a Historic Quarter of Paris,

Located
in

the 4th “Arrondisement

History :

In
the 13th Century, marshland surrounding the raised rue St Antoine, an old Roman
thoroughfare, was drained and converted into arable land. In the 14th Century,
this area, known as “le Marais” was brought into the city limits of
Paris. By the beginning of the 17th Century, the, then, “Place
Royale”, now the well-known “Place des Vosges”, built by Henri
IV, had become the focal point of the Marais.The Jesuits were the first to
settle along the rue St. Antoine, with members of the nobility and the royal
courtiers following after ; splendid mansions were erected and decorated by the
best contemporary artists. These hotels, are
discrete classically designed private residences, standing between an entrance
court and a garden. They were developed as a distinctive feature of French
architecture during this period.The quarter also attracted intellectuals,
philosophers and musicians.

Then,
gradually, the Paris nobility began to move West to the Ile St-Louis. After the
event of the taking of the Bastille, the quarter was virtually abandoned, and
it lasted during the next generations. In the 1960’s, the derelict quarter was
essentially saved from complete destruction by André Malraux, Minister of the
Arts under Charles de Gaulle.

The Marais today :

This quarter,
which stretches between Place de la Bastille and Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, the
Seine and the quarter “du Temple”, has become a very fashionable
place to live for Parisians.  Businesses,
built up traditionally around tailoring, have in part been revived by
internationally successful young fashion designers.The quarter “du
Temple” is notable for jewellers and goldsmiths.

The fine
pre-Revolution residential architecture has been restored and many of these old
buildings have been converted into museums, galleries, and municipal
offices.  In the summer months, many of
the old hôtels are the sites for
concerts during the well-known annual music “Festival du Marais”.

The Carnavalet
Museum :

Construction
was begun in 1548: the building took on its present appearance in 1655. The
Marquise de Sévigné, who wrote her famous “Letters” on daly life of the
bourgeoisie in the 17th century, lived in the mansion  from 1677-1696. Today the museum houses
beautiful collections of paintings, furniture, and othe relics which  illustratate the history of Paris.