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The most charming hidden gardens of the Marais

Do you ever get sick and tired of the city’s constant agitation ? Are you in need for some peace, some tranquil scenery ? The Paris lifestyle isn’t always a walk in the park. As such, one might sometimes feel the irrepressible need to revitalize themselves with the help of a little greenery. Thankfully, peaceful courtyards and hidden parks are plentiful in Paris, where nature and architecture come to meet and form little cocoons of serenity. It is especially true in the Marais, a neighborhood located in the center of Paris, most well known for its art galleries, showrooms, and designer boutiques. But that’s not all ! Here are 5 of the most charming hidden gardens of the Marais, selected by Galerie Joseph, expert in private event venues in Paris.

Clos des Blancs Manteaux – 21 rue des Blancs Manteaux

The clos des Blancs Manteaux (which is dedicated to Lady Diana, princess of Wales) is a wonderful exemple of biodiversity in Paris. It is located a stone’s throw away from the Hôtel de Ville metro and the Centre Pompidou. This 1000sqm wide garden is home to about 250 different types of plants. There are medicinal plants, aromatic herbs, as well as produce from the collective vegetable patch there, shared between the neighborhood’s inhabitants. This walled garden is not only a communal space : it is also an ideal location to raise awareness on eco-citizenship. Indeed, during the week, small student groups may come to learn about the environment, plants, and animals. They may also learn about waste sorting and recycling. It is the perfect activity to raise awareness amongst our young.

The garden is open to the public from 8:30am to 5pm. It is perfectly suited for family (or solo) picnics. Informative labels allow visitors to learn more about the plants that populate the area, as well as their specific attributes.

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Square Georges Cain – 8 rue Payenne

The George Cain park is one of the Marais’ best kept secrets. And there’s a good reason behind such secrecy. Indeed, the park is spread across 2128sqm of pure peace and quiet, in the heart of the Marais. It makes sense that regulars would be careful not to reveal its location to just anyone.

It bears the name of painter and writer George Cain, who was the very first curator for the Carnavalet Museum. The park was created in 1923 where once stood the garden of the Peletier de Saint-Fargeau hostel. It is also host to multiple art pieces and historical vestiges. There is, for instance, a few Merovingian sarcophagi, as well as the pediment (which still bears fire marks) of the Palais des Tuileries. As for the nature itself, well, it is positively blooming. There is, at the center of the garden, a magnificent flowerbed as well as a fig tree over 6 meters high, providing much-needed shade to the park during hot summer days.

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Square Saint-Gilles-du-Grand-Veneur – 9 rue du Grand Veneur

This park is one of the smallest parks in the Marais — though some might prefer to call it “cozy”. Despite its small proportions (a little less than 1000sqm), this adorable garden has everything going for it. It is hidden from the noise and agitation of the city, with its location between the rue de Hesse and rue des Arquebusiers. It can maintain a calm, relaxing atmosphere, while being 200m away from the Place des Vosges, which is often described as being Paris most visited park. But this small French style garden is every bit as good as the larger ones. With its arbors filled with roses soon as spring comes, it is simply ideal for a calm, romantic walk.

It is located right in front of the Grand-Veneur hostel, built in the 17th century, giving the park its bucolic, historically charged setting.

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Jardin de l’hôtel de Sens – 7 rue des Nonnains d’Hyères

The hôtel de Sens is one of the oldest buildings in Paris. It was built in 1475, near the border of the Seine, and served as a residence for the Sens Archbishops during the 16th century. Its geometrical, carefully maintained design makes it a typical French-style garden. This verdant space is constantly evolving : the garden’s flowers (and thereby, its colors) change according to the season. It is one of the most charming hidden gardens of the Marais.

The building’s architecture is typical of both the Middle Age and the Renaissance. It surrounds the garden with its imposing grandeur, and with its calm and tranquility, is simply ideal to catch a break before reaching Île Saint Louis.

 

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Jardin Anne Frank – 14, impasse Berthaud

At last, bringing this list of hidden gardens of the Marais to an end, here is the jardin Anne Frank, located a few steps away from the Centre Pompidou. The garden commemorates the young author Anne Frank, who fell due to nazi barbarism during World War 2.

It is divided by three separate parcels. The first, which has a contemporary style, is near the entrance and is adorned with multiple benches amidst the heathers. Azalea, hydrangea, and Japanese maple trees bring a refreshing shade as well as delightful floral scents during days of spring. Then, there is the Historical Garden, surrounded by an arbor which are covered in trellis. Finally, the third parcel consists in a playground for young children, as well as a communal vegetable patch. It also includes fruit trees, such as cherry trees, or apple trees. This discreet, charming little garden allows for very peaceful breaks spent amongst nature. It is accessible through the Rambuteau metro.