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One of the most historic sections of the city of Paris, the neighborhood of East Paris encompasses Le Marais and the area around the Bastille. The neighborhood has a tremendously rich and vibrant cultural scene, as well as some of the most spectacular pre-revolutionary architecture in the city.
History of East Paris
East Paris, encompassing the areas of Le Marais and the Bastille, is one of the most historical areas of the city. With roots dating back to the twelfth century, the neighborhood of Le Marais boasts of having the most pre-revolutionary architecture than the rest of Paris. East Paris is also home to what remains of Bastille, one of the most important landmarks in the history of France.
Occurring in 1789, the storming of the Bastille was one of the most talked about, and most important events of the French Revolution. On the morning of July 14th, a number of revolutionaries stormed the prison fortress, which stood as a symbol of the absolute authority of monarch Louis XVI. Within hours, the guards were defeated, and the Marquis de Launay was beheaded, plunging the country into a lengthy and bloody revolution.
With a reputation of being one of the wealthier and aristocratic centers of Paris, the neighborhoods of East Paris boast such notable luminaries as Victor Hugo, and Maximilien Robspierre.
Culture of East Paris
The neighborhoods of East Paris have become known as a particularly trendy location in the city. East Paris boasts a number of bistros, boutiques and galleries which contribute to the vibrant culture of the neighborhood.
East Paris, particularly Le Marais, has a vibrant gay community which has made the area its home. Le Marais features a rich night life, with a number of clubs and bars catering to the ever growing community.
Attractions in East Paris
While the Bastille is still an important park of the neighborhood's heritage, very little of the landmark still stands. The location of the former fortress is now the home of the Opera Bastille. The theater was built in 1989 from designs by Canadian-Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott. Those interested in visiting the Opera Bastille can enter the public foyer, the auditorium and backstage areas through their offered guided tours.
There is an entrance fee of 12 EUR; however, there are reduced rates of 10 EUR for students and those under twenty-five, as well as 6 EUR for children. Those interested in more information can call +33 (0)1 40 01 19 70. The Opera Bastille is easily accessible via the Bastille metro station.
Fans of the popular author Victor Hugo can visit the home he kept at the Hotel de Rohan-Guemenee in Les Marais. Accessible via the Bastille metro station, the museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.. Admission to permanent exhibits is free, and the museum offers individual tours with the aid of audio guides. Those interested in more information can call 01 42 72 10 16.