Cloître des Billettes
Atget - 1898
There is a legend associated with this place … It is told that in 1290, on the Easter Day, the Jew Jonathas, a pawnbroker, tried to destroy a host with a knife. As the host was bleeding,
he threw it in boiling water which turned into blood. Neighbors panicked when they noticed the blood leaking under the door and called constables for assistance. Jonathas was arrested, burned alive, his property taken away, his wife and his children converted
On the site of the house where “God was boiled”, a citizen of Paris, Rainier Flamingue, had a chapel built in 1299 that King Philippe le Bel assigned to the
Hospital of Charity Notre-Dame. The monks were called Billettes, probably because the garment they were wearing had the shape of a heraldic piece, la billette. Their church became more important and the cloister, the only one still remaining from the
Middle Ages today in Paris, was built in 1427. The church, rebuilt in the 18th century, was later on assigned to the Lutheran church by the city of Paris in 1812. Before the street was called rue des Archives, it was called the street where God was boiled.
Feeding antisemitism for a long time, the legend passed to several countries in Europe and can be seen in a series of six paintings done by Paolo Ucello in the 15th century, the Miracle of the Profaned Host, that can be seen at the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, in Urbino.