The distinctive Gothic conical tower of this small building in le Marais is all that remains from the original Hôtel d'Hérouet. It was built around 1520 by Jean d'Hérouet, a treasurer of the king, but modified heavily over the years. In World War II, the mansion was partially destroyed in a bombing and was hastily reconstructed in the form we see today.
Founded in the 4th century AD, the church dedicated to Saints Gervasius and Protasius is one of the oldest in Paris. The ancient church was rebuilt beginning in 1494 and modified for the next two centuries to the form we see today. The conflicting styles of its Classical Baroque façade - one of the first in Paris - and the flamboyant Gothic of the interior and the back, is a result of changing trends during its construction. The façade, which was only just uncovered after extensive restoration, dates from 1621 and inspired a trend for future churches in Paris. The apse contains some of the most beautiful stained glass windows that gloriously light up the interior while interesting looking gargoyles guard the exterior. The bright interior is unlike most Gothic churches in Paris which tend to be dark and somber. Église Saint-Gervais Saint-Protais is celebrated for having one of the rarest organs in Paris. It is located in a small square right behind l'Hôtel de Ville.
The grand palace named Hôtel de Soubise was built in 1708 for le prince de Soubise in a high Classical French architectural design. It replaced an older palace called l'Hôtel de Guise, dating from 1554, which in turn had replaced a mediaeval castle-palace called l'Hôtel de Clisson. A section of the latter dating from 1380, complete with its conical towers and Gothic portal, was spared two destructions and has been preserved as a wing of l'Hôtel de Soubise overlooking rue des Archives (see photos). This section is considered the only remaining 14th century example of residential architecture in Paris. In 1808, Napoléon turned this palace into les Archives Nationales (National Archives) and built a large annex behind the palace to house the voluminous archives. The older section of the palace was subsequently joined with the neighbouring Hôtel de Rohan and turned into le musée de l'Histoire de France.
I was traveling through Paris in June of 2008 and decided to take a walking tour of the city as I had only a few days there. Having been to Paris before, I wanted to stay away from the more typical tours of things (i.e. the Eiffel Tower) and found Aeon. They had a tour of the Marais that was fantastic. I got to see a neighborhood in a way that I never would have wandering it solo. Definitely one of the best things I did during my stay.
If you go to Le Marais you cannot miss eating a shawrma at this place. It is has gotten bigger lately and has lost some of its old charm but they still make the best shawarma in Paris if not the world!!
This church was originally dedicated to St.-Louis (1627) as part of a Jesuit monastery. It is modeled after the Gesu in Rome with a dome at the crossing (smaller than all the later Parisian domes). The facade has 3 levels of columns. Into the window on the second level was later inserted a clock from the Church of St.-Paul demolished in 1797. This is where the name of the second dedicatee comes from (1802). The inside of the church has no aisles but only tall pilaster columns and side chapels. Delacroix painted a "Christ on the Mount of Olives" (1826) to help restore its destroyed furnishings and a marble Mater Dolorosa by Germain Pilon (1586) survives. (Napoleon gave the monastery building behind the church(built 16247) for a Lycee).
Enter the Hotel and proceed to the Courtyard (Gardens). At the back is a second building, the Orangerie (1624; sometimes called the "Petit Hotel Sully"). There is a passageway on your right through it to the Place des Vosges. But first look at the Hotel carefully. It was built by architect Jean Androuet de Cerceau (1624-30) and in 1634 was acquired by Sully the aging minister to Henri IV. One enters through a one story gate building which seals off the Court of Honor set between the wings of a U-shaped chateau. There are 2 large figures on each of the three facade faces: the wings have the 4 elements, the main body 2 of the 4 seasons (the other two face the garden, which you enter past 2 sphinxes and through a hallway). There are visits (fee) to the interiors if you have time.
In the Marais area some streets closer to Place des Vosges are populated mainly by Jews: it's the "Pletzel", Yiddish name for the old 13th century Jewish quarter.
If you take a walk in rue des Rosieres you can see men strolling in their traditional dresses, and you find many inviting confectioners shop: from their windows you can see every kind of cake and the smell is tempting!
There are also some fashion shops, bars and kosher restaurants and no Mc Donald's! There was an attempt to estabilish one there, but the population was against it and finally they won and succeeded in saving an old hammam...:)
For me Paris is more le Marais than Champs Elysee although it is a must to go and feel the grandeur of the GRands Boulevards and all the Impressive Monuments. Le Marais is very atmospheric and has interesting shops and nice little restaurants. It is a pleasure to stroll around and than sit it the Place Vosges and have a glass of wine or coffee whatever :-) Now in December it was raining and everything looked even more beautiful ...
