Rue Simon Lefranc is a thousand years old, but the hotel dates from the 18th century. Hence the character of the buildings which the owners have restored while respecting the beauty of the past, preserving exposed beams and stones, the vaulted cellar, an ancient well, a courtyard with trees…
The Marais quarter was the site of an ancient marshland, occupied in the Middle Ages by religious orders. In the 17th century, after the Place des Vosges was built, it became a prime residential area, where the Parisian nobility built their stately homes. Rehabilitated in the 20th century, the Marais became a special centre of attraction to visitors who enjoy its charm and character.
A central location, perfect for visiting Paris without tiring yourself out: the Hotel Beaubourg is situated in the right-bank’s 4th arrondissement in the heart of the historic Marais, known for its old houses, cobbled streets, boutiques and museums. Within walking distance, you’ll find the Pompidou Centre for contemporary art and Les Halles, Paris’s old market, due to become the highlight of contemporary Parisian architecture. Also, well worth a visit, the Musée Picasso, and dozens of stately homes with beautiful gardens to be seen as you stroll around the district. A little further away explore Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre museum (which needs no introduction) and the Latin Quarter with its chic shops, historic restaurants and legendary bars. The Hotel Beaubourg is the perfect place for a visit to the City of Light, to enjoy its architecture, culture and fashion.
« It is a phoney building, almost a parody of technology », says architect Renzo Piano of Beaubourg, which some people define as an oil refinery while for others it looks like an airport terminal. But the inside reconciles everyone. Every contemporary artistic culture of the world is represented here.
One of the oldest squares in Paris and a place of infinite charm. Designed in the 17th century, on a square plan, it is lined with charming brick buildings with tall windows and steep slate roofs. Today, the square is a public garden where pushchairs and footballs share the lawn with local residents and admiring tourists.
Housed in a gorgeous Marais stately home, the museum contains one of the world’s richest collections of the artist’s work: some 200 paintings, 150 sculptures, 80 ceramics and more than 3,000 drawings and prints… www.musee-picasso.fr
The entire history of Paris is here. Apart from this main theme, the Carnavalet Museum is also in charge of the archaeological Crypt of the forecourt of Notre-Dame and of the Catacombs of Paris…www.carnavalet.paris.fr
Louis XIV was baptised and Colbert was buried here. Because of its majestic proportions, the church was long considered as being the only church fit for royalty. Situated at the heart of Les Halles, once known as the « belly of Paris », it is really worth a visit.
World famous since the Middle Ages, the Latin Quarter beats to the rhythm of the Sorbonne University at its heart. Among its historic monuments, universities and bookshops, the area oozes an intense magnetism that remains with you when you take a rest from your literary forays at the legendary Café de Flore, in the shadow of Sartre and Beauvoir. With its haute couture and trendy shops, fashion is at the forefront in Saint Germain des Prés. Its antique dealers, galleries and fashion boutiques should not be missed.
A castle, a palace and an extraordinary museum. From the enthusiastic sightseer to the art lover, everybody is mesmerized by the Louvre. Situated along the Seine between the beautiful Tuileries gardens and the church of Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois, the Louvre is one of the largest palaces in Europe and undeniably one of the richest museums in the world. At the Café Marly, in the company of the city’s VIPs, you can contemplate the majestic Cour Carrée and the controversial glass pyramid, and make up your mind, once and for all, about President Mitterrand’s architectural legacy. www.louvre.fr
As you come out of the Louvre, after having seen the majestic arcades of the famous rue de Rivoli, enjoy a Mont Blanc at Angelina’s, an amazing tearoom with its pre-war gilded decor. You can then experience one of the finest prospects in Paris, before moving on to the Place de la Concorde and the Champs Elysées. The Avenue de l’Opéra, which leads to the gilded dome of the Palais Garnier, is an introduction to what Paris has to offer that is most Parisian, the top Department Stores. From the Printemps with its famous mosaics to the Galeries Lafayette and its « personal shoppers », enter the temple of Parisian chic… for all budgets.
Alternately, as you come out of the Louvre, take a romantic stroll along the banks of the Seine, with its numerous bridges and statues. Along this peaceful river which runs like a history of architecture, you’ll discover the treasures of the Ile Saint Louis and Ile de la Cité, the second-hand booksellers and the flower market. A short walk further on, a gem of Gothic architecture, gargoyles and all, appears in front of you: the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris.