THATRue Marais Street Hunt

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NO External help (the answers to all knowledge-based questions can be found within the hunt or on the walls of Paris!), which means no Google, Wikipedia, Mappy, GPS, no phoning your Parisian Auntie with a PhD in French history! The instructions are clear from one street corner to the next, the only need for a phone is for Paris Photo Points, which are sometimes sneakily embedded in your text & involve some interaction with this fine city. 

LOGISTICS & SUPPLIES The hunt is best read on an iPad or larger device, although a phone is fine, too. You’ll also need a pen and paper, memos app or word processor to jot down the short answers (besides photo challenges, there are 25 questions, some of which are answered within the hunt, but most are found on the streets of your hunt! Within your pod, please select the self-explanatory roles of Scribe and Reader. If your family is splitting up in two, please record your start & finish time, as that may just define who’s won!  

EMERGENCY MAP: You can access the emergency map with the code. However, careful (!!) IF you access the map, you’ll be penalized 150 points!! More than 200 teenagers on their first trip to Paris have managed this hunt without opening the map, so you’ll be fine (oh dear, was that a challenge?).  

POINTS: There are 25 treasures, each treasure meriting 20 points each, totaling a potential 500 game points (as opposed to the Paris Photo Points!). The winning team will be determined by A) how many game points they earned and B) how quickly they completed the course.   

PHOTOS: There’s no obligation to post your light-hearted photos. However, if you do, we’d love to see them! To tag @THAT_Muse_ (Twitter & Instagram) and #THATMuse. These challenges (sometimes highlighted, sometimes embedded in the text) all require you to be silly with and for Paris.    

If you walked directly, you could reach Hôtel de Ville (endpoint) from Place des Vosges (start point) in 20 minutes, but your hunt does not go directly! This treasure hunt can be done at any time of the day. It should take you between 60 and 90 minutes.


START TIME     _________________                 1 _____________________________ 

     2 _____________________________ 

END TIME       __________________                       3 _____________________________ 

       4 _____________________________ 

  5 _____________________________ 

_____________________________________   6 _____________________________ 


The Marais, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Paris, is the product of what we could call a major real estate development: Until the 14th Century, this area was actually a marsh (what Marais means in French). It was drained to expand the city, and by the 17th Century was the favorite neighborhood of the French aristocracy. Luckily for us, many of these palaces (Hôtel in French) are still standing and are here to poke around for our treasure hunt trail! 

START POINT, Place des Vosges is a perfect square surrounded by 36 homogeneous buildings, all of red brick and stone, with an arcade gallery covering the entire ground floor. When you see these red brick buildings in Paris, one can hazard a guess that it was built in the early 17th C under King Henri IV, as was the case with Place des Vosges. Having changed names 8 times, it was inaugurated in 1612 as Place Royale for the engagement of teen-royals Louis XIII and Anne of Austria. Under Napoleon in 1800, it took the name Place des Vosges (thanks to that region, or department, paying its taxes under the French Revolution). A bit ironic as this area was the hotbed of the aristocracy. Many famous French people lived here, including Interior Ministers Richelieu & Sully, writers Victor Hugo & Madame de Sévigné, and more recently former IMF director Dominique Strauss Kahn. A popular spot for jousting, King Henri II died after a week of agony in a cavalry joust that took place a few meters from here, in front of Hôtel de Sully. Did you catch all that? It may just answer a bonus question!

ENDPOINT, Hôtel de Ville French history is fun because it’s just so bloody. The Hôtel de Ville has been headquarters to both the French Revolution & the Paris Commune (when it burned down, ruining all city records). The current 19th C building features more than 230 sculptors, the most famous being Rodin’s figure of d’Alembert, the 18th C mathematician who contributed to creating the Encyclopédie. But back to the blood, the end of your treasure hunt has been the site of countless executions over the centuries. Etienne Marcel was the first mayor to run Paris from Place des Greve (he was later hanged in 1358 for opposing the crown). on Bastille Day (14 July 1789) the mayor of Paris was also executed here. Soon thereafter, Robespierre was shot in the jaw and arrested here. In 2002 when Bertrand Delanoë, Paris’s first openly gay mayor, opened the first Nuit Blanche (White Night, a city-wide endeavor where museums, restaurants & municipal buildings like this are open all night). When he threw the town hall doors open, he was stabbed (but not killed)!

