MARAIS - REPUBLIQUE (4th, 11th and 12th districts)
During the XVIIth century, the Marais area was the area of the elegant townhouses with a Renaissance style. Some of these townhouses can be visited today : the Hotel de Sully ; the Hotel de Lauzun (that Baudelaire and Téophile Gautier frequented), the Hotel de Lamoignon (formerly called Hotel de Beauvais) that houses the Historical Library of Paris (Librairie Historique de Paris); the Hotel de Rohan ; the charming Hotel de Sens that houses the Fornay Library (Librairier Fornay), the Hotel Guénégaud that houses the Museum of Hunting and Nature (Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature) and the Hotel Soubise.
LA PLACE DES VOSGES
The Vosges Square (Place des Vosges) is surrounded by 36 red brick houses with stone arcades which form an imposing monument. It was formerly called the Royal Square as the King and the Queen lived there. Victor Hugo lived there too in a residence that is now a museum (the Victor Hugo Museum) that you could visit to know better his live and, his work.
During the XVIIth century, the Vosges Square was a very fashionable place and, more generally, the Marais area was a very chic one.
LA PLACE DE LA BASTILLE
The Bastille Square (Place de la Bastille) is a famous site "thanks" to the French Revolution. Indeed, there was a prison there where the Revolution started. Now, you could find the Opera Bastille House (Maison de l'Opera Bastille) - a modern building built to commemorate the Revolution's Bicentennial.
The Bastille area is a historic area once "specialized" in furniture-making. Now, few craftsmen in their workshops who are in love with this activity, keep the tradition alive.
The Republique area houses the most comprehensive contemporary art galleries in town.
Then, this quarter is full of art galleries and museums. It is said to be the most magical area of Paris and, therefore a nice area to walk around.
The Beaubourg area is full of galleries that feature the work of contemporary artists.
The Pompidou Centre (built on the Beaubourg plateau) houses the National Museum of Modern Art (Musée National d'Art Moderne) that owns an important collection of works of art. The Pompidou centre is a quite unusual building. Indeed, it is a big glass and metal parallelepiped with air and water pipes outside the building (and it is the same thing for the elevators). It is one of the most visited monuments of Paris.
LE MUSEE CARNAVALET
In the heart of the Marais area, you could visit the beautiful Carnavalet Museum (and its gardens) that recounts the history of Paris. Once, it was a hotel where Madame de Sévigné lived until her death.
Historically, artistically, architecturally, socially, you could evolve through the ages in this museum !
The "Notre Dame of the White Coats church" (Eglise Notre Dame des Blancs Manteaux)
The name of this church comes from the mendicant order that worn white coats ("blancs manteaux").
The Saint Paul - Saint Louis church (Eglise Saint Paul - Saint Louis)
It is a quite interesting Jesuit style monument. During the XVIIth century, it was one of the most rich churches of Paris.
The Cloister of the Billettes (Cloître des Billettes)
It is one of the rare Medieval remains. You could admire its wonderful galleries, arcades and vaults.
Other things to see in that area
The Paris' Town Hall (Hotel de Ville)
It is a huge monument with a Renaissance style. The French Republic was proclaimed there.
The Saint Louis Island (Ile Saint Louis)
It is some kind of a village inside Paris with tree-lined quays (ideal for a picnic). Its church - the Saint Louis en l'Ile church - has a beautiful steeple and a wonderful clock.
The Memorial of the Jewish Martyr (Mémorial du Martyr juif)
Il est dédié aux personnes qui ont trouvé la mort dans les camps de concentration durant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Il abrite les archives juives.