The 4th arrondissement of Paris (also known as "arrondissement de l'Hôtel-de-Ville") is one of the 20 arrondissements (administrative districts) of the capital city of France.
Situated on the Right Bank of the River Seine, it is bordered to the west by the 1st arrondissement; to the north by the 3rd, to the east by the 11th and 12th, and to the south by the Seine and the 5th.
The 4th arrondissement contains the Renaissance-era Paris City Hall. It also contains the Renaissance square of Place des Vosges, the overtly modern Pompidou Centre and the lively southern part of the medieval district of Le Marais, which today is known for being the gay district of Paris (while the more quiet northern part of Le Marais is contained inside the 3rd arrondissement). The eastern parts of the Île de la Cité (including Notre-Dame de Paris) as well as the Île Saint-Louis are also included within the 4th arrondissement.
The 4th arrondissement is known for its little streets, cafés, and shops but is regarded as expensive and congested. It is desirable for those insisting on old buildings and multi-cultural exposure.
Quartier Saint-Paul. From the Hôtel de Ville to Place des Vosges. Musée Carnavalet. Quartier des Archives and Quartier du Temple. The Marais is served from north to south by the République, Temple, Arts et Métiers, Filles du Calvaire, Rambuteau, Saint-Sébastien-Froissart, Chemin Vert, Hôtel de Ville, Saint-Paul, Pont Marie, Bastille and Sully-Morland Metro stations.
Not to be missed: the church of Saint-Gervais-Saint-Protais on Place Saint-Gervais, La Maison Européenne de la Photographie at 5-7 rue de Fourcy, the church of Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis at 99 rue Saint-Antoine, the Shoah Memorial at 17 rue Geoffroy-l'Asnier, Hôtel de Sens at 1 rue Figuier ... and also: Hôtel de Sully, Place des Vosges, Rue Vieille-du-Temple, Rue des Rosiers, Place du Marché-Sainte-Catherine, etc.
The historical richness of Paris is exemplified in this quartier, endowed by kings and aristocrats from the 16th to the 17th century with a royal square, splendid mansions, whole street devoted to the celebration of architecture.
The Marais is made up of several historic quartiers, in part of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements of Paris, on the right bank of the Seine, in the city centre. The Marais is a self-contained village within the city, with its regulars, its local shops and all the magic of its warm and friendly ambience, far from the stereotypical image of a big city.
In the area around the Hôtel de Ville, there are plenty of devoted fans of its trendy cafés, replaced further along by the family atmosphere of Place des Vosges.
It is home to many cultural and sporting events in the city. There are places of worship, all sorts of interesting shops, restaurants and local bistros.
From the early 17th century, following the construction of Place des Vosges, Le Marais became the home of the Parisian nobility and many mansions were built there, many of which are still to be seen today.
In 1969, André Malraux (Minister of Culture from 1959 to 1969 under the presidency of Général de Gaulle) launched a conservation and preservation programme that is still underway today. The Marais is now preserved and attractive to wealthy people because of its beautiful buildings. There are many museums there too.
A variety of communities have established themselves over the years, Jewish people at the end of the 19th century, the Chinese after the First World War and later on, the gay. A melting-pot that makes this area so interesting and so sought after by investors, because it such a great place to live.
L’île de la Cité, the heart of the city beats, to the busy rhythm of Parisians and tourists marvelling at Notre-Dame and Sainte-Chapelle, all in an architectural environment rearranged by Rambuteau and Haussmann. However, this is where the founders of the city, members of the Gallic tribe, the Parisii, established themselves, then came the bishops and their cathedral, followed by the Capetian kings with their governments, not to mention the oldest hospital in the city and the Parisians themselves.
Just a stone's throw away from there is l’île Saint-Louis which fortunately was spared the radical city planning of the 19th century and has kept its rather aristocratic cachet acquired in the 17th century.
Not to be missed: Notre Dame, Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie, the view from Square du Vert-Galant, the flower market, the façade of the Hôtel de Chenizot at 52 rue Saint-Louis-en-l'île and the interior decor of the Hôtel de Lauzun at 17 quai d'Anjou.