Cool Stuff in Paris. By Manning Leonard Krull.

Cannonball in the wall of the Hôtel de Sens

Hôtel de Sens
1, Rue du Figuier, 75004 Paris (Map)
Métro: Saint-Paul

This is something tiny and it takes no more than a minute to enjoy, but I absolutely love it. There's a cannonball lodged high in the front wall of the Hôtel de Sens. Some history, if you're interested (I personally just like the cannonball), this medieval building was built between 1475 and 1519, originally housed the archbishops of Paris during the middle ages, and then in 1605 Queen Margot, Henri IV's ex-wife, moved in. I presume she did not get her security deposit back.

Anyway, you can locate the building, stand across the street from it and look up, and you'll see the small black cannonball way up there. This little detail is a simple pleasure that I take in every time I happen to be strolling through that neighborhood. Just below the cannonball they've engraved the date that the cannonball hit the building; July 28th, 1830. Neat! Here are some pictures:

One more thing! At the front of the building, stand under the big archway and look up, and you'll see a rectangular hole. A tourguide friend of mine told me this was there in case of attack, so the guards could pour boiling oil on people trying to storm the gates! So you're really better off just keeping your distance and firing cannonballs at the place.

While you're there, there's a tiny, cute park around back of the building with beautiful flowers and plenty of benches. A great place to take a break from sightseeing!

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