Rue de Mouzaïa
75019 | Paris
A little piece of country-side tucked away in the 19th arrondissement of Paris …
If the thought of weaving your way up and down tiny paved laneways, void of cars with the odd local chatting over their fence while their well fed cats laze about in the sunlight, purring heavily in their tranquil surroundings sounds appealing, this secret hideaway, may be the place for you.
Escaping the crowds and tourists for a day or even half a day, will make you feel blessed that you discovered Rue Mouzaia and its surrounds in the 19th arrondissement district of Paris.
The Paris streets come alive with much gusto and excitement on Saturdays. It can be exciting rubbing shoulders with the locals and observing Parisians enjoying their weekend. Shopping to be done, brunch to be had, friends to meet, but if you want to slip away and avoid the jostling, especially along Rue de Rivoli, when the amount of people can be overwhelming at times, you might find a little respite here, off the beaten path.
Arm yourself with two regular 1.70 euro metro tickets, one to get there and one to get back. A short metro ride from the centre of Paris and no map required.
This is all you will need to escape the hustle and bustle and discover this tranquil suburb, where you can admire leafy alleyways and cute cottages that you will not find in the busy Latin Quarter or the Marais district.
The only danger you will find here is the cats!
Let me explain myself.
The pedestrianised alleyways are called Villas. The first I explored was Villa de Fontenay. I was so excited about my discovery, with not a soul around and completely mesmerised with so much beauty to photograph. Consumed in my creative thoughts, I pulled out my camera and started snapping away. I didn’t realise that a very smoochy, friendly cat had decided to curl his body around my legs and nearly tripped me up! Ha ha!
Why is Rue Mouzaia and the surrounding ‘villas’ so different and unique to the rest of Paris?
The area, which was once outside of Paris, was heavily mined for its gypsum. In later years when it was developed for the working class, the ground was not stable enough to allow for more robust buildings.
It was often referred to as “Carrières d’Amérique” because it is said that the white gypsum was shipped to America to construct the White House.
As a result, what you will find along the cobbled laneways that sprout off from the main artery, Rue Mouzaïa, are the quaint and unusual two storey cottages, lining the pedestrianised streets, or Villas, with creepers and flowers, spilling over fences and the odd friendly cat or two.
Occasionally, you may notice a curtain, surreptitiously peeled back and a weary nod from an elderly inhabitant, probably confused, assuming that you must be lost wandering around their charming neighbourhood.
If you can deal with friendly cats, leafy lane-ways and unusual, old fashioned charming cottages with their own unique and personal touches, you will love the area of Rue Mouzaia.
Place des Fêtes metro station is one of the deepest in Paris, has a long escalator and an unusual Art Deco façade.
A market surrounds the station and nearby square operating on:
Tuesdays and Fridays
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