30.1.12

"Red Kids"




The oldest, still existing, covered market in Paris has the surprising name of « Le Marché des Enfants Rouges » (Red Kids). The explanation is the fact that in this area used between 1536 and 1772 to be an orphanage and the kids were dressed in red; red was the colour representing Christian charity.

We are in the northern part of the Marais, which in the 16th century was a newly built area in the expanding Paris. There was a need to open a market and it was created here in 1615. Originally it got the name of “Le Marché du Marais”, but rather soon, with reference to the orphanage and the kids, it became known as the “Marché des Enfants Rouges”.

On a map from 1650 we can see the market and how near it then was to the city limits. We are close to the Temple (Le Temple) (see previous posts).





The market was in private hands until 1912, when it was taken over by the city. It was close to be destructed a few years ago, but was saved thanks to some associations and the inhabitants in the neighbourhood.





One of the side entrances to the market goes via what now is a miniature public park and a little “jardin partagé”, a kitchen-garden where some people share the pleasure of growing herbs, vegetables, flowers… On this little place, called the “Potager des Oiseaux”, a dozen of cows produced, until the beginning of the 19th century, fresh milk to the inhabitants of the vicinity.









The market is quite small, but offers of course what you find in most similar markets.





It’s also a popular place for a lunch or a brunch. It’s closed evenings, so no dinners.





The red colour was later rather referring to communist activities and it may be worth to know that very close and on the same side of the street is a building which once was very much linked to the communist movements. Lenin came here for a meeting in 1909, it was for a while the French Communist Party headquarters and there was a cooperative communist restaurant, where Ho Chi Minh was one of the “managers” in the 1920’s. 

25 comments:

Starman said...

I'm glad it was saved.

DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

Hi Peter. I love trawling the passages of Paris. Didn't get to this market but I wish I had done so!

Denise

Vagabonde said...

We were staying in the Marais the last time we were in Paris and we walked by this market but it was late and it was closed. I am pleased you talked about it as I was unaware of its history. Your posts are always so informative.

Thérèse said...

Un bel exemple qui montre que l'union fait la force quand il s'agit de sauver quelque chose... Les details des photos donne envie d'aller y faire un tour.

Olivier said...

un vrai marche a la parisienne, c'est ce qui nous manque sur Evry, j'adore

ALAIN said...

Pour faire plus écologiste, il devrait se rebaptiser en marché des enfants verts.

claude said...

Voilà un endroit sympatoche de Paris !
Une découverte pour moi.

Adam said...

I didn't know about the communist links. Which building housed the restaurant?

I like this market, but I can't help feeling that it's not really a market at all any more, but rather a 'branché' venue for lunch and takeaways.

La Petite Gallery said...

This was sooooo interesting.
What a story. I wish I knew you when I was in Paris. I am learning so much now and too old to take another trip. Thanks so much.
yvonne

Tanya said...

interesting how it got its name...i would love to shop in that market!

Anonymous said...

Merci pour ces informations!quel est le site où l'on peut trouver les cartes "avant""maintenant?Merci d'avance Anne

Peter said...

Anonymous: Plusieurs sites, p.e.

http://perso.numericable.fr/parisbal/plans/Plansanciens.html

Studio at the Farm said...

This is so interesting, Peter. I love it - I am able to "visit" Paris through your camera and commentary.

JoeinVegas said...

No little markets around here - just big chain stores.

e said...

I like getting to know the history behind parts of your adopted home. Thanks for another wonderful post.

Carla said...

Fascinating Peter we live in the Marais and we love this market I will be able to fill my hubby in on the history now he will be so impressed!
Always a pleasure stopping by for a little history lesson, thank-you
Carla x

Bettina said...

So very interesting. I knew about the quartier des Enfant Rouges, but I have never been to this market. I will for sure next time I'm in Paris.The more local the more I love it.

Maria O. Russell said...

I like this post so much, Peter! As usual,so well researched!

I have a weakness for that kind of marchés...

Thank you so much.

hpy said...

Merci pour ces informations, j'y penserai la prochaine fois que je passerai à Paris;-)

Simony said...

I love those street markets, they have such an organic flow.

Cergie said...

Mon previous comment a disparu
:(
Bah ! It may happen !

Nathalie said...

Tiens? Moi aussi mon commentaire a disparu ?

Nathalie said...

Je disais que les vaches avaient surement servi à donner du bon lait aux "enfants rouges" aussi.

J'adore l'idée du jardin partagé dans le "potager aux oiseaux" !

Jilly said...

What a fascinating tale of how this market was named. And then finishing off with Lenin. You do so much research and we benefit. Fabulous, Peter - as always x

Trotter said...

A market I didn't know... ;)

And now they changed Place de la Repúblique...