Between the Start and Endpoint, you’ll follow straight-forward directions passing parks, palaces, French fashion shops, Instagrammed cafes, and designers’ ateliers, as you pick up nuggets of Paris trivia and earn your Paris Photo Points sometimes sneakily embedded in text! Have fun! 

On one of the corners of Place des Vosges, please find the restaurant Ma Bourgogne & take the now-elegant ‘rue des Francs- Bourgeois’. My, have times changed since the naming of this Street! The official Paris Chamber of Notaires publishing the 2018 average cost of a flat in this area being €11K per m². In the Middle Ages, the very term Francs Bourgeois meant someone who was so poor they didn’t have to pay taxes. A home for the indigent was founded in 1350 and located at number 34 Francs Bourgeois. Urban evolution aside, walk to the corner and hang a left on rue de Turenne. There’s a well-known shop which takes the name of both a novel and its writer who wrote it. Franҫois-Marie Arouet was one of the most reasonable (har!) thinkers of the Enlightenment, a 17th C movement that advocated the separation between Church & State, Freedom of Worship, and Freedom of Expression. Writing under a pseudonym, he wrote novels (such as Candide), poetry, and philosophical tracts. Write the name of the store at number 20 rue de Turenne TREASURE 1 _________________ & ________________ and you’ll find his name and the novel! By the way, this store was founded in 1997 by the grandson of Lacoste’s founder! 

Continue on rue de Turenne till you reach Karl Marc John (a French clothing shop at #12) when you can cross along the pedestrian path to take rue de Jarente. Enter the small dead-end Street called Impasse de la Poissonnerie & walk to the ‘Fontaine de Jarente,’ the fountain dating to 1783 just before the revolution (when this neighborhood would be plumaged). The fountain is decorated with dolphins, fasces, and cornucopias (those cones with fruit). Cornucopias are on the United States flag of Idaho and the flag of ‘Panem’ in the Hunger Games film. More broadly known, which South American country has a cornucopia on it? Hint, that flag is Red and White TREASURE 2______________. The street was named Poissonnerie, which means Fish Shop in French, because there was a fish market here in the 18th C, supplying the nearby Marché St Catherine. Fish vendors would have needed water, which at the time was only supplied at fountains on city streets. So now you’re building your French vocabulary: one way to say dead-end (in an argument, too!) is “impasse,” look around, and you’ll find another way. Here’s a grand hint, it’s Cul de ___________ TREASURE 3)  

Continuing on rue Jarente, cross rue de Sévigné, named for Madame de Sévigné, a 17th C witty (& acidic!) lady of letters who lived nearby. Stop for just a moment and look (but don’t walk!) left, and you’ll see the facade of the church of St Paul-St Louis at the end of the road. The clock is in the center of what? (TREASURE 4 ______________________). Now turn your back on Louis XIII’s church and walk up to number 13, rue de Sévigné, where you can enter the courtyard where there are some commercial offices. What tropical tree is in this lovely little courtyard (TREASURE 5 ___________________ (unlikely for a Northern European country, no? But why not, there are palm trees in Ireland!)?

PHOTO POINTS: Please stop & sell your pride and pose yourself as a clock reading 6:15 or 6:45 as you tick tock, tick tock for the camera with the church in the distance, meanwhile hashtagging #thatmuse.

Hang a left as you exit this typically Parisian courtyard of Hôtel Petit Poulletier and upon reaching rue des Francs-Bourgeois turn left again till you find Hôtel d’Angouleme-Lamoignon. Dating to 1580, this magnificent mansion was commissioned by Princess Diane, the daughter of King Henri ____ (TREASURE 6, which Henri!?! The answer of which can be found in this hunt!), Henri died from jousting wounds, opposite Place des Vosges. A Republic since the French stormed the Bastille. The hôtel is now owned by the City of Paris and houses the Historical Library of Paris. The main entrance is 100 meters long on rue Pavée, but from here you can see the back of the building and its garden. On a wall to the left (still on Francs Bourgeois), you can see a small blue piece of street art, which has proliferated across the city. This Street Art represents what ____________________ (TREASURE 7)

