A narrow street, old stone walls and a variety of doors; tall and thin, wide and stately, upright or skewed,  leaning or sagging. The beauty of age shows in the irregularity of these buildings. Who needs perfection?



This is a selection of doors from Rue Visconti, a short street in the quartier of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, just round the corner from Rue de l’Échaudé.  The houses have been remodeled and adapted over the years. Some have been completely rebuilt; many suffered years of neglect.  In 1760 several houses were in need of urgent repairs; by 1790 number 18 was thought to be in danger of collapse.  In the nineteenth century small scale industry took over the courtyards of once grand houses and the buildings were subdivided for multiple tenants.  Mid twentieth century photos show facades supported by makeshift beams propped across the street.  Somehow most of the buildings escaped demolition and were finally restored and stabilised.  Only the irregularities show the uncertainties of the past.

Every old building has stories to tell.  Thanks to an enthusiastic archivist, many of the buildings in Rue Visconti have their stories recorded and illustrated on the street’s own website.  The snippets of information attached to the photos above come from that site.  Click on any photo to view the gallery.

This post is linked to Thursday Doors, a weekly collection of ordinary and extraordinary doors from around the world.