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Anyone who has read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone in the U. S.) or seen the film based on it, knows of Nicolas Flamel, the immortal alchemist and creator of the Philosopher’s Stone, an alchemical substance capable of turning base metals into pure gold and granting eternal life. Less well-known is the fact that Nicolas Flamel was a real historical figure – as was his quest for the Philosopher’s Stone.
"Nicolas Flamel is an historical character. Flamel lived in France in the fourteenth century and is supposed to have discovered how to make a philosopher's stone. There are mentions of sightings of him through the centuries because he was supposed to have gained immortality. There are still streets named after Flamel and his wife Perenelle in Paris." JK Rowling
I have a friend who was in Paris last month, (his mother is French) and he was telling me about a restaurant he went to that was tucked away in an old tiny alley in the 3rd Arrondissement. Built in 1407, it is actually the oldest remaining stone house in Paris and former home to the alchemist himself, Nicolas Flamel.
Strange symbols adorn the architecture at 51 rue de Montmorency in Paris. The house was in fact built by the city’s most famous alchemist, who many believe achieved great wealth through his discovery of the Philosopher’s Stone.
As you enter the medieval tavern, wooden beams and stone walls set the ambience for this vintage inn with low lights, white tablecloths and silver cutlery. Formerly a restaurant for poor people centuries ago, the cuisine today is top notch and highly recommended by local hotels.
Next time you’re in Paris, look into visiting this fine restaurant, where you can wine and dine right where Nicolas and his wife Perenelle used to live.