Across rue des Francs-Bourgeois is the facade of the Hôtel Carnavalet (Mme de Sevigne’s former home, the entrance to one of the most delightful gardens in Paris, is unfortunately closed). Baron Haussmann, the 19th C city planner under which ‘Emperor’ TREASURE 8 ________________ (oooh, this is a tricky one, the answer of which can be found in the pages that follow – but will you remember to come back and answer this?!) had the city council buy the Hôtel Carnavalet to house what it is today, the Museum of Paris – a wonderful & free history museum tracing the origins of Paname (one of Paris’s nicknames) from its Roman days to today. Many names are inscribed on the top of the facade. Please write down which of the following writers does not appear in the lists that are to the right of the front door: Honoré de Balzac, Guy de Maupassant, Gustave Flaubert, Victor Hugo (TREASURE 9). Constructed in 1548 and re-designed by Franҫois Mansart in 1660, the Hôtel Carnavalet was connected by a delicate gallery on the 1st floor with Hôtel Le Pelletier of St Fargeau in 1889, as an annex to the museum. Le Pelletier de St. Fargeau had been a French nobleman who, despite his origin, voted in favor of the death of Louis XVI during the Revolution. Because of this, he would be killed by one of the king’s guards a few years later. Dangerous days! 

Paris Photo Points: inspecting the facade of the Carnavalet, just above the museum entrance, are a couple of gargoyles. Please greet the camera with a Gargoyle Grimaces entertaining foot traffic! 

Continuing on rue des Francs-Bourgeois, hang a right on the next corner, rue Payenne. At number 5 rue Payenne, you’ll find where one of Paris’s most important architects lived, who you’ve already crossed in these pages. Name him TREASURE 10 _____________________. In the same building, there is a curious testimony of the French current that during the Revolution caused many churches to pass from the Catholic Church to abstract principles such as Fidelity and Hymenos, Reason, or the Supreme Being since there is a chapel dedicated to the Religion of TREASURE 11 __________________________ (you can just write the French word, though it’s an English cognate). 

Across the road, you’ll see a Marais hidden secret, the Square Georges Cain. Upon entering, on both sides of the gate, you’ll find Paris’s coat of arms, two metal plaques with a boat on them (How many sails does it have TREASURE 12 ___________________. The first reference to this shield dates to the reign of Philip Auguste, one of the most important kings in French history who unified Northern France, reviving the prestige of the crown and laid the foundations of the medieval walls of Paris, starting at the Louvre (which before it was a palace was a fortress, thanks to him during his reign, 1185-1223). The Ship on the coat of arms represents the corporation of fluvial merchants (an incredibly important guild in the 12th C). In the 16th C, thanks to this boat mascot, we have Paris’s motto, “Fluctuat Nec Mergitur,” which was graffitied across the City streets after the 2015 terrorist attacks: Paris may be tossed but will never sink (what it translates to from Latin).

Photo Points: To ensure you remember Paris’s coat of arms & motto, please use one of the benches of this precious park as a boat and video your team rowing an imaginary boat as you chant FLUCTUAT NEC MERGITUR (as a dead language, we have the luxury of pronouncing Latin as we wish!) 

On the south side of the Georges Cain park, find archeologic treasures scattered from the Carnavalet collection, including a nearly 1000-year-old Carolingian sarcophagus and the pediment, with its corresponding clock, of the Tuileries Palace. This palace, a symbol of royalty, divided the Louvre from the Tuileries Gardens and was destroyed during the violent Commune of Paris, a Revolution in 1871. On 23 May 1871, twelve men used petroleum, liquid tar, and turpentine to set fire to the Palais des Tuileries. The fire blazed for 48 hours; hence the blackness you see on the pediment. Find the big clock and tell us what’s missing TREASURE 13 __________________________.

Upon exiting the park, turn to the right till rue Payenne meets rue du Parc Royal, then turn left to rue Elzevir (formerly this street was called TREASURE 14 ______________________). A darling of Instagram, the Belgian Chocolatier, Meert, sits on this corner, facing Place de Thorigny. Founded in 1761, please use the corner mirror on the storefront’s facade to take an arty team photo for some sneakily embedded Photo Points. And go on, join the throngs of Instagrammers to post a photo here, if you’re on it, hashtagging #THATMuse  

Lookup a bit at the wall that’s perpendicular to La Petite Place Café & see some street art made in mosaics (a classic means of designing a scene with small tiles, stones, or pebbles. Started in the 3rd C BC in Mesopotamia, mosaics were big with the Greeks and Romans as well as today’s street artists!). Find Mr. Mosaic Man overlooking the cafe in a blue & white striped shirt, reminiscent of a famous Spanish painter of the 20th Century who fathered cubism (photo example herewith) & shattered artistic norms throughout his life. Who was he? Pablo TREASURE 15______________________

Photo Points: You’ll understand why in a moment, please photo an imitation of the famous painting Demoiselles d’Avignon, which marked a radical break in composition and perspective (you’re allowed to keep your clothes on, but please note those jagged angles!) for a Paris portrait. 

