Friday, October 17, 2014

Le Marais

Parked the car at Place de la Bastille and took a walking tour of the Marais today.  Starting at the Place with its memorial to the Parisians who died in the 1830 revolt, we strolled along the rue St. Antoine to the Hotel de Sully.  First up was a statue of Beaumarche, the writer of the Marriage of Figaro.  Then through the 16th century courtyard of the hotel to its delightful inner garden and out into Place des Vosges.  Surrounded on four sides by grand houses (9 per side) and featuring a statue of Louis XIII and four fountains, the square was built by Henry IV in 1605 and named Place Royal.  Henry's dream of recovering the swamp and turning it into a chic neighbourhood was a hit and it is still a much-coveted address.

We exited the square via the rue des Francs-Bourgeois and stopped in at the Musee Carnavalet.  This museum features the history of Paris, including the bloody Revolution.  On display amongst the recreated finery of the rooms of the rich of that era, are grimmer displays like toy guillotines and a model of the Bastille carved from one of its blocks.

We gave the Musee de Picasso a miss and strolled down the rue Des Rosiers (Really!) in the heart of Paris' Jewish quarter for a shawarma lunch.  Then through the Gay Village via rue St. Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie to the Georges Pompidou Center.  Too ugly to enter, we turned instead onto rue du Renard and walked to Paris' Hotel de Ville.  Looking more like a chateau than a town hall, the site has been the center of city government since 1357.  Off to the right, we could see the towers of Notre Dame peeking up across the Seine.

Great last day in the City of Light.  Flying out tomorrow.

Sign for Bastille Metro entrance

Monument to citizens killed in 1870 revolt

Reggie at Carnavalet Museum

Hand-powered wheelchair from 1760

Model of the Bastille carved from one of its blocks

Houses on Place des Vosges from 1605

Real French waiter


Paris Hotel de Ville.   Each of the 20 Arrondissements has their own, but this is Big Daddy.

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