Monthly Archives: July 2011

Paris’ Gay Village: the Marais

The Marais is a neighbourhood on the right bank of the river Seine, straddling Paris’ third and fourth arrondissements.

Over the years, the area has managed to preserve its historic charm in the shape of narrow, winding streets and historic buildings. It includes a number of famous sights, including the musée Carnavalet, dedicated to the history of Paris, the musée Picasso and the place des Vosges, first opened in 1612.

The neighbourhood is also full of unexpected surprises, with small squares lined with-covered buildings, like the one at 13, rue de Sevigné. There is still a turret jutting out into the street at the corner of the rue Pavée and the rue des Francs Bourgeois, which allowed the building’s original owners to keep an eye on passers-by in both streets. A typical sight is the old Jewish quarter around the rue des Rosiers, where tourists and locals alike flock to eat falafels amongst the Kosher delis and fashionable boutiques.

Since the 80s, the neighbourhood has also welcomed the gay community, which has taken up residence around the rue Saint-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie with plenty of bars, restaurants, bookshops and boutiques. The Marais is now a lively, vibrant area seven days a week.