- You’ll see a slice of authentic Parisian life in the heart of the city!
- You’ll have a chance to sample some sweets at Paris’s oldest pastry shop!
- You’ll learn why this neighborhood was nicknamed “the belly of Paris”!
- Because your welcomer has been living in Montorgueil for decades!
Montorgueil Walking Tour
Welcome to the “belly of Paris”!
Indeed, Montorgueil Street and its neighboring lanes owe their personality to their close proximity with the former Les Halles Market, main provider of edible products. You are here in the heart of historical Paris, and still able to walk down medieval paved streets. Montorgueil means “Mount Pride”, and your welcomer, as an inhabitant himself of the district, will explain which superb hill was here in question! You might be surprised!
This traditional food trade location offers local quality products to demanding gourmets. The diversity of small restaurants and welcoming coffee shop terraces attract a young, active and trendy population. Some of these good addresses keep their “Belle Epoque” style, dating back to the beginning of the last century.
Years later, this district faces a “gentrification” and the phenomenon extends gradually further North towards Le Sentier, a popular and industrious district, traditional implantation of textiles and clothing wholesales. your welcomer will show you clues of this social evolution, that now gains “Grands boulevards” and Montmartre and Poissonnière former suburbs.
There are several ways of making the most of Montorgueil Street and its neighborhood.
First, you may follow your welcomer, head up, in search of signs of former restaurant or store nameplates. Le Rocher de Cancale, referring to a Brittany port, reminds you of the street’s first name: “fresh fish road”, by which, within few hours of cart, Channel fishing products entered Paris. Also do not miss a beautiful shop-sign, only vestige of a famous coffee store.
On the way, a gleaming shop window will doubtless draw your attention. Here stands, for over 285 years, the oldest pastry shop in Paris, where the rum baba was invented. Don’t hesitate to taste one, as your welcomer tells you how this craftsman arrived in Paris in the wake of a princess, King Louis XV’s bride.
She’s one of “Louis XV’s women” to be bound to this district. Following this loving theme, besides the justifiable woman, you will meet both favorites of the King. The first one, Madame de Pompadour, was buried in the quite close Saint-Eustache Church. By the way, such a strange monument, in Gothic style built in full 17th century!
Let’s return to King lovers. His second favorite, Madame du Barry, began her career as a prostitute in a brothel in a near-by street. Amusingly, nowadays Comtesse du Barry is a foie gras producing company name. In Montorgueil, everything, even History, definitely leads you back to food!
Another type of celebrity at Montorgueil are men of drama. Thus, Molière, the famous play writer, was baptized and buried not far from there. Moreover, in Mauconseil street, was an important theater where a commedia dell’arte troop laid its roots. The Italian playwright Goldoni also lived nearby.
As you see, the whole world came to Montorgueil. Up to you!
Meeting Address: Sentier, Paris, France - In front of 93 rue Réaumur. Closest metro station: Sentier (line 3)
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