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Paris: Marais Exploration, Shopping and Eating

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a very rough draft of what is in this area to see and do is found below. Would appreciate your review and feedback on these places and additional ones as well.

I started at Hotel de Ville because its easy to get to via metro and I just like the looks of this building. Basically you go east and then north, before turning back west and finally south back towards Metro stop St. Paul to end the exploration.

Now that you are confused and disoriented, tighten your fanny packs, take a deep slug of bottled water and start walking in pairs, blocking all the sidewalks and narrow streets as you fumble with the terrible free map you got at the hotel!

Start at Metro: Hotel de Ville

Hotel de Ville. 29 Rue de Rivoli. M: Hotel de Ville. Paris's grandiose; 19C City Hall sits on a large square with fountains and attractive lampposts. The building is closed to the public, but, the info center sponsors exhibits on Paris in the main lobby. The elaborate façade is grandly lit at night. In 1944 the Resistance occupied it and drove off Nazi attacks until relieved by the arrival of General Leclerc?s Free French forces.
Behind and to the east of Hotel de Ville is St-Gervais-St-Protais.

St-Gervais-St-Protais. Place St-Gervais. Impressive gothic interior. Elm tree outside under which justice used to be administered. Associated with the term ?waiting for doomsday.?

Facades of houses on rue des Barres behind the church are worth looking at and several streets in the Quarter of St.Paul have some fine 17C & 18C elevations and details.

Rue Francois-Miron, stepped leading east from St-Gervais is an interesting one.

44 Rue Francois-Miron is a wonderful building built around a timbered courtyard and over a vaulted 13C cellar.

68 Rue François-Miron. Hôtel de Beauvais. One of Paris's most charming hôtels. A plaque says Mozart lived there in 1763. To visit the interior, apply to the Association du Paris Historique on the ground floor.

82 Rue Francois-Miron is the 18C home of a contemporary photography center. Wed-sun 1100-2000.
Rue du Figuier leads to the charming Hôtel de Sens
Hotel de Sens. Along with the Cluny on the Left Bank, it's the only domestic architecture remaining from the 15C. Leaded windows and turrets characterize the facade; you can go to the courtyard to see ornate stone decoration--the gate is open Tue - Fri from 1330 to 2030. Sat 1000 to 2030.
To the east, Quai des Celestins commands nice views of the Ile St-Louis

Between rue des Jardins-St-Paul and parallel rue St-Paul, the former gardens of King Charles V were restored as a series of courtyards with antique craft boutiques perfect for browsing.

St-Paul/St-Louis church. Rue Saint Antoine. Good example of French Jesuit style inspired by 16C Italian churches. Has ornate interior and some fine art works. Quiet little place to rest.

Walking east on rue Saint Antoine, you reach the elegant Hotel de Sully. Several places here to buy food & drink.

Hotel de Sully. 62 rue Saint Antoine. Has a good bookstore. The courtyard abounds with carved decorations. Possible to walk through the garden to Place des Vosges.

Place des Vosges. Métro: Chemin-Vert. Oldest square in Paris laid out at the start of the 17C. It boasts 36 brick-and-stone pavilions rising from covered arcades that allowed people to shop no matter what the weather. Nice place to take a break or even a picinic. Over the years, the famous often took up residence here, but its best-known occupant was Victor Hugo.

Maison de Victor Hugo. 6 place des Vosges. Closed mon. 1000-1745. Museum Card. Views of square from upper rooms.

From the nw corner of place des Vosges, you cross rue de Terenne (on the left at 23 is a pretty Hotel (1660) with a courtyard and fountain) and enter rue des Frances-Bourgeois.

Walking west you soon come to the corner with rue Sevigne and the impressive Musée Carnavalet

Musée Carnavalet 23 rue de Sévigné. Closed Mon. 1000 to 1745. Métro: St-Paul. 01-42-72-21-13. Free. Devoted to Parisian history, they include many salons filled with antiques and historic artifacts, maps, portraits and busts. The Revolution section includes models of guillotines and objects associated with the royal family's final days.

