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The 11th district is far from being the most touristical quarter in Paris. The cemetery of Père-Lachaise and the Opéra Bastille are located very close, but in other districts. Even the Canal Saint-Martin disappears under the ground when it enters the district and reappears when it leaves it. Here is the map:

   10h        Belleville
     ___---       \
Pl---\             \
Rép   `B            \     20th
  `.  \d             \       
  | \  `              \
  |  `.\R              \Ménilmontant
   |    `i              \
   |    \c               \
   |     `h              \
   |     \a .             \
   |      `r \A            \  Père-Lachaise
   |      |d  \v            \
    |     '    `\            \
    |    /L      \V          \
    |    .e       `.o         \
    |   /n          \l         \
    |   .o           `.t        \
     | /i              \a       \
3rd  | .r               `.i      \
    Pl/                   \r      \
   Bast___                 `.e    \
          ------______       \    \
            12th             Nation

Everything in italics is outside the district. The 11th district is the 8th most populated district in Paris with 149,102 inhabitants in 1990. It's the 9th smallest district (3.67 km2).

Like the 10th district, the 11th district is located between two boulevard rings. It's mostly a quiet residential district. The street network is made of more passageways, backyards and dead ends than anywhere else in Paris. But don't expect any glamour here. In many respects, the 11th district marks the transition between the 20th-century external districts and the 16th- to 18th-century Marais which extends over the 3th and 4th districts.

Boulevard Richard-Lenoir crosses the district from north to south. Its central promenade covers the Canal Saint-Martin. The boulevard reaches Place de la Bastille before the Canal becomes the Bassin de l'Arsenal.

Place de la Bastille is famous because of one of the most famous events in French history. In the 18th century, the Bastille was a fortress; political opponents were regularly imprisoned there, to the point that a verb, "embastiller", was invented for that purpose. On July 14th, 1789, the Parisians gathered in the streets and marched towards the Bastille. At that time there were few guards and even fewer prisoners inside. Yet, the fall of the Bastille became the greatest symbol of the French Revolution. One year later, a holiday was organized on the Champ-de-Mars (where the Eiffel Tower stands today) on July 14th, and that day became the national holiday.

Nowadays, Bastille is known for its night life, particularly the north-east part that belongs to the 11th district. Bars in rue de Lappe and the neighborhood are full at night.

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