3rd Arondissement - Pletzel

The third arrondissement provides the link between the Paris of the tourists and the Paris of the natives. On a walk from the Centre Pompidou to the Place des Vosges, cutting right though the historical Marais district, everything on your left hand side belongs to the 3rd arrondissement (including the National Archive, the Musée Carnavalet and the Picasso Museum), but further to the north and towards Republique, the 3rd becomes distinctly residential, and not even particularly posh.

It is also framed on two sides, the north and the east, by the Grands Boulevard, the centrepieces of the Haussmannian reinvention of Paris, the most successful exercise of urban planning in human history. More than anything else, it is this line of boulevards – from the Madeleine Church to Place de la Republique and beyond to Bastille – that has given Paris its unique melody of rounded-off aluminium roofs and long lines of iron railings that bounce up and down fanciful stucco facades.

The area around Place de la Republique used to be the city's theatre district, immortalized in the famous French movie Children of Paradise, but only one theatre has survived the regeneration of the area, the Theatre Dejazet (on 41 Bd. du Temple).

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