When Paris was only a small town located on an island, the area currently know as Le Marais was a marsh. Only in the 10th century did it get drained. Since then, the city grew and Le Marais went from a golden age in the 17th century to a decline later on. In the early 20th century, plans were made to destroy many of the crumbling old buildings of the area and part of it was actually carried out. Fortunately, this was stopped by André Malraux in the 1960s and the area spanning on the 3rd and 4rth arrondissements still has some of the most interesting buildings of Paris.