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A short guide to Saint-Merri, one of the treasures of arrondissement 4

Saint-Merri is a district of Paris that is located on the rive droite (i.e. right bank or right side) of the Seine. Like many central areas of Paris, it is situated in the arrondissement 4 and is very close to the city’s islands – the Ile de la Cité and the Ile Saint-Louis. In fact, from the Ile de la Cité it can be reached via Pont au Change or Pont d’Arcole and from the Ile Saint Louis you can go there through Pont Louis Philippe. The metro stations near the Saint-Merri district are Chatelet and Hotel de Ville; the main streets are Rue Rambuteau, Rue des archives and de Lobau and Boulevard de Sébastopol.

In addition to being close to other districts full of attractions such as the des Hallesand the Marais ones, Saint-Merri is rich of places to visit such as the Pompidou Centre, one of the most important contemporary art centres in the world.

Among the most important attractions and landmarks of Saint-Merri stand out the public library, the research institute and acoustic and musical coordination, the national museum of modern art. Plus, in this area there is the theatre de la Ville (i.e. “of the city”), the city hall of Paris (Hotel de Ville) and the Fountain Stravinsky, a fountain 580 meters wide and sculpted by Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle. The fountain is a collection of mechanical pieces and coloured ones: sixteen moving sculptures representing the works of the composer Igor Stravinsky.

The most important religious monument of the district is the church of Saint-Merri, in rue st. Martin 78, close to the Pompidou Centre. It is an example of Gothic architecture and has reliefs due to changes in the Baroque period. In fact, despite the construction of the church is dated to 1515, the facade has several details in the Baroque style as pinnacles and friezes. The model followed for the construction of the church was the cathedral of Notre-Dame, in fact the church of Saint-Marri is also known as Notre-Dame le petite (i.e. The little Notre-Dame).

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