Page 31. " carted her off to the Hôtel-Dieu "
Hotel-Dieu, Paris 2007
GNU Free Documentation LicenseHotel-Dieu, Paris 2007 - Credit: David Monniaux

The Hôtel-Dieu is the oldest hospital in Paris. It was founded circa 651 on the Île de la Cité. Until the Renaissance, it was the only hospital in the city. having survived centuries of tumult, revolution and several fires, it remains in operation today.


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Page 33. " left him immune to anthrax "

Anthrax is a lethal disease which commonly affects mammals and can be spread to humans through diseased flesh. In the 18th century, there was no vaccine. Grenouille catches the disease through contact in his tanning work and unexpectedly survives it. He is disfigured, but immune to the disease.

Page 36. " the market of Les Halles "

Les Halles is an area of central Paris, for many years the site of a huge market.

les Halles today
GNU Free Documentation Licenseles Halles today - Credit: Aaron Ferguson

Structures were first erected there for merchants in 1183. In the 1850s, a glass and iron structure was built to house the stall holders selling their wares. It was for a time known as 'the belly of Paris'. In 1971 the market was replaced with an open-air shopping centre.


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Page 39. " honour of the Dauphin's birth "

Dauphin was the title given to the heir apparent to the throne of France. The 'Dauphin' (literally 'dolphin', as depicted on the coat of arms) title was used between 1350 and 1791. At the time of the novel, Louis XV bore the title. He was the second Dauphin of France.

Page 39. " Pavillon de Flore "

With construction beginning in 1595, the Pavillon de Flore is part of the Palais du Louvre.

It was used as a meeting place for the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution.

Page 47. " Pont au Change "

The Pont au Change is a bridge crossing the Seine. It took its name from the moneylenders and goldsmiths who set up shop on the earliest-known incarnation of the bridge in the 12th century.