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Ile St Louis- Paris 3rd & 4th


Musee Picasso

Place des Vosges

Village St Paul

Ile St Louis


This is an authentic part of Paris like it looked already in the 17th and 18th century! Pretty, elegant, narrow streets, dignified premises and picturesque interior courtyards, like in the Marais. An oasis of peace in the middle of this busy city. It is really a privilege for Parisians to live here. And especially students appreciate a stroll along the sunny quays, fleeing their stuffy classrooms, when other Parisians are queuing to get an ice cream at “Berthillon”.It remained a small village where common 17th and 18th century houses with plastered facades are inserted between beautiful stone hotels de maitre with majestic portals. Here is balcony from where you have a splendid view of the Seine, the quays and Notre Dame, there you have the immense satisfaction of loitering in the old streets, admiring sculptures and iron wrought items, or to do window shopping in the boutiques of rue Saint-Louis en L’Ile who refuse all modernity.

The Ile Saint-Louis was in fact composed by two isles: Ile aux Vaches (cow island), where indeed some cows grazed and the larger Ile Notre Dame, belonging to the canon of Notre Dame. Legends tell that devils and witches held Sabbath here…..against the will of the canon of Notre Dame. The two islands were reunited in the 17th century when Louis XIII ordered to fill up the Seine arm separating the two islands. A bridge, the pont Marie, connected the new island to the rest of the “mainland” and the island became the jewel of Paris. Louis and Francois le Vau made a fortune by selling houses to the wealthy nobility and bourgeoisie. Like the Hotel de Lauzun, built in 1657 (17 quai d’Anjou), the only hotel particulier of that epoch open for the public, where Baudelaire and Theophile Gauthier lived, the hotel Lambert (2, rue St.Lambert-en-l’Ile) maybe the most beautiful of the Ile Saint Louis, formerly the residence of Michele Morgan, now the residence of Guy de Rotschild, and hotel de Jasson (19, quai de Bourbon) inhabited for a while by Camille Claudel, the furious mistress of Rodin. Other nice houses in the quai de Bourbon: at no.11 the hotel de Champaigne (French painter) and no.15 hotel de Charron built in 1637, with an interesting courtyard.

And let’s not forget the famous Hotel de Comans (16-18 quai de Bethune) once the residence of the duke of Richelieu, a nephew of the famous cardinal.
Stroll along all these streets (quai d’Anjou, de Bethune, de Bourbon, d’Orleans, rue Saint-Louis en L’Ile), be charmed by their quiet magnificence and forget your stress and your worries. Enter the church of Saint-Louis en L’Ile, built in 1644 in the street of the same name. The inside is full of 17th and 18th century masterpieces. At no.61, restaurant “Aux Anysetiers du Roi” with its ancient signboard and at no 51 hotel Chenizot from 1625.

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