From Place de la République, take Boulevard du Temple, take the first right and here is already Rue Charlot, an entry point into the Marais among others. Rue Charlot: the name might make you smile but this Charlot was a serious man.

Claude Charlot, developer of the district in the XNUMXth century, had the honor of having his name given to this long artery, formerly made up of the streets of Orléans-au-Marais, Berri, Angoumois and Bosc.

A work by Street Artist Cœur Anarchiste, CGT banners, will this walk be placed under the sign of anarcho-syndicalism?

This is because at number 85 there is the discreet entrance to the annex of the Labor Exchange which bears the name of Eugène Varlin, socialist and libertarian activist, member of the Paris Commune and the First International, victim massacres of the bloody week of May 28, 1871.

This establishment, free of charge maintained and made available to representative union organizations by the City of Paris, constitutes, for workers, a home where they can find professional information and places for union meetings.

Let's go on. Very quickly, we come across this gentleman who is driving in the wrong direction. He has adopted the color code of the construction site barrier he passes – apple green bike, gray jacket – to try, with some success, to blend into the background. Which didn't stop us from spotting it.

Here we are at Place Olympe-de-Gouges, named in 2007 in homage to this magnificent heroine of the Revolution, author of the Declaration of the Rights of Women and Citizens, who left numerous writings in favor of the civil and political rights of women and the abolition of black slavery. She was guillotined on November 3, 1793.

This square is the meeting point of rue Béranger, rue de Turenne and rue de Franche-Comté.

Let's go around the square to continue exploring rue Charlot. At the corner of this and Rue de Turenne is the Boucherat fountain, named after the Chancellor of France who, from 1685, supervised the application of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which since 1598 recognized Protestants the freedom to practice their religion.

Depending on the clicks, Google Street View gives us the choice between the August 2017 or May 2019 version, the latter having the advantage of revealing the inscription in Latin thanking King Louis XIV for the peace he has just signed in Ryswyck in the Netherlands in 1697, which means in good French: “Just as the happy peace concluded by King Louis will spread abundance in the city of Paris, this fountain will give it its waters”.

Suddenly, at 70, another work by Cœur Anarchiste catches our eye. The rest of the journey will, however, be placed under the sign of the aristocracy with its sumptuous private mansions in a row.

We will never know if the name of this store is an “over-promise”, as they say in the ad, the van parked in front of its window preventing us from evaluating its contents.

At 58, the Hôtel de Sauroy houses a photographic space which opens its doors to major Parisian photographic events (Paris Photo, Prix Virginia, 60th anniversary of Gens d'images, etc.) and which also organizes personal exhibitions. Almost opposite, rivaling in elegance, at 57, we discover the Hôtel de Boulainvilliers.

Immediately, we cross rue de Bretagne, which we will explore during a future visit.

We cross and roll, my hen.

At 42, this charcuterie shows creativity.

At 33 bis there is discreet access to the famous Enfants Rouges market. The entry of food artists?

At 28 there is apparently a beautiful property which belonged to the Marquise de Polignac but Google Street View, which obviously likes to mistreat two-wheel users, has spread one like chewing gum in front of the gate, preventing them from throwing an eye.

Then followed the hotels of Sanois at 26, Pérignon at 24, Brossier at 12. The latter housed the eighth and final season of the Star Academy which was won on December 19, 2008 by Mickels Réa. That evening, the rooms of this place, which we imagine to be opulent and tastefully decorated, must have resonated with the bursts of a memorable party, unfortunately without a future because the artist would never succeed in truly launching his career. He confided, in 2015, that he had abandoned music to become a sound engineer and producer.

The Hôtel de Retz, at 9, houses a 750 square meter temporary exhibition space called Passage de Retz, designed by Sylvain Dubuisson and opened in 1994 as well as a Petit Café and a Boutique, designed by the architect Christian Biecher .

Followed by the hotels of Belleyme at 8 and Cornuel, at 7.

At the intersection with Rue du Perche here is the church of the Holy Cross of Paris Eparchy of the Armenians, now called the Holy Cross of Paris Armenian Catholic Cathedral. This is the former chapel of the Capucins-du-Marais convent, built in the XNUMXth century on an old tennis court.

If you have accidentally sat on your clarinet and it has become a little crooked, you can take it to n°6, to the Ateliers de Lutherie Vent Bois where, since 1988, Guy Collin has also repaired – and sells – wooden and metal flutes, saxophones, oboes and bassoons.

Next to it, two peaceful people, one of whom seems to be practicing “manspreading” because of a new image distortion, sit like guards of the last room of a museum before its release. Above them, on a door panel, a graffiti gives this end of the walk a sentimental touch, as is often the case in the stories of “the other Tramp”, the unforgettable Charlie Chaplin.

Text: Djiefssi



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