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You are now entering the city’s oldest Jewish quarter, once called the Pletzl (“little place” in Yiddish), where there has been a Jewish presence since the 13th century. This community swelled and shrank over the centuries, in line with various edicts and expulsions, but the largest influx was in the 1880s, when tens of thousands of Eastern European Jews, fleeing poverty and persecution back home, settled in France. The Pletzl was hit hard during the infamous roundups of 1942, when police came and emptied apartment buildings and even schools of their Jewish occupants and sent them off to Nazi concentration camps. Though the neighborhood is slowly being eaten up by the area’s advancing gentrification, and chic shops pop up next to kosher butchers, a small and fairly traditional community still lives here. At no. 10 is the unusual Synagogue de la rue Pavée, designed by Hector Guimard, the Art Nouveau master who created the famous Métro entrances. This is the only existing religious edifice by Guimard, whose wife was Jewish (they fled to the U.S. during World War II). In 1940, on Yom Kippur, the Germans dynamited the synagogue; it was eventually restored and is now a national monument (open for religious services only).
Continue up rue Pavée to where it crosses:
This point of interest is part of the tour: Paris Marais Walk