on: Place des Vosges
With the coming of the
Renaissance, Paris was remodeled with space in mind. Big squares and mansions
for the "bourgeois"; the old medieval streets and gothic architecture
could not be easily forgotten; you can still see old wood beam houses and
the castle-like buildings with French style gardens. The Marais is a chic
and fashionable place for antiques and shopping. See the old wall which
enclosed Paris in the 11th century and have a picnic at the symmetrical
Place des Vosges square. Lined with its mansions in red brick and white
stone walls and high rooftops, this area is where Victor Hugo used to live.
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In the 12th century,
the order of the temple cleared the marsh lands located to the north
of the Philippe Auguste wall.
Beginning in the 16th century, but mostly after the creation of the royal square
(later the Vosges square) by Henri IV in 1605, the aristocracy built beautiful
The move from the royal residence to the Louvre then to Versailles marked the
beginning of the decline of the marshes, the high society preferred, more or
less the districts ( faubourgs ) of saint Honore and Saint Germain.
In the 19th century,
the marshes became more and more populated with industries and production.
The city planning regulations by Haussmann enforced regulations that
tried to progressively make the old streets larger and wider. But the
number of old buildings that had not been destroyed made most streets
At the turn of this century, the Jewish quarter moved in around the
Rosiers street which took in many arrivals from central europe and completed
the woven structure of small artisans in the quarter. But the buildings
of the marshes were hardly maintained, even the beautiful houses were
disfigured by the warehouses and adventitious workshops.
In 1969, andré Malraux made the marshes the first ‘protected
sector’ by applying the law of protection of the country’s
heritage. This brought about another social mutation of the quarter.
Many workshops had diminished, the middle class and the performance
artists plus the gay community moved in with their multicolored flags
that they hung up around the sainte croix de la bretonnerie street.
Today, the marshes have rediscovered their mansion houses but have lost
the artistic life that once existed there which some regret bitterly.
On Sundays, the clothing and decoration shops attract a large crowd
especially around Francs-Bourgeois street.
Paris Hotels - Hôtel Paris - Place
des vosges fr -