Half-timbered houses on rue Francois Miron, Paris

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From the medieval past of Paris, only a few residential houses remain in the historic centre of Paris. I posted an article about the hidden timber house in rue de Braque. The two half-timbered houses on rue Francois Miron are visible from the street. And as always there is a little story to tell about these houses… Rendez-vous in the rue François Miron in the 4th arrondissement.


The half-timbered houses on rue Francois Miron, Paris 

Half-timbered houses on rue Francois Miron, Paris © French Moments

Half-timbered houses on rue Francois Miron, Paris © French Moments

Long considered to be Paris’ oldest houses, the two half-timbered houses on rue Francois Miron date back to the beginning of the 15th century. Sources indicate that they could have been built as early as the 14th century.

Their names are written of the plaques located on the façades:

  • Number 11: the House of the Reaper (À l’enseigne du Faucheur)
The door of the Reaper House © French Moments

The door of the Reaper House © French Moments

  • Number 13: the corbeled House of the Sheep (À l’enseigne du Mouton). 
The door of the Sheep House © French Moments

The door of the Sheep House © French Moments

In the Middle-Ages, houses were not identified by numbers as is done today but by shop signs informing on the merchants activities.

From 1508, successive royal decrees prohibited new construction with projecting parts. They were seen as dangerous enough to fall on the head of passers-by! The gable of the Sheep House was therefore removed in the 17th century.

In 1607 the appearance of the tall and narrow houses changed when the façades were covered with a mixture of plaster and lime. Many other houses in Paris were treated the same way as to reduce the risk of fire.

Numbers 11 and 13 rue Francois Miron 2 © Mini.fb - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

The half-timbered houses on rue Francois Miron before the 1960s © Mini.fb – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

It’s only since 1967 they have regained their former medieval charm when the plaster was removed to reveal the old timber. The gable of the Sheep House (number 11) was rebuilt.

Rue François Miron

Did you know? The street where the medieval houses are located takes its name from François Miron, a popular Provost of the merchants of Paris from 1604 to 1609.

  • Location: 13 rue François Miron, 4th arrondissement
  • Closest métro station: Hôtel de Ville (métro lines 1 and 11) or Saint-Paul (line 1)
  • Find out more about the half-timbered houses on rue Francois Miron on the blog of my friend Sabrina Tu Paris Combien.

Lastly, did you know that the French term for “half-timbered houses” is “maison à colombages” (masculine)? Many half-timbered houses can be seen across the regions of France with different styles: Normandy,  Brittany, Burgundy or Alsace (read our dedicated article!).


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Discover old medieval houses in Paris © French Moments


 

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About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

2 Comments

  1. I’m so glad I discovered your blog! I’ve been to France twice. Both visits included Paris. I’m interested in the Middles Ages, so while there I visited the (few) medieval sites/buildings available. However, I was did not learn about the Billettes Cloister or the houses on Rue Francois Miron until reading your blog this morning. I will definitely look them up on my next visit.

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