A visit to the Rue Mouffetard
Published on In Paris
Located at the edge of the 5th and 6th arrondissements of Paris, the Hotel des Mines offers the ideal starting point for visiting the capital’s myriad attractions. Between the Jardin du Luxembourg and the Jardin des Plantes lies a network of ancient streets awaiting your discovery, the most famous and charming of them all being, undoubtedly, the Rue Mouffetard.
The charms of the Mouff'
Long, narrow, cobbled, the Rue Mouffetard starts at the Place de la Contrescarpe and runs gently along the hill of Sainte-Geneviève to the front of Saint-Médard Church, close to the Censier Metro station. It’s one of the oldest streets in Paris and could even be said to date from the days of the Gallo-Roman settlement of Lutetia as it follows the route of the Roman road which then led to Lyon. The Rue Mouffetard has retained the essence of the past with its lovely old shop signs, courtyards and passageways.
The pedestrianised Rue Mouffetard is vibrant. In the morning, the street market’s fruit and vegetable stalls pop up alongside the bistro terraces. History buffs love the magnificent red storefront decorated with carved oxen that once advertised an 18th century butcher's shop, as well as the sign marking the former location of the Pomme de Pin cabaret, once the hub of Mouff' nightlife. You might also notice a vault opening on a passage, a facade painted with floral scrolls, and the Pot-de-Fer fountain that was part of the aqueduct that carried water into the capital from a source in Rungis.
A mixture of venerable and modern, bright colours and sober cream facades, chic cheese makers and balloon sellers, the Rue Mouffetard is utterly beguiling. And we haven't even talked about the puppet theatre or the arthouse cinema L'Epée de Bois!
Crédit photo : © Guilhem Vellut - Flickr
Hotel des Mines, a warm hotel in the heart of the 5th arrondissement