Jim Morrison’s Mysterious Door

jim morrison marais death locationThe death of Jim Morrison is not the only mystery in the Rue Beautreillis. jim morrison in parisOn this street where the leader of The Doors spent the last few months of his life and where he (probably) died, another door stands curiously alone. This large stone gateway is the last remaining element of the Hotel Raoul, a historic house in the Marais, but why was it preserved when the rest of the building was demolished?

What is this strange solitary doorway here and to what did it once provide an entrance? Although our eyes may be attracted by the door and walls – and the handsome fig tree that reaches over both – to one side there is a homemade plaque with a URL written on it (although someone has tried to paint over it). Type in this address and you’ll find a well-documented site covering the full history of this location.

The faded writing above the door undoubtedly reads Hôtel de Jean-Louis Raoul. This was its most recent name, but buildings on this spot date back to the 14th century.

The first building was the Hôtel Saint-Pol, a royal abode and sometime home to King Charles V. BeautreillisSquareA little outside the centre of the city, it was protected by the Bastille chateau and also provided a home to a dozen or so lions! Over the following centuries, the grounds of this house were chopped up into smaller units and criss-crossed by new roads. One of these lots was bought by Paul Ardier, an advisor and minister to Henri IV, who built the first hôtel on this spot, roughly at the same time as the nearby Place des Vosges was in construction.

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