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Le Village Saint Paul

Village St Paul, Le Marais

Le Village Saint Paul

Secluded Spot in Le Marais Blending Paris Past & Present

Rue Saint-Paul, 75004 Paris

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Le Village Saint Paul is a historic building complex tucked away in a quiet street behind the Church Saint Paul, in the heart of Le Marais district of Paris. Even though it’s only a few minutes away from popular places such as Place des Vosges or Hôtel de Sens, it’s always relatively quiet here, making it a Parisian stop-over which is quite literally off the beaten track.

In fact, it’s very easy to miss the nondescript entrances to this complex, if not for the colorful pink flags that dot the streets around it. Le Village Saint Paul is made up of a cluster of buildings surrounding around a number of inter-linked courtyards.

These buildings which date back to the 13th century now house an assortment of art galleries, antique shops, stores selling curiosities, and several restaurants and bars. Be sure to take a peek at map you’ll find at the entrance — it can be very helpful in navigating the almost maze-like area with many a hidden corners you might easily overlook.

Map of the Village St Paul

History of Le Village Saint Paul

The story of Le Village Saint Paul began when King Charles V recognized the strategic importance of Le Marais area which until then was an ignored peripheric location, and incorporated it within the city of Paris. The king constructed a royal palace here in the form of a cluster of buildings which were then surrounded by gardens.

In due time, as this district got integrated within the city of Paris, the place around the palace became a thriving center for workmen and artisans. This palace was dismantled in 1550 and the subsequent French Revolution in 1789 severed whatever remaining royal connection was left between this place and the French nobility.

Parisian terrace in Le Marais

Following the French Revolution, many of the royal residences in Le Marais were either seized, destroyed or sold, and even this former palace was converted to working-class accommodations. Finally, after years of being left unattended to, in 1962, the French government recognized the historic importance of this building complex, along with many other important places nearby and took steps to preserve them. This is how Le Village Saint Paul came to be as we know it today.

Le Marais district in itself, offers a unique lens into medieval Paris since it managed to escape the massive urban renewal project by Baron Haussmann during 1853-1870. And Le Village Saint Paul is an integral part of this unique heritage and history of Paris.

Paris historical tour of Le Marais neighborhood

Things to Do and See in Le Village Saint Paul

Le Village Saint Paul has an eclectic mix of stores and boutiques. These include galleries with contemporary art, boutiques selling antiques, and shops along the lines of ‘cabinet of curiosities’ selling a variety of objects that run the gamut from quirky to esoteric and bizarre. You can find everything here from silverware dating back to 16th century to antique books on mysticism.

Antique shop in Paris's Village St Paul

If you expect to find a busy shopping complex, this place can’t be further from it. Instead, visit Le Saint Paul if you want to spend some time pouring over lovely vintage finds or if you are a history aficionado with an interest in discovering places with unique cultural significance.

I would especially advise you to check out Mandarine for some gorgeous antique furniture and Limaselect for antique games, dolls and vintage finds from Japan. 

Please keep in mind that not all the shops might be open all at the same time. All such information can easily be accessed via the website of the village, which also publishes news on various events that happens here throughout the year.

Wine on a terrace in the Village St Paul

Le Village Saint Paul is also perfect to sip some drinks or have a lovely brunch in the many terraces which spring up in the courtyard as soon as the weather in Paris is warmer. On any given day, you’re very likely to find the locals rubbing shoulders with the tourists over at Bistro Cache which serves varied international fare or enjoy an intimate, homey meal at La Petite Maison Dans La Cour.

Le Village Saint Paul is an important slice of Parisian life both historically and today. It offers a unique representation of the continuity between the past and the present, in a space where the ambiance is very quintessentially Parisian.

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Métro Ⓜ
  • Rue Saint-Paul
  • 75004 Paris

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