Le Marais, Paris

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    Le Marais

    by Pieter11 Written Sep 27, 2006

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    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.

    A covered building in Le Marais An alley in Le Marais Hotel de Sens Place des Vosges A
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    The Marais

    by myriam_c Updated Aug 20, 2006

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    The Marais is one of my favorite areas of Paris. It's like a trendy city within the city, IMO totally different than the rest of Paris. It's also one of the oldest areas in Paris, and there's a fairly large Jewish population which gives a special flair to the area thanks to the many Jewish shops, bakeries and restaurants. Especially rue des Rosiers is well known.
    M St. Paul or Chemin Vert

    Beautiful houses in the Marais

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    protected architecture from the bourgeois times

    by sachara Updated May 28, 2006

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    Le Marais -meaning the marsh- is traditionally a Jewish and bourgeois area. First being a swamp and agircultural area, the aristocracy built from the 16th century large residences in this area. In 1605 Henri IV created the Place Royale, later becoming the Place des Vosges after the departure of the royal court to Versailles. At the end of the19th and in the first half of 20th century, the area around the Rue des Rosiers became home to many Jews from Eastern Europe.

    Nowadays the Marais is one of the few areas in Paris that still has most of the pre-revolutionarian architecture. In 1969 the Marais became the first protected sector, being home to many museums, art galleries and historical sites.

    One of the museums in the Marais is the History Museum of Paris housed in 16th century Hotel Carnavalet. Except this museum and the Picasso museum, housed in the 17th century Hotel Salé, there are about a dozen other museums in the many restored mansions and hotels.

    Except for the historical sites and museums the Marais is also known because of the many trendy bars and restaurants, art galleries, design boutiques and other fancy shops. I walked several times from the Place des Vosges to the Centre Pompidou, looking at the many fancy shops along the Rue des Francs Bourgeois.

    Musee Carnavalet Musee Carnavalet entrance Musee Carnavalet on of the many ornated doors south entrance of Place des Vosges
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    The Marais

    by fishandchips Updated Apr 5, 2006

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    The Marais really is one of the best parts of Paris. The area was originally swamp land (Marais = Swamp) but was slowly reclaimed until it was full of typical small parisian streets. There are a whole lot of museums and galleries in the Marais featuring everything from Picasso to the Paris History Museum (Carnavalet) plus Victor Hugo and Passage de Retz (Avante Garde).

    A nice circuit is to get off at St Paul Metro (line 1) and walk over the road and into the Marais or alternatively at the Bastille Metro stop and down Rue Ste Antoine then right onto rue de Birague and into Place des Vosges (Paris' oldest square). From there it's up toward Rue de Thorigny and the Picasso Museum in the converted Hotel Sale. From there you are close to Les Iles Grecques and some very interesting deli type food (for that perfect picnic). From here you can either go toward Temple Metro station or back toward rue Ste Antoine and Musee Carnavalet.

    This area is also central to a large part of the Jewish community so the shops and their opening times are reflective of this (many will be closed on Saturday being the Sabbath day). There are some good cafes and restaurants, especially around Place du Marche Ste-Catherine and Place des Vosges (though here they are a bit expensive).

    Place des Vosges Inside Musee Picasso Self gratification - Musee Carnavalet
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    Meandering le Marais

    by BeatChick Updated Mar 16, 2006

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    Welcome to the Marais! Most people think of it as the center for gay community or Jewish life but it's so much more than that. If you're a museum buff, then this surely is the area for you; if you're not a museum buff, then there is surely one museum that will suit your taste: Picasso, modern art, Victor Hugo, several pre-French-Revolutionary War royalist places, science, dolls (Musée de la Poupée), & Jewish artifacts (including works by Chagall).

    If museums just aren't your thing period, then surely there is enough shopping (antiques, jewelry, textiles, boutiques, papeteries) to suit your tastes. Or just hang out in the Place des Vosges enjoying the park, or people watching from one of the cafés surrounding the Place? Not satisfied yet, then perhaps just meandering thru the winding maze of cobblestone streets, discovering pockets of greenery such as the Place du Marché Ste-Catherine? It definitely has great appeal for me.

    Photos: Feb 06

    Near Rue St-Antoine Rue des Francs Bourgeois Rue Charles V Rue des Barres Rue de Birague leading to Place des Vosges
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    Hotel Bruant - Musee de la Serrurerie Bricard

    by Diana75 Updated Feb 24, 2006

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    Musee de la Serrurerie Bricard, housed by Hotel Liberal Bruant, displays an important collection of iron and bronze keys, locks, Venetian door knockers and gilded bronze locks and items from Bricard’s workshops.

    Hotel Liberal Bruant Hotel Liberal Bruant
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    Hotel de Sale - Musee Picasso

    by Diana75 Updated Feb 24, 2006

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    Housed by the beautiful Hotel de Sale, built from 1656 to 1659, the museum is dedicated to Pablo Ruiz Picasso, one of the most important modern painters.

    Hotel de Sale took this name from its owner, a salt tax collector.

    The museum collection includes over 250 paintings, sculptures, collages and over 3000 drawings.

    Hotel de Sale - Musee Picasso Hotel de Sale - Musee Picasso Hotel de Sale - Musee Picasso Hotel de Sale - Musee Picasso
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    Hotel de Rohan

    by Diana75 Updated Feb 24, 2006

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    Built in 1705, Hotel de Rohan was meant to become the residence of Bishop of Strasbourg, future Cardinal de Rohan.

