My eternal Paris walks, the Marais !!!

Let me take you back to my eternal wonderful walks of my Paris. The City was practically home for many years and I uses the time wisely, not to mention visiting it from close range over many years as well. One of the best options to see a city I repeat myself but it is walking, You can get there by several means but once in the city do walk and Paris is awesome to do so. Let me give you one of my favorite walking area of the Marais of Paris !

Former marshy area dedicated to crops and livestock, the Marais is inscribed between the Bastille République and Hôtel de Ville. It was a very much thought out place since the times of Charles V in the Hôtel Saint Pol, and later Charles VI resided at the Hôtel des Tournelles where Henri II was wounded while in a tournament gave his last breath in july 1559. The Golden age of the Marais starts with Henri IV decided a royal square or Place Royale, the future Place des Vosges. The French revolution give a fatal blow to the development of the neighborhood and it was finally save from the Second Empire (Napoléon III) on the work of Baron Haussmann, the Marais becomes industrial. Thanks to the work of the ministry of culture this neighborhood was save under the direction of André Malraux from 1962.

I start our walks by the wonderfully beautiful Hôtel Carnavalet Renaissance 16C, renovated in 1660, and known as the home of Marie de Rabutin Chantal, Marquise of Sévigné that lived it from 1677 to 1696,It was eventually acquis by the city of Paris in 1866 and by 1880 transformed into a museum on the history of the city from its origins to today. It has been expanded by the acquisition of the Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau built around 1689 by/for Louis Michel Le Peletier Saint Fargeau who voted the execution of Louis XVI and was assassinated by a body guard of the king on the eve of the king’s execution January 20 1793.

You follow up on the square Léopold Achile where you can see a peach flower tree planted early in the 20C. Followed by the square George Cain that covers the old gardens of the Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau and where you see the orangery and you can see a fig tree of 6 meters! Follow this up you see the Hôtel de Donon built in 1575 and since 1988 houses the museum Cognacq-Jay that was originally in the bd des Capucines and given to the city of Paris in 1928 by Ernest Cognacq who was the founder of the Samaritaine dept store. The museum is dedicated to the 18C with decorative arts and furniture from the period. At 1 rue de la Perle you see a mansion built in 1686 for M Cognacq.

You continue on towards the old musée de la Serrure-Bricard, that showed rare pieces of roman keys, and locks as well as gothic and renaissance, It was built between 1656 and 1660 (unfortunately museum closed). Follows up with the Hôtel Salé built by a rich men in the salt business and house since 1985 the Musée Picasso. You then reach the old Archives Nationale that takes the square around the rue des Archives, rue des Quatre-Fils, rue de Vielle du Temple, and rue des François-Bourgeois. The Hôtel de Rohan-Strasbourg house the archives since 1927, The archives nationales has since been moved (see post), However, by no 58 rue des Archives you see a fortified portal with two shave towers as the only remains of the Hôtel de Clisson (b, 1371-1375) and the last witness to administrative architecture of the 14C in Paris. The Hôtel de Soubise house the archives since 1808 ( archives has been moved see post) as per the wishes of Napoléon Ier. The mansion has an impressive facade of 56 columns given to a cour d’honneur with 62 meters long and 40 meters wide. This mansion also housed the old musée de l’Histoire de France since 1867(museum now closed).

The street of the rue des Blanc-Manteaux finished in 1690 has a classic facade coming from the city church (Barnabites) built in 1707 demolished by Haussmann in 1863. You reach the square Charles Langlois dominated by a beautiful purple maple and a gnarled paulownia . In the corner with rue Vieille du Temple and rue Francs Bourgeois you see the pretty Hôtel Hérouet built in 1500 but very much damaged by the bombings of 1944 and completely rebuilt since only original is the small tower, Here you into the rue des Rosiers and you are in another world, the heart of the Jewish quarter, the old rounded road of the wall of Philippe Auguste already hosted a Jewish community in the 13C, You see many beautiful buildings of the 18C, picturesques boutiques,and restaurants.

The street rue François-Miron has two medieval houses on wood all restored at nos 11 and 13,, By no 68 you see the Hôtel de Beauvais built between 1655 and 1660 for Catherine de Beauvais a protegé of Anne of Austria, This hotel received a young Mozart in 1763 for several months,the young genius at 7 years old show up in Versailles where he will produced the first four sonates. Along the road, we reach the Hôtel de Sens built between 1475 and 1507 for the bishops of Sens of which the bishophic of Paris belongs until 1622. The mansion was greatly restored in the 20C but rest one of the best witnessed of medieval architecture in Paris. The old home of the queen Margot became in ruins when the city of Paris purchase it and after restoration open in 1961 as the Library Forney that was created in 1886 and dedicated to arts decoratives and techniques.

We reach the marvelous Village Saint Paul an urban isle save from demolition and now fully restored. There is a huge fleas here four times a year. Follow on rue des Jardins de Saint Paul you can admire the chevet back of the Church Saint Paul-Saint Louis and some remains of the wall of Philippe Auguste as two towers from the 12C. The Hôtel de Sully considered one of the prettiest of the Marais built in Renaissance style from 1624 that was greatly embellished by Minister Sully of Henri IV. The orangery has an outlet to the Place des Vosges the old Place Royale of Henri IV that takes its current name by Napoléon Ier deciding in 1800 to name it in the name of the department that first pay their taxes. The square is surrounded by 36 pavilions on arcades or 9 on each side in brick and stone such as the Pavillon surélevé du Roi at no 1 and facing it that of the Reine at no 28 , In the center the square Louis XIII has 1,3 hectares and was created by Louis XIV with plants and trees in 1783 before change to public garden in the end of the 19C. There is an equestrian statue of Louis XIII at center done in 1829 to replace a bronze statue put in 1639 by Richelieu and put down at the French revolution. The place des Vosges had many known residents such as the birthplace of Madame de Sévigné in 1626, and lived by Bossuet, Rachel, Alphonse Daudet, and Théophile Gautier, This without mentioning the most famous me think Victor Hugo that lived here from 1832 to 1848 at No 6 second floor (3rd US) of the Hôtel Rohan-Guéménée acquired by the city of Paris in 1873 and transformed into a museum in 1902 for the centenary of his birth.

We go on the wonderful walks of my eternal Paris into the small charming Place du Marché Sainte Catherine a great place for a break, The before mentioned Church Saint Paul Saint Louis done by the Jesuites in the 17C. The first stone was place by Louis XIII in 1627 and by 1641 Richelieu does the first Mass. It has an important relics such as the hearts of Louis XIII and Louis XIV ! And very famous speakers such as Bossuet and Bourdaloue as well as assisted by Madame de Sévigné. The baroque facade on three levels that hides a dome of 55 meters.

There you go folks, hope you enjoy the walk as I. This is in my eternal Paris, a walker’s paradise and in the most beautiful city in the world ! A mouvable feast and more indeed. See you around the streets of Paris !

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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8 Responses to “My eternal Paris walks, the Marais !!!”

  1. One of my favourite areas in Paris

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Enjoyed this very much. I wonder if you might write a post about the homes and other locations mentioned in Proust’s Du Temps Perdu? I thought I was fairly well acquainted with Paris but was “lost” while reading the book. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person


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