October 20, 2015

Secrets of the Marais

Who knew Paris had so many gardens tucked behind its impressive Hausmannien walls? Of course when I came across a tour entitled "Les espaces verts secrets du Marais", I was hardly going to resist, right?!?

I am into my fifth year in Paris, so I can safely say I have uncovered all the "touristy" secrets of this city. Raison pour laquelle I signed up for a French tour. The company tempted me with a guided visit up the Tour de Saint Jacques which is usually closed to the public but unfortunately it was full.

Well, moving on swiftly I choose the next best item in the menu. On our walk through the Marais the guide unveiled some spectacular green areas and I will say I did discover two new spots!

As the story goes, the aristocratic Marais was saved by André Malraux in 1962 who introduced the law on protected sectors. The kings of France had decided the fate of this district: King Charles V by including it into the city walls of Paris and King Henri IV by giving it its pedigree through the construction of Place Royale, now known as the Place des Vosges.

Today, this protected area grants us the opportunity to discover the French elite lifestyles that built its mansions in the narrow streets of the Marais during the fifteenth and eighteenth century.

We criss-crossed from one "hotel particulier" (private residence) to another, all erected around sumptious courtyards and whose gardens are now open to the public allowing to access the architecture, admire the decor and discover the mysteries of the historical heart of the capital.

Square de la Place des Vosges

Indian summer in Paris

Jardin de l’hôtel de Sully 

Facade of Hotel de Sully 

Parisian reality today: a food truck...

... and a clochard

Paroisse Saint-Paul Saint-Louis
Rue de Sévigné

A patisserie long succumbed to modern retail

Facade of the Carnevalet Museum

Jardin du Musée Carnavalet

Intellectual lunch break

Square Georges Cain

Jardins des Rosiers - Joseph Migneret 

Jardin des Archives Nationales

The ultimate secret garden

Teatime at "Le Loir dans la théière"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...