Le Marais

Sept 20 2017

I needed to get help for pulled back muscles and ended up visiting the Centre de Sante for an appointment with a doctor.  Once an appointment was scheduled we had a couple of hours to kill so we walked over to the Stravinsky Fountain and the Centre Pompidou.

It was disappointing to find the fountain not running.  It was very interesting but lost some of it’s magic with all of the mechanics exposed.  The fountain contains sixteen bright and whimsical pieces of art that are supposed to represent pieces of Stravinsky’s work.  It must be very cool to see these pieces move with water flowing through them.  I don’t know if they only run in the summer or if there was some other reason for fountain not working.

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Facing the square with the fountain is Saint Merri Church.  I was very attracted to the juxtaposition of the old traditional building with the very bright and modern fountain and wall paining.  This church build between 1500 and 1550 houses the oldest bell in Paris, cast in 1331!


Saint Merri Church

Once back to the medical clinic I was told (thank goodness for an English speaking patient!) that the wait would be about an hour.  It turned into two but once I saw the doctor I was out of there very quickly with my prescriptions.  The doctor also did not speak more than a few words of English so make sure to have your Google Translate app handy if you need to visit a doctor here.  Pantomime isn’t the best method of communication!  I was very surprised at how reasonable it was for the appointment.  It cost me 25 euro to see the doctor, this is without insurance!  The pharmacy was right next door and we were on our way!

We walked to the Marais neighborhood, also referred to as the Jewish Quarter and Old Paris.  This is where you will see medieval Paris; it is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city.  It is a vibrant fun neighborhood with a diverse community of artists, traditional Jewish people and a vibrant gay community.  There is a very active night life in the Marais and it is one of the gay communities favorite places for socializing.  The sidewalk cafes were crammed with people, some of them dressed quite flamboyantly!  Everyone was having a great time and enjoying the beautiful fall evening.  As we walked through the area the smells of wonderful ethnic food wafted through the air making us very hungry.

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We passed by Jardin de l’hotel Lamoignon garden courtyard.  This is one of the oldest mansion houses in Marais (built between 1585 and 1590) and is now a library dedicated to the history of Paris.


Jardin de l’hotel Lamoignon

As we walked along Rue des Archives we passed a church, doors open to expose a courtyard within it’s walls.  There was an interesting art exhibit placed there and we wondered through to take a look

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The last stop before walking back toward home was the Place des Voges.  This square was built by Henry IV in the early 1600’s.  It is a true square, everything symmetrical and all of the house fronts identical.  Before the revolution this was a place where nobility came to gather and visit with one another

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