Square de Montsouris
This absolutely delightful cobbled street opposite the Parc Montsouris in the 14th arrondissement of Paris is a hidden treasure and just begging to be explored.
If you dream to discover places that only locals know about and enjoy quiet strolls through little known streets in Paris, then Square de Montsouris may be the place you have been hoping to find.
From the moment you leave the neighbouring Parc Montsouris and lay eyes on this entrance to Square de Montsouris, there is a chance that it will take your breath away, especially if you visit during the summer or spring when the buildings are shrouded in thick lush greenery.
And not because of the gradual incline to reach the peak of the mere 200 metre long street, but because of the beautiful leafy entrée to what lies ahead.
Try to resist the urge to scramble up this private, residential passage. Quietly, take your time because there is much detail to observe, admire and discover.
The gorgeous mosaic friezes that you can see above, hiding under the eaves of the first home that you will encounter, might be missed without an eagle eye.
Mosaics do feature along Square de Montsouris, some of which look like they may have been the handy work of the inhabitant.
But some, adorning the building’s façades are far more elaborate and my suspicion is that the same artist provided decoration for a few of the homes that line the street.
Closer inspection of the building opposite reveals a similar style, with brilliant indigo blue and golden tiles, flourishes of flowers enhancing either side of the iron work of the small French balconies, creating pretty masterpieces that glisten, with what little sunlight that was available.
The ‘ruelle’, which sounds so much sweeter than alleyway, was developed between the 1920’s and 1930’s, with approximately half of the premises built with bricks.
Each and every home is different from its neighbour.
Each with their own style and personality.
And each and every home is decorated with some type of plant matter. Whether it be creeping vines, crawling up the buildings, shrubs cascading over fences, bright flowers complementing small gardens or flower boxes placed in any available spot.
If Parisians can find someplace to create a small garden or a place to put a flower pot, they will.
See what I mean!
And if they can find somewhere to park a car, they will.
Do you think that someone expertly reversed this little darling into that almost perfectly sized space or perhaps a couple of burly weight lifters picked it up and plonked it down there?
The only complaints I can offer about Square de Montsouris are two fold and selfish.
Number one, is that I don’t own a house on this tiny jewel of a street.
And number two is that there were a couple of parked cars, obscuring the views of my photos, how dare them!
But wait, there is more …
Most of the architecture on Square de Montsouris is Art Nouveau and Art Deco and I might add; Square de Montsouris is not a traditional square, as its name would suggest but a private, cobbled street with a slight curve and peak.
Towards the end of this street, before it meets with Avenue Reille, is this half timbered ‘Medieval’ building.
I put medieval in inverted commas for a reason, because as you now know, the street was developed during the 1920’s and 1930’s, but here it is, a half timbered building standing tall and proud. Clearly not an original but another added surprise.
J’adore this little piece of paradise, tucked away in an outer arrondissement of Paris and enjoy sharing my finds with you.
However, I have to stress …
this is private property, as the sign says, and I don’t want the residents to close the street with iron gates, not allowing us to explore it anymore because we have become a nuisance.
Therefore I ask; can you please flâneur quietly, discreetly and with respect. Merci.
As you finally make your way to the end the Square de Montsouris there are two more surprises, one which comes gift wrapped in ivy.
There is that pesky private sign again … let’s pretend we didn’t see it, it can be our little secret.
And opposite on the corner of Square de Montsouris, at #53 Avenue Reille, you will find the premises designed for French born cubist painter, Amédée Ozenfant in 1923 by no other than architects; Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret.
There are many hidden treasures, off the beaten path in Paris to be discovered, you just need to know where to find them.
If you have found this useful or interesting, please leave a comment or follow me here on facebook for daily tips, photos and anecdotes. Your feedback encourages me to keep this site up to date. Merci!
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