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Walking Tour of the Marais Neighborhood

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Rue des Rosiers: Traditional Jewish Quarter
Walking Tour of the Marais Neighborhood

A traditional Yiddish bakery on Rue des Rosiers.

©2006 Courtney Traub.
 

Directions:

From Rue Vieille du Temple, make a left on a narrow street called Rue des Rosiers.

Historic Jewish Quarter

Rue des Rosiers is the main thoroughfare of the Marais' historic Jewish quarter. Walking down this street and seeing the facades scrawled in Hebrew and French, many of them dating to the early 20th century, you can sense the rich history here.

Interesting Facts:

  • The area is also known as the Pletzl, which means square in Yiddish.
     
  • Large Jewish communities have lived here on and off for centuries, starting in the 13th century, when the area was known as "The Old Jewry." At the constant mercy of kings who periodically expelled them from France, Jews only acquired a measure of stability in the early 19th century, under Napoléon I.
     
  • During WWII, the neighborhood was especially targeted by the Nazi occupation and the collaborationist French police. Many schools in the area attest to that, including one that can be found off of Rue de Rosiers, at 6, Rue des Hospitalières-St.-Gervais. A commemorative plaque stands at the boy's school here. 165 students from this school were deported to concentration camps.
     
  • Today, the street and surrounding neighborhood is well-known for its delicious Middle Eastern and Yiddish/Eastern European specialties. Now is the time to take a break!

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