Take rue de Thorigny, which snakes up from Place de Thorigny. Strange as it may sound, 17th Century Royal finances depended largely on salt. Salt wasn’t a culinary luxury but an indispensable item needed to preserve food. As such, it’s no surprise the King got in on this salty action: about 6% of the King’s income came from Salt. Like other taxes, it wasn’t collected by the Crown (the King was too precious to sully his hands with a tawdry tax collecting mission!), but by individuals who were in equal measure greatly enriched – and hated! — for tax collecting. Enter the wealthy gabelle-collecting Pierre Aubert de Fontenay, who built the Hôtel Salé in the 1650s, located at #5 rue de Thorigny. Since the building was started in TREASURE 16 _______________ (the date of which is found on the entrance plaque), it’s gone through several incarnations, from Embassy to the Republic of Venice (1671) to being a school (where Balzac studied) to its current owner, the Picasso Museum (that Spanish painter in a stripey shirt!). It’s a narrow street, but with a splash of street innovation you can see the Aubert Family Coat of Arms on the palace’s facade, behind those impressive (closed!) doors. Please write what animals frame the Coat of Arms TRESURE 17 ________________. You can still see the Coat of Arms on the palace’s facade from the approach from rue de Perle, OR at the top of the red doors on the next page are the same animals that frame the Aubert Family Crest! 

Continuing on rue de Thorigny till the corner, turn left on rue Coutures Saint-Gervais, a street which owes its name to the fact that it was originally the property of the Marais church St Gervais. Churches were small, self-sufficient villages. In this case, the orchards of St Gervais populated this area before it became a street. Before walking too far along, please note the enormous door to your left, up a step or two, and find the two dogs flanking Aubert’s family coat of arms on the side of the door. Now! For some sneaky Photo Points: Please arrange yourselves lined up on that step for an adorable doggy photo, tongues out with that soaring door above you. Continue on this quiet street till you cross the traffic-filled rue Vieille du Temple. Instagrammers may already be familiar with Crêperie Café Breizh, on the corner of rue de Vieilles du Temple & rue du Perche (the street you’ll need to take).

Stop and look at #11, rue du Perche & you’ll find a quintessential example of Haussmann architecture. Baron Haussmann was ‘Emperor’ Napoleon III’s city planner from 1853-1870. He destroyed huge swaths of medieval Paris deemed unsanitary and brought light to the streets of Paris by creating tree-lined, wide boulevards with long-distance views typical of the city (just think of an aerial photo of the streets coming from l’Arc de Triomphe, also appropriately known as l’Etoile or ‘Star’). That so much is standardized in Paris due in large part to this 19th C urban planner. A typical Haussmann building consists of a stone facade, 5 floors, is a maximum of 20 meters, with a slate roof at 45 degrees with balconies running along with the first and the TREASURE 18 ________________ floor. 

At the end of this street, on your left is a striped church on rue Charlot (where you’re going to turn left in a moment). Please write what country this Orthodox church is associated with TREASURE 19 _______________. Walk that one block to the start of rue Charlot where you’ll hit the end of Charlot, the perpendicular rue des Quatre (4) Fils. Stop at the corner, and across the road, you’ll see an ugly modern building (dating to 1987, with a modern sculpture of two nearly naked men). Before you go to that side of the street, stop! Observe the ginormous, OLD stone building to the right of this modern building. This is the back of the Archives (Palace of Soubise) & one of you is about to perform some gymnastics! Do you see that runner/ledge along the building that looks like a bench at first? And as it goes along rue des Quatre Fils it gradually runs higher and higher? The sidewalk and this runner aren’t parallel, but that shouldn’t be a surprise; you’re in the Marais, which means what in French (yes! This question is answered within your hunt)??? TREASURE 20 ______________________ 

Before crossing the street for the back of Archives, look at the top of the formidable building and count three arches. Do you see how after three arches there’s a pilaster and how the building recedes slightly at the bottom of where there are 10 mini windows (under the 4th arch)? Well, go and stand at that juncture of the building and decide who of your team is most nimble, who’s not afraid of heights, and who, in their gymnastic agility, can jump the furthest…. That teammate will now climb up onto that runner (described in the past treasure, before you crossed rue 4 Fils and had rue Charlot at your back), which is only about a meter high at this point. Starting here (under those 10 small windows), the rest of your team will count how many arches the gymnast can walk on that runner before it becomes too high for him/her & they have to jump down to the sidewalk. Please write how many arches they’ve walked, for your answer to TREASURE 21 ______________________ (remember your gymnast started walking up there at the 4th arch).

