The Flower Market (Le Marché aux fleurs) is a beautiful Parisian market situated in the heart of the city, along the River Seine, just between the Notre-Dame Cathedral and an incredible Sainte-Chapelle. Founded in 1830, this most enchanting market with both indoor and outdoor areas is housed in the very particular cast iron pavilions from 1900. At the Flower Market, you can buy many seasonal and exotic flowers and plants, as well as gardening accessories. Every Sunday, this market transformed into the Bird Market. This is also a perfect place, where you can just go for a walk and enjoy the market colorful and magical atmosphere. The British Queen Elizabeth II is also a huge fan of this Flower Market, and every time she visits Paris, she loves to make a stop there.
This picturesque Flower Market was inaugurated at the beginning of the 19th century, in August 1809. But the French authorities decided to build the Commercial Court of Paris between 1860 and 1864, on the western part of the market, so the Flower Market was completely renovated in 1873. From 1881, every Sunday, this market transforms into the Bird Market. Also, on Sundays, you can buy here fish and other small animals like rodents, as well as food for animals, cages and other accessories for your pets. The Flower Market is a perfect place for a pleasant walk between the cast-iron pavilions, whose architecture reminds of the most charming Parisian covered passages. Despite the fact that this central part of Paris is a very touristic place, the Flower Market managed to keep its authenticity, and it is definitely worth visiting.
In 1948, during a trip to Paris, the future Queen Elizabeth II discovered the Flower Market, and she fell under the charm of this colorful place. In 2014, during the Queen's state visit to France for the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day, she made a quick visit to Paris, and of course its Flower Market. On that occasion, the name of the market was officially changed. The Flower and Bird Market Cité (le Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux Cité) was renamed to the Queen Elizabeth II Flower Market (Le Marché aux Fleurs Reine-Elizabeth-II), and the Queen even unveiled herself a street sign with the new name of the market.
The Flower Market in Paris is open from Monday to Saturday (Flower market) and on Sunday (Bird market) from 8 am to 7:30 pm. The entrance to the market is free of charge. The best way to get there is to take metro line 4 and get off at the station Cité.
Photo Credit © iStockPhoto/kruwt
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