Located in le Marais, the small church of Saint-Denis-du-Saint-Sacrement was built around 1830 by the architect Godde. The beautiful façade is Ionic neo-classical in style and contains sculptures by Fauchère. Statues of St Paul and St Peter have been placed on either side of the peristyle.
This is one of the oldest parts of Paris and was also home to the main Jewish population. Amongst the numerous shops and bistros. one can find some nice old and historic buildings.
Several museums are located in the area. These include the Musee Carnavalet (see seperate page) and the Picasso Museum. The Place de Voseges (also, see seperate page), is located here as well.
One of the oldest remaining buildings in Paris can be found here, the Hotel de Sens. It was built between 1475-1507 for the Archbishops of Sens. The turreted house is a beautiful example of period architecture.
The Marais is an area of Paris that is full of neighborhoods. It has numerous fine 17C Hotels (some made into museums such as the Hotel Carnavalet, a separate VT listing). The "center" of the Marais is the Place des Vosges (also a separate VT listing). There are churches to visit and a synagogue. There are Arabic and Jewish "Quartiers" with ethnic foods and many other nice eateries. This is a fine place for a leisurely or in-depth-art- museum-second or later trip to Paris, not for a first 3-4 day quickie. If you are a Modern Art addict then the Beauborg at its western edge is a must.
Our stroll through the Marais continued, and we ended up at the crossing where the Rue the St.Antoine splits into two and becomes the Rue de Rivoli and Rue Francois Miron. Here your eyes most likely will be drawn to the church St.Paul-St.Louis. I didn't think the façade of the building was so beautiful, but it did intrigue me, so I decided to take a look inside the church. And I was certainly not disappointed!
St.Paul-St.Louis is a Jesuit church and dates back to 1627. The one thing that strikes the most when entering this church is the 60 metres high dome. I loved the way the light filtered through the windows of the dome and I was just in awe by the architecture. The church is rather bare as it was looted and emptied during the Revolution, but the architecture compensates for all of that. To be honest: I didn't miss it at all, as I was so enchanted by the architecture.
There is some art left in the church, and the most famous piece is Delacroix's "Christ in the Garden of Olives." My attention however was drawn to this sculpture in the right wing of the church. The sunlight coming through the window touched the sculpture in a magical way, giving it an emotion and extra dimension that touched my heart.
The church is open from Monday to Saturday: 8:00-19:30 and on Sundays from 15:99-19:00. I really can recommend going in here to take a look when you are in the area!
The Marais is a beautiful part of Paris and perfect to get 'lost' in. I loved wandering around in the small streets, look at all the houses, which have so many architectural details. Old doors, decorated with wonderful wooden carvings, a funny cornerstone build in the wall, balconies, balconies and more balconies, often filled with flowerpots. I just didn’t know where to look anymore! In the old days the Marais used to be a marshland, which is really hard to believe when you walk around this area these days…
There are some famous houses in this area, like Hôtel des Francs-Boureois, Hôtel de Sully and Hôtel de Lamoignon, all which I planned to look at. But strangely enough I forgot about those plans within no time. The Marais had put its spell on me and made me love it as a whole. I forgot my urge to see specific houses; I just wanted to absorb it all. I was too amazed by all the details of the houses, the grandeur; all I wanted tot do was look around one more corner to see what surprises I would find there……
The quarter of Le Marais is known as one of the most beautiful areas of Paris. It has a long history with several bad and several good periods. In the 12th century this area still was a swamp (Le Marais is french for The Swamp). From this time on, the Seine River that caused this was dammed, and the area was cultivated. Le Marais started to gain a positive image after the Bastille, the former huge fortress to the east of the quarter, was built in the 17th century. Its walls protected the area and many aristocrats moved in and built beautiful houses, palaces and churches here.
After the French Revolution though, the Bastille was destroyed and Le Marais was abandoned. Its inhabitants all moved elsewhere and the area because poor. It stayed like that until 1962. In that year the former Minister of Culture, André Malraux, desided that the quarter had something unique and had to be protected. Not only its monuments, but the entire area. From that period on, huge restaurations started and made Le Marais popular again.
Today it is one of the most authentical areas of the city, with beautiful monuments like the Place des Vosges and the Hotel de Sens, and museums like the Musée Picasso and the Musée Carnavalet.