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Petit Paris lies on the banks of the Bayou Teche in the idyllic town of Saint Martinville, Louisiana. Its nickname, Petit Paris ("Little Paris"), dates from the era when St. Martinville was known as a cultural mecca with good hotels and the Duchamp Opera House, a French Theater that featured the best operas and witty comedies. It is also the oldest Opera House in the Americas.

The third oldest town in Louisiana, St. Martinville has many buildings and homes with beautiful architecture, such as the historic St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church and La Maison Duchamp on Main Street. The church was dedicated to Martin of Tours in France, where a St Martin de Tours church can be found. There is also one in Layrac, France, the birthplace of Pierre Nezat who settled in 1768 in St Martinville.

St. Martinville in the eighteenth century involves its reputation as the home of numerous French Royalists who emigrated to escape the French Revolution as they fled precipitously from the anti-Catholic mob attack. In Saint Martinville, they replicated in the wilderness a social life which resembled Parisian society as closely as possible. St. Martinville has subsequently been known as "Le Petit Paris". The many displaced Royalists that settled in the region established a class of leisure and culture in the New World.
Mais cher, let's go down to Le Petit Paris and pass us a good time...
by Cajun-Man February 04, 2011