December 2, 2022

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Maison de la Colombe in Paris, France

Paris is known as the City of Love, and one of its most memorable love legends involves a pair of lovebirds that once lived on Île de la Cité around 1225.

As the story goes, a sculptor working on the construction of Notre Dame lived at 4 Rue de la Colombe with a couple of tamed doves. One day, a flood caused his house to collapse while he was away, trapping the female dove under the rubble. The male managed to escape, but never left his sweetheart’s side, bringing her seeds and water from the Seine every day.

Touched by his devotion, the neighbors got together to free the female dove from the rubble, and the lovers were finally reunited. To honor them, the street was later named Rue de la Colombe—Dove Street. On the site of their home the Maison de la Colombe, one of the oldest bistros in Paris, was built in the 16th century, and though it did not survive to this day, a restaurant has been established at the location along with a plaque commemorating the tale. 

Additionally, just a little further down the street at 5-6 Rue de la Colombe, there is another historic curiosity dating back to ancient Rome, when the island was the center of a Gallic settlement called Lutetia. If visitors look closely, they will see the outline of a cobblestone street is actually the remains of the Roman wall built to defend the city. 

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