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The 3rd and 4th districts belong to the same quarter: the Marais. The 3rd district has no night life and few famous buildings, but many art galleries.


       10th
      ________________________Pl.    
   | |                     République
   | |                  o  ,-*     \
   | |               big,-' /     \  \
   | |  Arts      Tur,-'   /       \   \
   | |            ,-'     /         \  / \
   | |-Réaum--_,-'-------/---________\/_   \         11th
2nd| |     ,-'r        T/ Bretagne   /\ `--  \
   | |   ,-' |.       e/           V/  \T     \ 
   | |,-'    |B      m/           ./    \u     \ 
   | |       |e     p/           T/ Pic  \r     \
   | |       |a    l/           e/        \e     \
   | |       |u   e/           m/          \n     \
   | |       |b   /           p/            \n     \ 
  -| |-------|---/-- F-B ----l/-------------|e-----|
   | |  Beaub.                Vosges  \
   | |               4th

Everything in italics is outside the district. The 3rd district is the 4th least populated district with 34,248 inhabitants in 1990, and the 2nd smallest district (1.17 km2 only).

Mansions and art galleries

The southern part of the district hosts "hôtels particuliers" (beautiful mansions with a backyard). Any visitor should have a walk along rue des Francs-Bourgeois, which marks the frontier with the 4th district. Other mansions can be seen in rue Vieille-du-Temple, one of my favorite streets in the district.

These buildings often contain museums: history of Paris in Hôtel Carnavalet, Musée Picasso in rue de Thorigny. The entrance to the gardens are usually free, and the permanent collections of the museums that belong to the City of Paris are also free.

Many art galleries gather around rue Vieille-du-Temple, rue de Turenne and the Picasso Museum. Along with the old facades, it's a very pleasant walk on a Saturday afternoon.

Clothing industry

While the southern and easter part of the building belongs to the Marais and looks like the 4th district, the western part is less glamorous and could be a part of the 2nd district. The shops are dedicated to the wholesale clothing industry, and are often owned by Chinese people, which makes this part of the district a small Chinatown. A couple of streets between rue du Temple and rue Beaubourg host dozens of dealers in leather goods.

North of rue Réaumur, all of you technology lovers should visit the Musée des Arts et Métiers, dedicated to inventions and engineering. You can see Blériot's plane or Cugnot's trolley (a kind of car with a steam engine, built in the 18th century) there. Umberto Eco's fans will remember that Foucault's Pendulum begins in this museum. I saw the Pendulum in the chapel of the museum a few years ago, but I'm not sure it's still there.

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