A walk in the quarter on Heritage Days

1 August 2022
Category Exhibitions and Museums
A walk in the quarter on Heritage Days

Located a few steps from the Place des Vosges, the Carnavalet and Picasso Museums, and the National Archives, the Hotel des Tournelles occupies a fascinating district. While the Marais and its wonderful old mansions offers a beautiful immersion in the history of the capital, the neighbouring 11th arrondissement invites you to explore suburban Paris, a place of artisans and, more recently, artists. The Journées Européennes du Patrimoine (European Heritage Days), the 39thedition of which will be held on September 17th and 18th, offer a very special annual opportunity to make the most of the city’s wealth of heritage. Here are some ideas for walks in the neighbourhood, within easy reach of the Hôtel des Tournelles…


In the spirit of Heritage Days

Heritage Days often include the option of exploring monuments and institutions normally closed to the public. And we sometimes forget that these two days also mean free admission to museums and historical sites. A few steps from the Hotel des Tournelles, the Musée Carnavalet, a museum dedicated to the history of the City of Paris, has just reopened with a completely redesigned scenography. Drop by and enjoy the highlighted collections as well as the beauty of the buildings. Likewise, the Musée Picasso remains one of the neighbourhood's must-sees. You can also take the opportunity to visit the historic Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris. Located in a magnificent private mansion, typical of the Marais, this public library specialising in the history of Paris holds a wealth of rare archives and documents. Although access to these is normally restricted to researchers, you will have the chance to see them during Heritage Days. 


Discovering the 11th arrondissement

To continue your walk, cross the Boulevard Beaumarchais and then the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir to discover another facet of Paris. Small shops and ateliers rub shoulders with cafes and restaurants, creating an intense and dynamic neighbourhood life. This is where the very discreet Grande Loge Féminine de France hides. This all-female masonic lodge was established after the Second World War and remains completely independent of the masonic brotherhood. On the occasion of the Heritage Days, the Grand Lodge opens its doors, not only to show the beauty of the buildings, which originally belonged to a 17th century convent, but also to share its functions and activities. Finally, head to the Avenue de la République to visit the Lycée Voltaire. Built at the end of the 19th century, the beautiful neo-classical façade of this secondary school is a fine example of the Parisian educational institutions of the time.


The European Heritage Days grow in popularity each year. This year, once again, many lesser-known places that are usually off-limits to the public will be open to all. The list is long and becoming longer. The Hotel des Tournelles team is at your service with information and advice to help you make the most of these exceptional days. 


Photo: Pascale Gueret

Hotel Les Tournelles, a 3-star hotel in the heart of the Marais

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