Medusa Doors

Paris

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It's hard to walk down the Rue Vieille du Temple in the Marais without pausing to gaze at these traffic-stopping medusa/gorgon doors on the Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil at #47. But what does this landmark building and popular tourist photo op have to do with the founding of the United States of America?

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This historic hôtel particulier was built in 1660. It has two beautiful, run-down courtyards that are open only once a year to the public, though you can get a glimpse inside when the building's tenants come and go. If we were back in the years 1776 to 1787, it might have been Beaumarchais who you spied coming in and out. While living here, he wrote The Marriage of Figaro, and founded a royally supported business that secretly furnished weapons and supplies to help American rebels fight the American revolution.

- Kristin Hohenadel blogging from Paris. She can be reached at kristin @ apartmenttherapy . com

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