A little West of Musée Carnavalet is the Musee Cognacq ?Jay
Musée Cognacq-Jay. 8 rue Elzévi is. Hôtel Dononr . 40 27 07 21. Closed Mon. 1000 to 1740. On museum card. Metro: Saint Paul. Bus 29. Eighteenth century collections bequeathed by Ernest Cognacq founders of La Samaritaine.
Further west and bit to the north of the Musée Carnavalet is the Musee de la Serrure (Lock Museum)
Musee de la Serrure (Lock Museum). 1 rue de la Perle near Picasso Museum. Closed Sat & Sun. 1000-1200 and 1400 to 1700. Not on museum card. Small collection of old locks and keys with fascinating.metal working and intricate engraving patterns since Roman times. Presented in the Hôtel Libéral Bruand, the personal house of the architect (1685).

West on rue des Francs-Bourgeois from Musée Carnavalet is the Archives Nationales and exquisite Hôtel de Soubise.

Archives Nationales / Hôtel de Soubise. 60 rue des Francs-Bourgeois. Connoisseurs of decorative arts flock to the former to see the rococo apartments. Mon. and Wed.-Fri. 1000-1745, weekends 13:45-5:45. Métro: Rambuteau.

Almost immediately north of the Archives Nationales/Hôtel de Soubise is the Hunting Museum

Hunting Museum(Musée de la Chasse). 60 rue des Archives, in Hotel Guénégaud. Mon closed. 1100 - 1800, Tues - Sun. 5E admission for adults. Metro: Rambuteau or Hôtel de Ville. Not on museum card.

Further to the east of the Archives Nationales/Hôtel de Soubise and SW of the Hunting Museum is the Jewish History Museum. 71 rue de Temple. Closed Sat. M-F 1100 - 1800. Sun 1000 - 1800. Not on museum card.

Musée Picasso. 5 rue de Thorigny. Housed in Hôtel Salé, built in the 17C for a man who collected the salt tax, as its name reminds us. Has a unique set of Picasso?s works (paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, ceramics?) and his private collection (Cézanne, Le Douanier Rousseau, Matisse).

Other choices:

Hôtel de Rohan. 87 rue Vieille-du-Temple. Interior is usually closed to the public, except during an occasional exhibit. If it's open, check out the amusing Monkey Room. Sometimes you can visit the courtyard, which boasts one of the finest sculptures of 18th-century France, The Watering of the Horses of the Sun.y

Hôtel des Ambassadeurs de Hollande. 47 rue Vieille-du-Temple.. It's one of the most splendid mansions in the Marais.
Les Iles Grecques. 14 rue de Bretagne. Most popular deli in the area.. Perfect to buy picnic supplies before heading to square du Temple (up rue de Bretagne) or place des Vosges. You'll find moussaka, stuffed eggplant, stuffed grape leaves, olives, tarama (a savory paste made from fish roe), and both meatballs and vegetarian balls. It's open Monday from 3: 30 to 8pm and Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 2pm and 3: 30 to 8pm.

Next door is Hier, Aujourd'hui, et Demain. Shop devoted to France's love for 1930s Art Deco. Contains an array of bibelots and art objects, with one of the widest selections of colored glass in town. Works by late-19th-century glassmakers.
Rue des Rosiers (Street of the Rosebushes) is one of the most colorful and typical streets remaining from Paris's old Jewish quarter. Star of David shines from some of the shop windows; Hebrew letters appear, sometimes in neon; couscous is sold from shops run by Moroccan, Tunisian, or Algerian Jews; restaurants serve kosher food; and signs appeal for Jewish liberation. You'll come across many delicacies you might've read about but never seen, such as sausage stuffed in a gooseneck, roots of black horseradish, and pickled lemons.
Take A Break--The street offers a cornucopia of ethnic eateries that remain steadfast to their central European, Ashkenazi origins. Chez Jo Goldenberg, 7 rue des Rosiers (tel. 01-48-87-20-16), has plenty of room to sit down and eat.

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