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Hidden Paris: from Pernety to Alésia

Let’s continue to explore Paris, the parts that are seemingly hidden but actually just right there, quite easy to miss. They don’t boast Hausmannian buildings that we are familiar with, but retain the charm of small, green streets, with very little traffic passing by. Today, we take a peek into rue des Thermopyles, Cité Bauer, and rue du Moulin Vert. Just three streets, nestled in between Pernety and Alésia in the 14th arrondissement.

rue des Thermopyles

rue des Thermopyles

When we last looked at Villa Santos-Dumont, I briefly mentioned the name Chauvelot. We’re revisiting this name, which is today honoured through rue Chauvelot that is mere minutes walk away from Villa Santos-Dumont, for without him, we may not have rue des Thermopyles today. Alexandre Chauvelot was a successful real estate developer in his time, and had contributed towards the growth of the neighbourhood around Vaugirard, Pernety/Plaisance, Vanves, and Montrouge. Part of the old village of Plaisance, what we find on rue des Thermopyles is a narrow, picturesque lane, seemingly a favourite spot for photoshoots.

rue des Thermopyles

rue des Thermopyles

rue des Thermopyles

rue des Thermopyles

A little further along, rue des Thermopyles joins the equally quaint Cité Bauer. They are, afterall, parts of the village of Les Thermopyles. The star here is undoubtedly No 19, what I dubbed “the house with the hearts”. The gate and the side door made of wood and forged iron are simply gorgeous. From what I manage to suss out, it was created by Alexandre Mezei, a Hungarian artist who lived this dacha-like house, in 1959. (If only I have more time, I’d try to better know this house’s history. Can’t you see how much fun I am having to discovering little secrets of Paris, and there are just so – much – of – them!?)

Some of the neighbouring houses are also interesting, but somehow, without the big gate like this of No 19, I got shy about photographing them because it feels like I’m intruding into someone’s private space. Such is the sense of intimacy in the area. It also didn’t help that there were people looking at us from the shared garden across the street…

Cité Bauer

Cité Bauer

Cité Bauer

Cité Bauer

Continuing along, after passing square du Viollet, we continued along rue du Moulin Vert – the street of the green windmill. Semi-pedestrianised, it is a relatively calm passage to stroll along and to take in the sights, of varying architecture from cottages to modern blocks, and I am particularly admirative of the sunny balcony found diagonally across the Hotel de la Loire. At its intersection with rue des Plantes lies a former tavern that bears the name Moulin Vert, today a restaurant, with a miniature windmill set right beside its name over the main entrance. (On a side note: allegedly this amazing street dictionary – I should try to find and buy it! – reports this street to be part of an ancien cattle route in this part of the city.)

rue du Moulin Vert

rue du Moulin Vert

rue du Moulin Vert

rue du Moulin Vert

rue du Moulin Vert

Never had I imagined, when I set out to walk around Paris, such enormity in the scale and the wealth of knowledge waiting to be uncovered. I am sure that I am merely scratching the surface, and I would LOVE to know more. I will have to brave myself and go into the world of Parisian history in French, a prospect that’s somewhat daunting yet I am sure would be tremendously rewarding! I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I do. ;)



Category: Paris

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6 scribbles & notes

  1. Sarah says:

    Oh that looks so beautiful and peaceful! A hidden gem.

  2. Chloé says:

    My mom might have some books you’d like to check out ;) I’m sure she wouldn’t mind lending them to you if you come over some day to take a look, hehe!

    Unsure how well you know the Odéon-Saint Michel area, but she could also give you her “Parisien d’un Jour” tour :P It is historically and architecturally biaised after all…

    • Lil says:

      I’d love that! And hey, I would never say no to a tour, especially from someone who knows it well. :D

  3. med says:

    Niceeeeee….a bit like those small inner roads in penang town eh hehe ;)

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