Paris: Wandering the Marais

Every time I go to Paris, I have to allot some time to wander the Marais district, which is full of unique shops and restaurants. Back in the day (and I mean far back), the king decreed it a place for the aristocrats to live, despite it being a swamp (marais means marsh). The people took the area and built it up to be a beautiful and prestigious place to live, and it remains a desirable area to this day.

It became a popular and active commercial area after the nobility started to move to the Faubourg Saint-Germain, as many Eastern European Jews flocked here. Little known fact: it was also a haven for the gay community. Because of this, during World War II, Hitler targeted the area for his ethnic (and, apparently, lifestyle) cleansing. It remains a popular area for Jewish and gay businesses and residents today, although for the most part is very mainstream.

As it turns out, my apartment was located just on the edge of the Marais, so instead of just a few hours of wandering, we took all day. Here it was, the Sunday before Christmas, and the place was bustling.

Changs take Paris

Picture 1 of 40

Brunch is a relatively new concept in France, as are brunch buffets, but it’s picking up. Adrian suggested one of the better places for this on Sundays, Bar du Marche des Blancs Manteaux.

Bar du Marche des Blancs Manteaux
53 rue Vieille du Temple, 75004 Paris
01 42 71 14 14
www.bardumarche-marais.fr

These are just the highlights. If you want to see the rest of my photos from this day, click here. For some reason, my videos aren’t uploading to YouTube, so I’ll have to figure out another way to share them.