Petit Marché – Marché du Marais

Marché des Enfants Rouges
A genuine district market

The Marché des Enfants Rouges is located in the historic Marais, a stone’s throw from Place de la République.

The oldest covered market in Paris, it opened in 1615 on a plot of land located Rue de Bretagne.

It served the new district that developed around the Donjon du Temple, an area then protected by the perimeter wall of Charles V.

The Petit Marché du Marais or Marché du Marais, as it was originally called, consisted of a large wooden hall that could accommodate countless stalls.

Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest covered market in Paris

It was renamed Marché des Enfants Rouges in the late 18th century.

It was indeed located next to a hospital-orphanage Marguerite de Valois, the sister of King Francois I, founded in 1536.

Marché des Enfants Rouges - Entrance on rue de Bretagne
Entrance on rue de Bretagne

The young orphans, who had lost both their father and mother and were taken in by this institution, had to wear red clothes (red being the symbol of Christian charity.)

The common people soon called these children Enfants Rouges (Red Children).

The orphanage closed in 1772, however, the name remained attached to the market and the district.

The City of Paris bought the Marché des Enfants Rouges in 1912 and modernized it.

A fountain and a dairy (with a dozen cows) were built in order to provide fresh milk to the inhabitants.

The farm functioned until the WWI.

The Marché des Enfants Rouges was listed Historical Monument in 1982.

It celebrated its 400th anniversary on November 7-8, 2015.

Marché des Enfants Rouges
Fruit stall

It was closed to the public during the renovation work that lasted from 1994 to 2000.

The 2000m2 Marché des Enfants Rouges doesn’t look anything special seen from the street.

However, step in, as you’ll discover a wide range of stalls (food, clothing, decorative items…), but also little restaurants with a few tables outside.

It is highly popular with the local residents, who described it as their ‘village square’!

It’s open from Tuesday to Saturday from 8.00am to 8.30pm and on Sunday from 8.30am to 5pm.

Definitely a place to discover.

Directions: 3rd District – Quartier des Enfants Rouges – no39 Rue de Bretagne
Metro: Temple on Line 3 or Filles du Calvaire on Line 8
Coordinates: Lat 48.863022 – Long 2.361997

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