Chinatown: 13e

 Chinatown in Paris
The Chinatown (Quartier Chinios) of Paris is one of the first Chinatown areas in Paris (the other being Belleville). Linked to Avenue de Choisy, Avenue d’Ivry and Porte d’Ivry, the area was initially considered an ugly section of Paris as it is densely populated with concrete high rise buildings and factory-like shop houses. Home to almost 50 000 Chinese and Vietnamese, the sector was created in the 1900s, when the first wave of immigration occurred. Despite its urban look, this section of Chinatown is fed with a lot of character from the ethnic populace. Expect rows of Asian restaurants, supermarkets and stores when you are here.




Manufacture des Gobelins wool sampleSituated on the Briève riverbanks, the Manufacture des Gobelins [42 avenue des Gobelins +33 44541933 ad/ch €8/6] displays the handy works of old weavers. Named after the tapestry maestro Jean Gobelin, the museum was established in 15th century and was initially erected to display royal tapestries and furniture. However after a revision, the museum is now displaying intricate, ancient tapestries, furniture covers, as well as contemporary designs.

Biblothéque National de France François Mitterand

The Bibliothèque National de France François Mitterand is a large, modernistic building that asserts the authority of the learned in Paris. Home to over 30 million books and manuscripts, the library was opened in 1988 by late President François Mitterand, after much hype. The 23 storey building is a modern work of art, with its glistening glass panels and 73m tall towers that seem like half open books. Inside, the library is home to an exquisite reading room (in the Richelieu wing), which is surrounded by dark wood book shelves, crowned with arches, filled with hundreds of leather bound books. With a capacity of over 4000 people, the library is a massive structure that houses a significant portion of France’s national collection of manuscripts and books (mostly from the French Revolution era).