Walking in the Marais

The Marais is a fabulous neighborhood little visited by tourists. It became a very fashionable place to live after the king, Henri IV, built a residence there at Place des Vosges. The whole area is peppered with Hotels, or mansions, and not alot was destroyed in the name of progress, although there had been plans at one time.

This is the back entry to the church, St Paul St Louis. The interior of the church is truly lovely and worth a stop. Note the concrete objects going along each side of the alley against the walls–these were to stop carriage wheels from hitting the walls. I imagine a few people used them to protect feet and knees as well as a carriage passed.

Up another alley further down rue St Paul, is one of my favorite fountains. I seldom see water going into it, but I love its elegance. Nearby is a memorial to a family who lived here and of which five family members where taken to a Germain concentration camp where they died.

The reason I’ve put this photo up is to show something common in Europe. The little shutters underneath each window are there as they allow air to enter a little chamber on the other side. This is where items such as milk and butter were kept to keep them cool before the days of refrigeration. We had one in our apartment as well but blocked it off when we remolded our kitchen as air, dust and bugs came in.