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Travel: Paris -Paris - Back to the Marais Oct 15th/2019

Place : Paris - Back to the Marais

Date: Oct 15th 2019

Occasionally, I realize that some followers of my distribution list actually, do read my Travel Logs, when they care to send feedback, information, and suggestions, which are very welcomed, helpful and appreciated, and which I am glad to share a few:

Micha sent the following

"Since you guys enjoy strolling about, you probably noticed a lot of construction sites and perhaps also new, young trees in public places. There are lots of projects undergoing right now to make the city less friendly to cars, and more to bikes and pedestrians. These projects are the darlings of Ana Hidalgo, the mayor. They are quite controversial. They’ve created huge traffic jams, and critiques point out that the city is becoming more and more the playground of tourists. But it is also becoming more ecologically sustainable. This is emerging as the main issue for the mayoral elections next year."


Mark shared an info on a Montmarte recommended restaurant:

Le Bouillon Chartier - 7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre,

"A traditional French Very cool place to have a traditional French meal in a great Paris atmosphere. The place has been in business for more than 100 years, and tries to keep it like it was when it opened in 1896.

Go to the original, historic location in Montmartre. Not the new location in Montparnasse."


Nitzi has been suggesting museums she think I shouldn't be missing and on which I have been writing about.


My dear non-Jewish friend Astrid wrote

"I had to look up Lulav and Etrog, having never heard of them. Even watched an on-line video of how they are to be handled. I have to confess, that at least on line, the Lulav looked rather phallic, particularly in the final shaking right in front of the mid-section".

To which I was compelled to reply and wrote her:

Chapo to you Astrid, for looking up these Hebrew words related to Sukkot holiday and have to do with plants also symbolizing life and unity of the Jewish people. Etrog- lemon like smell, Lulav - the branch from the top of a palm tree - a tree that provides the taste of food - dates . And there are 2 other bush branches tied up with the Lulav, all with essential life attributes which are highly celebrated in Jewish tradition.

There were three pilgrimage festival holidays important in the Jewish holiday which attracted Jews to their temple before it was destroyed by the Romania’s.

The first was Passover, the second Sukkot and the third Shavuot and they all related to the agricultural celebrations.

The temple is long gone yet we still celebrate the holiday 2000 years later.. The power of tradition... you need to know where you come from to assure you will have a future to celebrate.. otherwise you become an unnoticeable spake of dust in the map of history..


And Liki shared that:

"On Simchat Torah they close the square around the Marais (sp) area for dancing."


The Plan of the Day

Although I wrote extensively about the Marais - The most Jewish quarter, on my previous visit to France in Nov 2018, we returned there,today to catch up on few other sites,

Especially visiting inside the Jewish museum. We got off at:

Châtelet Metro Station

The name "Châtelet" refers to the stronghold, the Grand Châtelet, that guarded the northern end of the Pont au Change,

Once out of the Metro into the street a grandiose fountain comes into sight:

At the square's center this fresh drinking water "Fontaine du Palmier" was designed in 1806 by architect and engineer François-Jean Bralle (1750-1832) to celebrate French victories in battle.

Also two 19c identical-looking theatres stand facing the square, the "Théâtre du Châtelet" and the "Théâtre de la Ville", both designed by architect Gabriel Davioud as part of Haussmann's grand reconfiguration of Paris

Further walking on rue Saint Jacques, there is no way one can miss the tall standing alone Tower and the quaint small garden around it

Built between 1509 - 1523 the 52m Tower - a national historic landmark - is the only remaining vestige of the 16c church - "Eglise Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie", which was destroyed during the French revolution in 1797. This flamboyant Gothic style, Tower, stands alone in the middle of a little garden of the same name. The tower's rich decoration reflects the wealth of its patrons, the wholesale butchers of the nearby "Les Halles" market.

The tower inspired Alexandre Dumas to write the play "La tour Saint-Jacques-de-la-boucherie" in 1856

For 800 years this glorious market was the central hub of all fresh food distribution in Paris. It was demolished in 1971 and replaced by the Forum des Halles, a modern shopping mall built now largely underground. The steel structure with its high wavy roof

can be seen from afar.

Walking on rue Rambuteau - located behind the famous Pompidou Centre at the end of a tall pole on, 44 rue Rambuteau , when looking up Max Ernst statue "Le Grand Assistant (1967) is dominating the skyline.

Jewish Museum - Hôtel de Saint-Aignan, 71 Rue du Temple

The Museum of Jewish Art and History is located in one of the beautiful historic private mansions in the Marais . This aristocratic mansion- Hôtel de Saint-Aignan built 1591-1669, was acquired by the City of Paris in 1962 as part of a plan to preserve the Marais quarter. The building had several uses before Paris City Hall decided to allocate it to the future museum.

The museum emphasis is on the history of the Jews in France, but also on the communities in Europe and North Africa. It contains religious art objects, textiles and manuscripts as well as archives of the Dreyfus affair, and paintings of: Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine to name a few.

For Sukkot Holiday it was most befitting to showcase at the museum this historic decorated Sukka structure

My Comments on the Museum curating

The exhibitions' rooms are not visibly numbered, so it is hard to follow

the audio guiding device. Also we were disappointed that there is hardly a mention of very prominent Jewish families who took an important part in French politics and the country's economic development and financing, in the course of France history.

Right at the beautiful and elegant prime location of place De Vosgse square behind a very non assuming green door facing the square in the most unexpected place, a huge Synagogue is hidden

La Victoire Grand Synagogue 44 Rue de la Victoire

The synagogue on De Vosgse Square - Phone number : 01 45 26 95 36.

Built in 1874 by the chief architect of the city of Paris, Alfred-Philibert Aldrophe, with the financial support of the Rothschild family, it is the largest synagogue in France, and its impressive services are conducted according to the Ashkenazi-Alsacian tradition.

If not part of a booked group visit, you can see the inside individually, if you come-in on Friday/Shabbat services.

Chag Sukkot Sameach

To be continued....

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