    The building served later as home to the state press (Imprimerie Nationale) and national archives.

    Hotel de Rohan Hotel de Rohan Hotel de Rohan
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    Eglise St-Gervais St-Protais

    by Diana75 Updated Feb 24, 2006

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    With its imposing facade, Eglise St-Gervais - St-Protais is dedicated to the brothers Gervase and Protase, Roman officers martyred by Nero.

    Having beautiful stained-glass windows from 16 C, the church is also adorned with other works of art such as the Flemish oil panel on wood of the Passion and a wooden Christ by Preault from 1840.

    Eglise St-Gervais St-Protais Eglise St-Gervais St-Protais Eglise St-Gervais St-Protais Eglise St-Gervais St-Protais Eglise St-Gervais St-Protais
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    Eglise St-Paul - St-Louis

    by Diana75 Updated Feb 24, 2006

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    Build initially as the Jesus Church in Rome, Eglise St-Paul - St-Louis was subsequently modified and restructured.

    Inside the church is spacious and decorated with elegant statues.

    For continuing the tour in Le Marais, the second door on the right side of church gives access to Passage Saint-Paul.

    Eglise St-Paul - St-Louis Eglise St-Paul - St-Louis Eglise St-Paul - St-Louis Passage St-Paul Passage St-Paul
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    Musee Carnalavet

    by Diana75 Updated Feb 23, 2006

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    Musee Carnavalet is the museum of the history of Paris and displays a wide collection presenting the development of the city until the modern times.

    Housed by Hotel Carnavalet, whose construction started in 1548 and was bought by the city council in 1866 for this purpose, and by Hotel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau, the museum has a varied collection of paintings, objects of art and photographs.

    Opening hours: 10:00 - 18:00
    Closed on Mondays.

    Free admission to the permanent collection.

    Musee Carnalavet Musee Carnalavet Musee Carnalavet Musee Carnalavet Musee Carnalavet
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    Hotel de Sens

    by Diana75 Updated Feb 23, 2006

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    Commissioned by Tristan de Salazar in 1475, Hotel de Sens is the oldest civil building from the end of Middle Ages in Paris.

    The building was meant to become the residence of the Archbishop of Sens.

    Queen Margot, Henri IV’s wife, came to live here in 1605.

    The small but elegant garden was made in 1955 in renaissance style.

    Hotel de Sens Hotel de Sens Hotel de Sens Hotel de Sens
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    Le Marais

    by Diana75 Updated Feb 16, 2006

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    Le Marais covers the biggest parts of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, from Seine to the streets Beaubourg and Turbigo and the avenues Republique and Bastille.

    In Le Marais is located the famous Place des Vosges, commissioned by Henri IV and made between 1605-1612, being the signal of the new urbanization of the city.

    As a consequence, numerous luxury hotels have been built in the area, some of them being still in good conditions.

    At the beginning of 20C, Le Marais, abandoned by its famous inhabitants, became a popular district dominated mainly by industry and handicraft, most of its beautiful hotels being abandoned, but following the Malraux law of 1962 the construction works to this valuable patrimony started again.

    You really should not miss a walk on Le Marais beautiful narrow streets in order to admire these splendid buildings.

    Coffee shop in Le Marais Street in Le Marais Le Marais - street scene Le Marais - street scene Le Marais - street scene
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    Historic quartier

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Dec 7, 2005

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    From the moment you find yourself heading into the district known as Le Marais (the marsh) you know you are in a very special part of Paris. Once the most fashionable part of the city, the quartier is stuffed with beautiful grand houses - known as "hotels" though few, if any, have room rates posted. Those that open their doors to the public are mostly museums and they are worth visiting as much for the architecture as the collections they display. The oldest - the Hotel de Sens - is a library now, open to anyone but only by appointment. Its warm golden stone walls and mediaeval turrets are a delight though, so do seek it out.

    As the fortunes of the Marais have risen and fallen, and risen again, one thing has remained constant - this has always been the place that Paris' Jewish population considered their quartier and even today kosher restaurants, boulangeries and charcuteries pepper the streets - and this is still the only area of Paris where shops are open on Sundays - including the excellent Richard -Lenoir market.

    There's much more to the Marais than Sunday shopping though - the historic quartier is home to more museums than any other part of Paris, including the Picasso Museum (housed in the lovely 17th century Hotel de Sale - worthy of a visit in its own right) and the Cognacq-Jay Museum -a gift to the city of the exquisite collection of 18th Century paintings and decorative arts gathered together by the owners of the Le Samaritaine store. It too is housed in yet another beautiful house - this time the 16th century Hotel Denon.

    Had enough museums? The Marais is renowned for its trend-setting shops and boutiques, small galleries, smart cafes where the art of people-watching is a time-honoured pastime. Or you can simply stroll the narrow streets, keeping your eyes open for anything that catches them. You'll be richly rewarded.

    leyle

    Hotel de Sens
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    Marais Area

    by kenyneo Updated Oct 8, 2005

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    There is no more desirable place for the perfect Parisian experience from outdoor brasseries to the latest shopping on Rue des Francs Bourgeois to romantic walks along the Seine.Lots of nice restaurant around this area as well.

    This is also the San Francisco of France I heard

    its a special place
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