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Published: June 27th 2017
Today is our last full-day in Paris, as tomorrow Ashley returns to the USA, while we'll stay in a hotel at the Charles de Gaulle-Roissy airport outside of Paris. Since the girls had the suitcase packing chores well in hand by mid-afternoon, I suggested we take a bus to the Marais neighborhood for an early dinner, and then give Ashley a brief tour of this historic district. Le Marais (meaning "marsh"), for a long time the aristocratic district of Paris, boasts many outstanding buildings of historic and architectural importance.
The Marais district spreads throughout parts of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, on the Right Bank of the Seine. From the mid-13th to the 17th-centuries, especially after the Place Royale (now known as the Place des Vosges) was designed under King Henri IV in 1605, the Marais was the French nobility's favorite place of residence. Wealthy nobles built their urban mansions here—hôtels particuliers
, in French—such as the Hôtel de Sens, the Hôtel de Sully, the Hôtel de Beauvais, the Hôtel Carnavalet, the Hôtel de Guénégaud and the Hôtel de Soubise, as well as many others scattered throughout the district. Most of these magnificent buildings are now occupied by museums, or by
Place des Vosges
The Place des Vosges, originally Place Royale, is the oldest planned square in Paris and one of the finest in the city. It is located in the Marais district, and it straddles the dividing-line between the 3rd and 4th arrondissements of Paris. It was a fashionable and expensive square to live in during the 17th and 18th centuries, and one of the central reasons Le Marais became so fashionable for the Parisian nobility (Wikipedia)
administrative offices of the state.
Walking along rue St. Antoine from the bus stop in front of St. Paul's church to the Hôtel de Sully, we took the shortcut through the rear of its courtyard, and then entered the southwest corner of the Place des Vosges, one of the most picturesque squares in Paris. Dating back to the early 17th-century, each of the house fronts forming the four sides of the square were built to the same design, with red brick and stone facades above vaulted arcades. These residences continue to have a "regal" quality about them to this day, and the cost to acquire an apartment here is astronomical.
From the Place des Vosges, we took the rue des Francs-Bourgeois, one of the longer and more interesting streets in the Marais.This street is lined with trendy shops and boutiques, as well as several notable hôtels particuliers (
such as the magnificent Hôtel de Soubise; see today's photos). We turned south on the rue Vieille-du-Temple, and soon found a dinner spot at Le Tresor, where Ashley enjoyed "the best boeuf
of her trip", in her words. After our meal, we continued along rue Vieille-du-Temple for a few blocks until
reaching rue de Rivoli near the Hôtel de Ville, which we wanted Ashley to see. This impressive edifice, which serves as Paris's City Hall, is so large that it's difficult to capture in a photograph, but she tried her best to do so!
We hopped aboard a #69 bus on rue de Rivoli, and after an unplanned stop at the Louvre (where we re-boarded another #69 bus to complete the journey to Champ de Mars), we arrived at the apartment around 8:00 PM. At 7:30 tomorrow morning we leave for the airport, where Ashley boards an Air France flight to Atlanta, so we tried to hit the sack earlier than usual.
Our 74-day, around-the-world odyssey is rapidly drawing to a close, and it's been quite a ride. When we touch down in Orlando on Wednesday, the air mileage tally will have hit 61,000 miles, with stops at 15 airports! Yes, we suffered a few hardships during our travels, and had to take a few unexpected detours, but overall the trip has been a resounding success. No doubt it will be weeks, if not months, before we fully digest the images of the remarkable places, sights, and people we've
Hôtel de Ville
The Hôtel de Ville in Paris, France, is the building housing the city's local administration. Standing on the place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville in the 4th arrondissement, it has been the headquarters of the municipality of Paris since 1357. It serves multiple functions, housing the local administration, the Mayor of Paris (since 1977), and also serves as a venue for large receptions. (Wikipedia)
encountered along the way.
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