Behind Notre-Dame, immerse yourself in the medieval streets of Ile de la Cité. At number 4 of rue de la Colombe, you will find Les Deux Colombes, an excellent restaurant whose refined cuisine combined with a beautiful setting overlooking the Seine perfectly cultivates this ideal of romantic Paris. And for good reason – this pretty house shelters a legend that’s just as pretty.
In the 13th century, during the construction of Notre-Dame, there was a house where a Breton sculptor who participated in the creation of its gargoyles used to live. He had tamed a couple of doves that lived with him. The house, built with simple materials, was quite fragile. One day, perhaps because of a flood of the Seine, the house collapsed and trapped the doves. The male managed to slip out from the rubble but not the female. Regularly, he brought her seeds and made her drink with a twig. The Parisians, witnesses of its distress, all gathered to free her. Stone by stone, after several days, they finally succeeded. Once they were reunited in the sky, the two doves performed a dance to thank the Parisians and then flew off into the distance.
For several centuries, the place became a meeting place for lovers who swore fidelity to each other in front of the house rebuilt in part from the original stones. These meetings, considered pagan, were forbidden by the Church. But today, we still find the sculptures of the doves, near the entrance of the restaurant.