"Sanctuary of Bishops by birth, Stronghold of knowledge for life, the stoney edifice, fools the senses by its name."
―A riddle by Nostradamus describing the Hôtel de Sens.[src]

The Hôtel de Sens is an hôtel particulier in the Marais district of Paris.


The Hôtel de Sens was built on the bank of the River Seine between 1475 and 1507. Along with the Hôtel de Cluny, it was one of the last buildings in Paris constructed in the style of Gothic medieval architecture. It was built for the Archbishop of Sens, whose power overshadowed even that of the Archbishop of Paris. The hôtel was constructed similarly to a fortress, with two turrets incorporated in the structure.

From 1605 to 1606, it was the residence of Margaret of France, the former wife of Henry IV of France. In 1606, as Margaret returned home to the hôtel, she saw her young lover, Gabriel Dat de Saint-Julien, being killed in front of the gate by the Comte de Vermont, a jealous suitor and former lover of hers.

During the French Revolution, the leader of a group of looters ravaging the Marais in search of valuable artworks used the Hôtel de Sens as his headquarters. In order to end the looting, the Assassin Council had Arno Dorian eliminate the leader at the hôtel.

As riots gripped Paris during the July Revolution of 1830, the walls near the left turret were hit by a cannon ball. It remains there today, serving as a reminder of the revolution. The hôtel currently houses the Forney art library, giving an ironically literary function to the fortress-like building.