A couvent was built
from 1234 to 1571 by the Grey Friars, the so-called Cordeliers in France, on fields offered to their order by Louis IX,
on the site of vineyards lined by the wall of Philip II Augustus.
It became a renowned education centre, competing with the Sorbonne in the 17th century, and was seized by the
in 1789 to host the Society of the Friends of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, known as the Cordeliers Club,
where Desmoulins, Danton, Hébert, Marat ... gave public lectures.
Allocated in 1795 to the newly-established Medicine School, its main buildings, except the cloister and the refectory, were demolished to make space for the
Observance hospice, devoted to the study of "rare and complicated medical cases", and successive medical services, until - today - the
The refectory has also housed engineers and surveyors in charge of drawing the Paris Grand Plan under the supervision of Edme Verniquet, the studio of the painter
Jean-Baptiste Regnault and a bill manufactory for
the Banque de France.
Les Cordeliers belong to the City of Paris since 1875 and are currently managed by
the Université Pierre & Marie Curie.