Ever dreamed of running your own restaurant in Paris? The Maison des Célestins, a 19th century ruin sitting opposite the Ile Saint Louis, could be your opportunity! New owners the Ports de Paris have just launched a call for bids for parties who are interested in transforming this historic building into a riverside bar and restaurant, and you have until September to put forward your project.
The building, on two levels - quai side below and city side above - is a throwback to a time when river traffic in Paris was mucher denser. Built in 1861, it belonged to the Prefecture de Paris and was used to control navigation in the city.
In theory, the Maison des Célestins is in a great position. With its feet in the water and its eyes on the Ile Saint Louis, it offers a perfect view - if it wasn't for the motorway that runs alongside and cuts it off from the river. Fortunately, the City of Paris has also recently announced that the road here will be significantly changed in the coming years, with traffic lights to slow down the speeding vehicles and a pathway alongside the river.
the Rotonde at the Basin de la Villette also due to reopen as a smart restaurant soon, it seems that all riverside heritage in Paris can only be reborn as a place to eat and drink.
One final question remains at this spot though. A marker can be seen at the top level of the building pointing out the flood levels from 1910. What will happen to the restaurant if the water rises again - as everyone seems to agree is more than probable? The dream location could turn out to be anything but!