The Marais could best be described as a busy, noisy place -- nowhere more so than along the Rue des Francs-Bourgeios which runs from the Place des Vosges to the Pompidou Centre.
Yet behind the imposing wooden doors of the gate to the National Archives at 60 Rue des Francs-Bourgeios John and I discovered a secret, tranquil place free to all.
When one enters the gates one finds oneself facing the 18th century Hôtel de Soubise which now houses the archives themselves. The courtyard is surrounded by an elegant colonade.
I love the view of the beautiful buildings rising above the arcade.
When we entered a doorway to the right of the Hôtel we found a map of the archive grounds
and entered tidy, curving paths into a magical quiet space in the center of the Marais.
That's John walking toward the Hôtels de Breuteil and d'Assy with their green lawns.
He took a seat.
He was facing a pretty little fountain. Locals use the space to read or eat their lunch.
Later John came upon a little sculpture in a tiny, dark garden-room.
Leave your scooter behind when you enter this magical space.
Next door at Hôtel de Jaucourt there is a light-filled formal garden incorporating boxwood hedges filled with flowers.
Here we've found a lovely bush of early spring roses
still blooming in the cool temperatures of this year's Spring.
One's visit ends in a perfectly French garden space with pruned trees, an oval lawn and gravel paths. Do keep in mind when next you visit Paris.