Many are in Paris the most notable and celebrated places in the world, but more than anywhere else if you want to discover the most ancient and mysterious spirit of the Lumière villas there is no doubt, head for the Marais. In short, in simple terms, the Marais is extraordinary!
Partly spared by the profound urban alterations of the 19th century, the Marais still presents the Jewish quarter, the hôtels particuliers and the area where the Temple once stood, the general commandery of the temples in Europe. It’s anti-Bourgeois Paris, where you’ll find a different style from the more traditional areas of nineteenth-century Paris. The Marais is the heart of retail trade, small quality craftsmanship and the most surprising modern objects.
Explore from the Île Saint-Louis, reaching the Hôtel de Ville, and from here take the Rue des Archives, from south to north. This is the road that crosses the heart of the neighborhood for a large part. Where the esprit parisien is still alive, a place where you can meet in a few steps a plurality of presences, colours, smells and flavours that will not fail to captivate you. The shop windows, signs and graphics of the shops are still the original ones and make up a whole not to be missed!
Along the road on the right we also meet the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, with the interiors directly visible from the street. Beaubourg is only two blocks away, two minutes on foot. Immediately after a nice series of bistros where you can stop for a long time, without hurrying. In the short space of a round coffee table, the Parisians reconstruct their inner time. It is true that the Parisians are always in a hurry, but the pause for coffee is long. And I love to look at the Parisians in the bistros, solitary with a book in hand or while they talk animatedly gesticulatingly and loudly. The Boulangeries all around complete this magnificent gallery of time found. At night these same places, discreet and silent, are transformed into the centre of the Parisian nightlife. People gather together to sip a beer or eat something. What is striking is that the crowd does not determine any sense of thrill or excitement.
A short distance away you can turn towards the beautiful Place de Vosges, the most beautiful square in Paris. While travelling northwards we can choose to go to the Picasso Museum or to the Carnavalet Museum, which illustrates the town’s history. Going up the road, when it joins Rue Eugene Spuller we find ourselves in front of the Marché du Carreau du Temple, the covered market of the Marais, the real jewel of Paris Art-Nouveau in iron and glass. Finally, the Musée des art et métiers, which is located in Rue Saint-Martin, for lovers of science history. I still haven’t been able to see him yet!
Comfortable note: To stop for lunch I was at Le Blanc Cassis, right in front of the covered market, where Rue Eugene Spuller crossed Rue Dupetit-Thouars. I enjoyed an excellent steak tartare with frittes side dish along with a good Cassis.