The quarter of Marais is located on the Right Bank, between Bastille and Saint-Paul. This hype area, the temple of the “posh cool”, is as close as you can get to the feeling of the medieval Paris – in the middle of sumptuous mansions, gay bars, art galleries, and design boutiques. Marais is also home to one of the oldest European Jewish quarters and an unequaled must-eat destination. No other area in Paris is so packed with traditional bakeries, pastry shops, falafel places, trendy restaurants, cozy cafes and wine bars.
History at every corner
The Marais was constructed and influenced by the history of the walls of Paris. The remains on the wall built in the 12th century, the contemporary of the Louvre, are still visible in the city, and particularly here. The Marais was nearly destroyed during the XX century. Yet today, it contains more pre-Revolutionary buildings and streets left intact than any other area in Paris. Stroll through the interlacing alleys, avenues, and passages, and hear the story of this incredibly well-preserved medieval neighborhood.
Discover the ancient and picturesque timbered houses, very rare in Paris. Decode the inscriptions of Saint-Paul church, where the most influential personalities of the XVII century gathered. Colorful characters will punctuate your visit: the many lovers of Queen Margot, the famous poisoner that was the Marquise de Brinvilliers, Charles VI and his follies, and Louis XIV and his first loves.
Shops and Treats
The Marais englobes one the oldest Jewish quarters in Europe, the “Pletzl” (“The little place” in Yiddish). After many dramas it went through over the centuries, today it thrives again. It is a paradise for foodies, where one can find something for every palate. Yiddish and Sephardic specialties, exceptional teas, flavorsome and fashionable pastries, more bread than you could ever eat, wines and spirit from around the world: sensory surprises and culinary creations galore.
The gay district of Paris is also part of this lively and popular neighborood, adding a festive vibe to the streets lined with trendy boutiques and bars.
A stroll through this fascinating area completes the introduction to the history of Paris… with a selection of hand-picked sweet and savory treats to taste along the way!