The Paris Marais: the birthplace of parisian private mansions

Explore the elegant essence of Paris's Marais district on a captivating guided tour, by L'Echappée Belle, of its sumptuous hôtels particuliers

  • Location : Paris
  • Minimal Age : 7
  • Duration : 1h30
  • Access by Public Transport : Métro line 8, stop Saint-Sébastien Froissart.
  • Language : English

The Paris Marais: the birthplace of parisian private mansions
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Discover the Marais district of Paris, an area of bewitching elegance and fascinating history. Its cobbled streets, private mansions with sculpted facades and trendy boutiques create a lively tableau where art, culture and architecture blend harmoniously.

The old houses, erected in medieval times, and the well-known “hôtels particuliers”, built during the 17th and 18th century still make the Marais district one the most famous architectural ensemblage in Paris. Your guide will give explanations on the history and architecture of these mansions and talk about aristocratic people who have lived there.

During our walking tour, we will get a glimpse on some of the most remarkable of them, and entering in their relaxing courtyards, those open to the public. These include hôtel Carnavalet, now Paris’ history museum, hôtel de Soubise, headquarter of French national archives, hôtel Salé, now Picasso’s Museum.

Immerse yourself in the world of former French royalty of King Henri IV, as you stroll through the Place des Vosges. Here, witness the distinctive architecture of the brick and stone houses, built to a perfect plan.

The guide will lead you through a narrow, almost secret passageway towards the Hôtel de Sully, surrounded by its garden and orangery recently restored.

Our walk will take us to the hôtel particulier de Beauvais, hôtel d’Aumont, head of the administrative Court of Paris and hôtel de Sens, now a library. 

Your guide is from L'Echappée Belle, a company of guide-lecturers set up nearly thirty years ago. They offer a wide range of tours and walks in Paris and the Ile-de-France region. Their guides have a solid background in art history and know Paris inside out. Their tours are lively, full of anecdotes, and they make sure that every participant has a great time.

If you want to know more about Paris and Grand Paris heritage, take a look at our other visits about this subject on Explore Paris!


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