Marais di Parigi

The Marais of Paris: what to see in the district from Place des Vosges to Père Lachaise

Cobblestone streets and cutesy windows, hidden courtyards and little boutiques, restaurants and tiny parks that look like green candy boxes. All of this is the maraisone of the most charming neighborhoods to discover in Paris. A walk through the marais of Paris starts – or ends – almost inevitably a Place des Vosgesone of the chicest and most elegant places in old Paris.

To the west is the Rue de Rivoli and its parallel King of Sicily lined with shops and small cafes; to the north, the so fashionable Haut Marais, which starts from Rue Rosiers and incorporates the historic Jewish quarter of Pletzl. From the Haut Marais you can continue the walk in other streets full of charm such as Obenkampf And Jean-Pierre Timbaud before reaching the entrance of two different neighborhoodsdecidedly more working-class and popular in terms of history and environment: Menilmontant And Bellevillecharacterized by a multicultural climate that has attracted many artists who have chosen to open their workshops here.

Walking through the Marais of Paris: the ancient swamp

The Marais is mainly characterized by its elegant palaces which retain all the charm of past centuries and which often overlook cobblestone streets and protect pleasant courtyards. The district, whose name means “swamp”, it was really a marsh until the XIII century, when it was reclaimed and part of the area was transformed into agricultural land.

Early seventeenth century Henry IV he built the Place Royale – known today as Place des Vosges – and transformed the Marais into one of the most fashionable residential areas in Paris. When the aristocracy moved however from Paris to Versailles and in the area of Faubourg St Germain the Marais district and its palaces passed into the hands of the bourgeoisie. The area was then extensively renovated in the late 1960s and today is one of the most sought-after areas in the city. House prices confirm this.

Marais of Paris

A stop at the Place des Vosges

Every walk through the Marais of Paris as well as a dutiful stop at Place des Vosges includes other unmissable stops: one is at the cemetery of Pere Lachaise, the most visited cemetery in the world; then there is a detour to the Carnival Museuma private residence which has now turned into one of the best surprises in Paris.

Without forgetting the Victor Hugo’s housethe Picasso Museum, the aristocrat Hotel de Sully or the touching Holocaust Memorial commemorating the victims ofHolocaust Jewish. But there is more like flirty restaurants, cozy cafés on every corner, the brasseries and many boutiques of well-known and undiscovered brands.

Marais of Paris

Walking through the Marais in Paris: the symbolic square

For many visitors Place des Vosges is the most elegant of Paris, a triumph of architectural symmetry and good taste. But not only that: it is also the oldest of the French capital, inaugurated in 1612, and still retains the series of 36 absolutely symmetrical houses with arcades, sloping slate roofs while in the center there is a large green area with four fountains and an equestrian statue of Louis XIII. The square was renamed in the 1800s in honor of the Vosges departmentthe first in France to pay taxes to the new republican state.

The entrance is located in the southwest corner of the square of the Hotel de Sullya noble residence built in 1625 and now the seat of the Center des Monuments Nationaux, the agency responsible for many of France’s historic monuments. From the square, after passing under an arch, you reach two magnificent ones Renaissance courtyards decorated with allegorical engravings.

The Marais of Paris

The environs of Victor Hugo

Continuing our unhurried tour to the Marais of Paris we arrive at the house of one of the most famous tenants of the Place des Vosges: the writer Victor Hugowho between 1832 and 1848 lived in an apartment on the third floor of the Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée. Hugo moved here a year after de Notre Dame de Paris and in this house his drama ended Ruy Blas. Now the house houses a small museum dedicated to the famous novelist with a large collection of his portraits and original drawings.

Walking through the Marais of Paris: the Carnevalet Museum

One of the most interesting experiences when walking through the Marais of Paris and that of the visit to the Carnival Museumdedicated to history of Paris. Too bad, however, that until 2020 will be closed for a complete renovation of this building which are actually two. In fact, the museum occupies two buildings connected by a gallery: the Carnavalet hotelin fact and the hotel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau. Its labyrinth of rooms (over 100) tells the story of the city from prehistory to modern times through 600,000 objects and works of art.

Marais of Paris

The cemetery of VIPs

Those who come to visit the Marais district of Paris often do not miss a visit to the most famous cemetery, the one where famous and infamous people rest: the cemetery by Père Lachaise. Opened in 1804, it is perhaps the most visited cemetery in the world and among its beyond 800,000 tenants boasts famous personalities such as Chopin, MoliereApollinaire, Balzac, ProustGertrude Stein, Sara Bernhardt, PissarroSeurat, ModiglianiDelacroix, Édith Piaf o Isadora Duncanamong others.

But two graves rival each other for the number of visitors: that of the Irish playwright Oscar Wilde and that of the rock star Jim Morrison. However, there is no shortage of monuments dedicated to the victims of almost all the great wars of the modern era ea great writers.

In this area of ​​Paris there is another point of interest which among other things knows how to emotionally involve those who visit it. Hidden in what, in 1956, had started as a memorial dedicated to the unknown Jewish martyr, the Holocaust memorial is currently one of the documentation centers on‘Holocaust most important in Europe. Its large permanent collection, as well as temporary exhibitions, bring to life the German occupation of Paris and of France during the Second World War reconstructing the genocide of the Jewish people by the Nazis.

The memoryorial of the ebrei

The entrance to the memorial commemorates the victims of Holocaust with the Mur des names where the names of are engraved 76,000 Jews, including 11,000 children, who were deported from France to Nazi death camps during World War II. Then there is a crypt dedicated to the six million Jews killed and often without a grave.

Yiddish heritage

It is no coincidence that this monument is located here: in the Marais district of Paris is located the colorful Jewish quarter of Pletzl – which means small square in Yiddish. The neighborhood starts in Rue des Rosiers and continues on Rue Ste-Croix de la Bretonnerie up to Rue du Temple. At its heart is the art nouveau synagogue, designed by Hector Guimard in 1913 who was in charge of the city’s famous subway entrances.

For further information, you can also visit the Museum of the Art and History of Judaismwhich is found in the Hôtel de St-Aignan. It doesn’t end there though: in the Marais of Paris there are other small museums among which the most important is the Picasso Museum, one of the most important art collections in the city housed in the splendid Hôtel Salé; here are about 5,000 drawings, prints, paintings, ceramics and sculptures by the sculptor born in Rum raisin. And if you think that the Pompidou Center you will understand that this is not a neighborhood. But a city.

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