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The neighborhood of the Marais was originally a marshland. By the 1600s, it was the flourishing center of Court life, revolving around what is today, the Place des Vosges.

Although going through a period of neglect and deterioration, which was at its worst in the middle of the 20th century, the Marais has undergone major restorations and preservations, which has earned the whole area the distinction of being declared an historic monument.

There is a French term used to describe a private mansion, which leads to confusion if literally translated into English. A “hotel particulier” is not a hotel at all. It was originally built to be a grand free-standing aristocratic residence, with a courtyard on one side, and a garden on the other. The Marais is home to some of the most outstanding examples of hotels particuliers dating from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Some of them are museums, such as the Musee Carnavalet (The Museum of the History of Paris), the Hotel Lamoignon and the Musee Picasso. Four hundred years later, these architectural gems are as glorious as ever.

While exploring the village-like Marais, take time to drop by Mariage Freres at 30 rue Bourg Tibourg for a cup of tea. Once you begin to feel the essence of this unique neighborhood, it just might become your favorite part of Paris.

The Marais
3rd and 4th Arrondisement
Metro: St Paul

Cool Shopping Streets In the Marais:
Rue des Francs Bourgeois
Rue de Turenne
Rue Vielle du Temple
Place du Marche Ste Catherine (at Rue de Jarente) is one of the most lovely, secluded squares in the heart of the city.

FYI: Most shops in the Marais are open Sundays!

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