Old Paris: A Private Guided Walking Tour of Le Marais
This is an outside walking tour so please be prepared for weather changes.
Tour Participation Requirements
High fashion has a long history along the Rue des Rosiers, as the district was home to many Eastern European Jews who brought their specialized clothing fabrication talents with them around the end of the 19th century. The neighborhood became known as the “Pletzl,” Yiddish for “little place.” The Jewish residents soon made way for the next wave of newcomers to the district, a large Chinese community. China sent its citizens to France to take on the jobs vacated by soldiers who left for World War I. Today, many of the descendants of these families run jewelry and leather goods operations.
Le Marais welcomed another fashion-forward community starting around the 1980s: A sizeable Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender population. In fact, 40 percent of all LGBT businesses in Paris are located in Le Marais.
Other residents of the Le Marais district aren’t as well known for their connection to fashion, but are famous in their own right. Jim Morrison also spent some time there. Victor Hugo occupied an apartment for a few years, while he was writing Les Miserables – though he’d hardly recognize it today with its collection of trendy bars, nightlife hot spots, hip restaurants and chic shops.
What’s in a name?
Le Marais translates to “the marsh” in English, and that’s precisely what covered the region until the 12th century, when it was converted to fields by local farmers. For 400 years, agriculture dominated – until France’s King Henri IV broke ground on what would become the first residence at the Place des Vosges. The building of his palace triggered a construction boom, as more royalty moved in and the wealthiest families wanted to be residents in this much-desired neighborhood. Interestingly, these elites – who built many of the opulent, magnificent homes you’ll see during your tour – weren’t deterred by the smell: Le Marais was among Paris’ most aromatically offensive neighborhoods, having been built on what was essentially a swamp.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.