Hotel de Sens, Paris

Hotel de Sens, Paris

Built between 1474 and 1519 as a home for the bishop Tristan de Salazar, Hotel de Sens is one of the three original medieval residences left in Paris. The building's mixed architectural design reveals transitions that had taken place between the Medieval and Renaissance epochs. The architecture of Hôtel de Sens shows elements of a fortification structure. There are turrets (armored towers) for observing the surrounding area, a square tower served as a dungeon, as well as an arched entryway with built-in slopping passages from where boiling hot oil could be poured upon would-be attackers.

On a different note, in 1605, Queen Margot, ex-wife of King Henri IV of Navarre, settled in the hotel. Eccentric by nature and with a taste for lavish lifestyle, Queen Margot reportedly indulged herself with numerous love affairs here and is said to have gathered her lovers' hair to make wigs that she later sported.

Sold off in 1797, the structure was badly mutilated during the 19th century and subdivided for a multitude of uses. After the French Revolution (which left it with a cannonball still lodged in the wall), it was occupied by art students and, at some point, was turned into a jam factory. After decades of public pressure, it was finally saved by the city government, which undertook an ambitious restoration program between 1933-61.

The building as we see it today is largely a reconstitution of the original, based on drawings dating back to the 17th century. The main staircase tower, however, is original, as is the wonderfully picturesque entrance front. Despite its somewhat fanciful restoration, the Hotel de Sens is nonetheless an evocative remnant of medieval Paris – currently, home of the Bibliothèque Forney devoted to decorative and fine arts, as well as industrial techniques.

On your tour of Paris, make sure to stop by and admire this medieval residence's elegant formal gardens and dramatic design. Sit down on one of the garden benches and relax, detached from the nearby hectic city. It's a lovely place to take a little picnic lunch before continuing your Marais exploring.

Opening Hours:
Tue, Fri, Sat: 1–7:30pm; Wed, Thu: 10am–7:30pm

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Paris. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Hotel de Sens on Map

Sight Name: Hotel de Sens
Sight Location: Paris, France (See walking tours in Paris)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Paris, France

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

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Creating your own self-guided walk in Paris is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Champs-Elysees Walking Tour

Champs-Elysees Walking Tour

On this self-guided walk you will witness the grandeur of the 8th arrondissement of the French capital – one of its busiest and chic neighborhoods, thanks to the presence of Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, and Place de la Concorde.

Your best plan would be to start with the Triumphal Arch and walk up to its viewing area for great sights down the Champs-Élysées – a lovely...  view more

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Eiffel Tower Walking Tour

Eiffel Tower Walking Tour

The 7th arrondissement of Paris is the most affluent and prestigious residential area in France, home to world-famous Eiffel Tower and the French upper class alongside a number of French national institutions, government offices and diplomatic missions. This historical neighborhood boasts typically Parisian architecture complete with vibrant cafés, restaurants and gourmet shops which draw foodies...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
Latin Quarter Walking Tour

Latin Quarter Walking Tour

Paris’ Latin Quarter is situated on the left bank of the Seine and dates back to the Middle Ages. For years, it was known as a bohemian enclave, attracting students, writers and intellectuals. Centered on the Sorbonne University's main university campus, the area was so named a few centuries ago because the students were speaking and learning in Latin. It remains very lively, with a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Paris Introduction Walking Tour I

Paris Introduction Walking Tour I

The capital of France takes its name from the Celtic tribe of Parisii who, back in the Iron Age, around the 3rd century BC, settled near the river Seine. The Romans conquered the Parisii and established on their land a garrison town which, towards the end of the 5th century AD, fell to the Franks and flourished under their rule. Despite wars, revolutions and numerous social cataclysms, Paris had...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 Km or 3.2 Miles
Le Marais Walking Tour

Le Marais Walking Tour

The district known to locals as "Le Marais" used to be a bourgeois area in the past and a major center of the Paris Jewish community that still exists today. Here, you will find different bookshops specializing in Jewish books, restaurants with traditional Jewish food and a synagogue. As one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city, it also has no shortage of narrow medieval streets,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Souvenirs Shopping Walk

Souvenirs Shopping Walk

It would be a pity to leave Paris without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. Being one of the world's premier shopping cities, Paris attracts thousands of shopaholics every year. Even people who hate shopping, enjoy doing it in Paris. In addition to fabulous designer shops and luxury items, it is a great destination if you are into fashion, gourmet...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 Km or 3.1 Miles

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