Nicolas Flamel was a real Person…
Yep, you know that guy, Nicolas Flamel, from Harry Potter that creates an elixir that lets you live forever? The elixir that Voldemort was willing to kill for? Well, he was real. And he lived in Paris! And you can still see his house today…
Who was Nicolas Flamel?
Although his alchemy skills probably weren’t as powerful as the legend suggests, he was an acclaimed scribe and manuscript vendor. He also remains one of the best documented personalities of medieval times. Born in around 1330 in Pontoise (a town North-West of Paris), he ended up running two shops in the centre of Paris. In 1368, he married a twice widow and wealthy woman, Pernelle. The couple often made considerable donations to local churches and were well known for their philanthropic endeavours.
It is now widely believed by academics that it wasn’t until hundreds of years after his death that he earned the reputation of being a powerful alchemist. Although he may have had a go at some basic alchemy, the legends are more likely to be fables, fairytales from the 17th century.
The rumours that he had managed to create the philosopher’s stone (otherwise known as the elixir for eternal life) were perpetuated by the fact that he lived until he was in his 80s. This was almost unheard of in medieval times. He was also a little more than fascinated by death. At the beginning of the 1400s, Flamel even designed his own tombstone. You can see the gravestone today at the Musée de Cluny in the Latin Quarter. His will doesn’t suggest that he died vastly wealthy.
Where to find Nicolas Flamel Today
Rue Pernelle & Rue Nicolas Flamel
Close to Chatelet and near Tour Saint Jacques, two roads have been named for Flamel and his wife. I think that it’s really lovely that they intersect so that the two lovers are together forever.
Filled with cafés and green spaces, the roads are picturesque Parisian streets and the perfect place to have a café.
51 Rue de Montmorency
Down a winding, cobblestone lined road in Paris, lies a rather unusual house. In fact, this house has stood here in its entirety since 1407. The address is 51 Rue de Montmorency and it is now the site of a restaurant/ hotel.
It is the the best known and only surviving house that the Flamels owned. Sadly, Flamel’s wife, Pernelle died decades before him, in 1397. Following her death, he decided to build the house that still stands there today.
Pin it now, read it again later!