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Database: Hôtel de Cluny

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An outstanding example of medieval household architecture in Paris. The Hôtel de Cluny was built at the center of the Gallo-Roman capital (vestiges of a Roman thermal bath still abut the hôtel). The Abbot of Cluny purchased the site to transform it into a town house in 1334, but it was Jacques d'Amboise who turned it into what was essentially a luxurious guest house in 1485. One of its occupants was Mary Tudor, the young widow of Louis XII. Francis I, fearing that she might give birth to a son who would take his place on the throne, kept her under surveillance here. Such caution was justified: he found her in the arms of the Duke of Suffolk, her military attaché. She was promptly married in the chapel then sent packing with her husband on the first boat to England. The building is now a charming museum renowned for its collection of tapestries.

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