French Revolution, it was the hospital's proximity to Notre-Dame that saved the cathedral from being burned to the ground by the communards who feared the fire would endanger their hospitalized wounded comrades.

Having survived fires, revolutions, wars, and numerous reconstructions, the hospital today offers state-of-the-art medical services. Although the hospital takes up a city block, most tourists aren’t even aware of it.
Once inside the reception area, turn right and follow the hallway to an open courtyard where you’ll find beautifully tended gardens that invite you to sit and rest body and spirit. Open during regular hospital hours, the gardens are a cool and fragrant surprise at any time of year.

Another little-known secret is the cafeteria (yes, it’s air-conditioned) that caters to those working and visiting the hospital. If you are looking for an inexpensive, smoke-free eating environment, the cafeteria serves up hot and cold dishes, sandwiches, salads and drinks, most of which are available for only a few euros.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them :

Go on the "Cathedrale Notre Dame Paris" official website to discover more pictures and free reviews :