After a contemplative visit if the Memorial, we cross from the Ile de la Cité over the Ile Saint-Louis onto terra firma again. Well perhaps not exactly.  This is the quarter of Paris known as the Marais -- or marshland. Actually the marshes were dried up centuries ago, and this has long been one of Paris' most elegant districts.  To the left we see the Hotel de Sens, originally built to house the Archbishops who ruled over Paris.  In French the word "hôtel" might loosely be translated as "town castle".  In this case the castle's most famous resident was Marguerite de Valois, or Queen Margot.  She was the sister of the last Valois kings of the 1500's.  Her marriage to Henri de Navarre allowed this protestant prince a serious claim to the throne, which he was allowed to take upon his conversion to Catholicism.  The marriage did not last, however, and this is where Margot lived after and exile in Auvergne and a return to her beloved Paris.
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This page last updated on 5/31/2001 11:08:36 PM.