Once a swamp, Le Marais has changed dramatically over the years. The neighborhood, among the most Jewish in Paris, has become a hub for LGBT Parisians ever since the 1980s. Today, the area is one of the most popular places in the city to live and shop. The Marais is one of Paris’ main localities of art galleries, including the Musée Picasso, Archives Nationales, and the Carnavalet Museum. The Marais has become a fashionable district, home to many trendy restaurants, fashion houses, and hip galleries.
Part of the Marais is also known for being the Jewish Paris. The rue des Rosiers is the most famous Jewish street of the Marais. Photo opportunities here abound! You will find here a synagogue, specialized Hebraic bookstores, or famous stores like the delicious restaurant Chez Marianne. Here you can see Jews with their traditional clothes and kippas. It’s also a historic street because of the several commemorative plaques for the victims of the Shoah and the anti-Semitic attack that happened in 1982 against a restaurant. In this street, you can eat the best falafels and shawarma in Paris at the L’As du Fallafel.
Along the street, a beautiful garden called Jardin des Rosiers – Joseph Migneret welcomes you: it’s a meeting of gardens of former private houses, a very calm and good spot for quick rest after a walk! After visiting the nearby Musée Carnavalet, head here to take a quick nap and a quick photo shoot near the bamboo and birch trees, and stop and smell the roses that gave this garden its name.
Another beautiful street that’s absolutely picturesque is Le passage de l’Ancre (the Anchor’s passage)! A jewel of a street, in just fifty meters, you discover green heaven in this private alley. Perfect for late afternoon shots and away from the crowds, it is a completely different atmosphere compared to the streets near this place. Take a photo in front of one of the facades that used to be a shop window (but occupied by offices at the moment). The last shopping activity is Pep’s, a little boutique specialized in umbrellas, parasols and walking sticks. A must-visit location that’s perfect for taking a snap!
Also, among the trendy shops and Jewish restaurants, you can find one of the most fascinating museums in the world, the French National Archives. Created during the French Revolution under the orders of Napoleon, it holds one of the largest archival collections in the world. Miles and miles of public and private documents covering every aspect of complex French history are stored here. There are so many fascinating documents stored here such as a farewell letter that Marie Antoinette composed just before her execution and the last will and testament of Louis XVI.
There’s also one more wonderful museum worth mentioning in this district, The National Museum of Pablo Picasso. This museum features approximately 5,000 works by the famous artist. The museum also showcases artwork from Picasso’s personal collection, including works by Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas and Henri Matisse. Tourists flock to this museum, so be sure to reserve a ticket online ahead of time.
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