Marais DistrictSpread out mostly in the 4th arrondissement, north of Ile St-Louis is the historic Marais district (meaning marshland/swamp). It was named as such, as the area was a swampy chunk of land until the 13th century, when it was converted to become farmlands. It was quickly put on the map, soon after, as it housed the resident mansion of Charles I of Anjou in the mid 13th century. However, the Marais district became a full-fledged aristocratic district only in the 17th century, when King Henri IV erected his Royal Square here (currently at Place des Vosges). This eventually attracted many nobles to the area, who started building their mansions here. As such, trading quickly picked up in the Marais district. This led way to the establishment of a strong Jewish settlement within the district as well. However, the nobles moved out of Marais almost as quickly as they had settled in. In a bid to relocate to more lavish parts of France (such as Versailles and Faubourg St-Germain), the aristocrats sold their mansions to ordinary Parisians. This move allowed the buildings that were erected here, to be saved during the French Revolution. Therefore, the Marais district is one of the few areas in Paris to have successfully preserved its pre-Revolution architecture. Many of these ancient, half-timbered buildings are now home to museums, galleries as well as restaurants.