Dating to the mid-7th century, the Hôtel-Dieu was originally started as a refuge for the poor and sick, funded by the nobility as a charity. Under Francis I, the Pont au Double was built across the Seine to transport patients to the Hôtel-Dieu.
By the time of the French Revolution, the Hôtel-Dieu had earned a horrendous reputation, the people dying there more likely to have contracted disease from inside the hospital than outside. The sewers under the building were used by Templars to smuggle out artifacts stolen from the Notre-Dame. In response, Arno Dorian and a team of Assassins broke into the sewers and recovered the artifacts.
Despite the numerous renovations undertaken on the Hôtel-Dieu over the years, it still serves as an emergency center for the first 9 arrondissements of Paris.