After your teammate’s jumped from up above, continue to the corner and turn Left on rue des Archives (don’t cross). You’ve been walking along the Palace of Soubise, which Franҫois de Rohan (Prince of Soubise) bought in 1700 (& renovated in classical style).  The original building dates to 1371, remnants of which you can see in the fortified gate with its two circular towers that you’ll pass on your left as you walk south on rue des Archives. The Marshal de Soubise, who was a close friend of Louis XV, lived here. He was the only member of the court to follow the king’s funeral procession all the way to the Basilica of St. Denis. In 1808 Napoleon converted the Hôtel de Soubise into the National Archives, which had 500 kilometers of stacks at one time! Continue down the road, passing rue des Francs Bourgeois to something a bit more modern… 

At #36 rue des Archives, you’ll find the studio or atelier of Renzo Piano, the Italian architect who built the Pompidou Museum in Paris, the Shard in London (where we have hunts), and the Whitney Museum in NYC. If you put your back to Piano’s atelier, you’ll see what he sees, the colors of the back of the Pompidou. Cross rue des Archives here and take the small rue du Plâtre. At number #3 rue du Plâtre, you’ll find the atelier of the famous Belgian fashion designer Dries van Noten. Please write what is on his front door, near his doorbell TREASURE 22 __________________. Before reaching the end of the street, you’ll see another example of street art that comes from a famous video game. A page or two ago, you learned the name of this type of ancient art, still used as street art… please write what the Super Mario Brothers street art is made of? TREASURE 23 ______________ (perhaps a word answered in this hunt???) 

Continue on rue du Plâtre till you dead end into rue du Temple (mind the traffic!), then turn left walking 50 meters on rue du Temple from which you’ll see the towers of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, luckily still standing tall, with soaring dignity. They need love and lightness these days, so switching gears to some silly Photo Points! Go on, sell your dignity by lumbering about as though you’re the Hunchback(s) of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo (or do you know of Quasimodo through Disney?), tagging your team name and #THATMuse if you post on social media!   

Speaking of Victor Hugo, please tell us which Marais park this famous writer lived TREASURE 24 ________________ (haha! Have you been reading carefully? You’ve been there today & the answer is found within the treasure hunt!). 

From rue de Temple, turn right onto rue Saint-Merri and walk a short distance till you hit the foxy traffic-filled Rue du Renard. Stop on the corner and look up across the street at the back of Paris’s famous modern art museum, the Pompidou Center. Upon its 1977 inauguration, France’s leading newspaper Le Monde called the ginormous modern structure the ‘Rape’ of Paris. Le Figaro, the more conservative newspaper, said Paris now had its own ‘Loch Ness Monster.’ Please give us your most ghoulish impression of the Loch Ness Monster with this famous structure behind you for some precious Photo Points. Intended to have all of its functions showing (electricity, water, air-con, etc.), please write what colors the pipes are running outside the building:

(TREASURE 25) _____________, ____________ & _____________ 

Now head south, toward the Seine (that’s left if facing the Pompidou) two blocks till you hit Hôtel de Ville, where Paris’s mayor presides.  Before even thinking of checking your Master Answer sheet, be sure your team name is written and that your end time is recorded. And did you have to tamper with your emergency map?! Remember 150 penalty points, if accessed!

THATMuse (which stands for our main line, Treasure Hunt at the Museumwas started au Louvre by American expat in Paris, Daisy de Plume, in 2012. Since then we’ve expanded to the Musée d’Orsay, various right and left bank Paris neighborhoods (including a Harry Potter Hunt!) & London museums such as the British Museum, V&A and Natural History Museum & a London street hunt connecting the BM to Trafalgar Square!  

If you had fun, we’d be awfully grateful for Trip Advisor reviews (search THATMuse)! This is one of 10 street hunts, in case you’re interested in more. 

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