Pigalle – charming red light district in northern Paris

Pigalle is well known as a sleaze district of Paris, but it’s also an area where people live. The Boulevard de Clichy has on its one side all you need for the french everyday life: Bakeries, residential blocks, schools and – of course – tabacs. But to catch a glimpse of the notorious ‘street of sex’, leave Pigalle metro and have a look on the other, dirrrty side of the Boulevard de Clichy.

moulinrouge
Le Moulin Rouge at Place Pigalle

Pigalle is the red light district of Paris. Some soldiers during World War II nicknamed this wicked place “pig alley” because of its shady reputation, but it was actually named after a French sculptor. When you leave the Metro station Pigalle, you emerge right in the center of action, near the world famous Moulin Rouge and you’ll instantly find plenty of bars, clubs and “amusements”. Pigalle has quite a long reputation of being a place where prostitutes are stationed on every second street corner, but in our recent times the real action seems to happen behind the scenes. Except of some pickpockets, there are not many signs of illegal activity in the streets. Pigalle has become a party district with a slight sex shop topping for the tourists.

And – of course – the area has much more to offer than its dirty image…

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Wikipedia says on Pigalle: It is an area in Paris around the Place Pigalle, on the border between the 9th and the 18th arrondissements. It is named after the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Pigalle.

Pigalle is famous for being a tourist district, with many sex shops, theatres and adult shows on Place Pigalle and the main boulevards. The neighbourhood’s raunchy reputation led to its Second World War nickname of “Pig Alley” by Allied soldiers. The Divan du Monde and the Moulin Rouge, a world-famous cabaret, are both located in Pigalle.

Also, plenty of street artitst and graffiti writers covered the area with their colourful pieces. You could cross a M. Chat on the top of the street Rue Pigalle. Or discover a Space Invader which is quite visibly placed at Place Pigalle. Thanks to these creative individuals, Paris is holding its own against New York and London.

Walking around South Pigalle is the best way to soak up the atmosphere of its streets. A little expolration of the area at the week end will also lead you some charming flea markets, vintage shops and cafés. Here you can profit from a real village atmosphere, bobo spirit and countless boutiques.

Paris has plenty of former studios of celebrated artists that are famous worldwirde. Today, the heros ar less know, but as creative and inspiring as usual. There is even an active guerilla gardening mouvment, they are decorating the few trees and install some garden sharing spots….

The German-American jazz and pop singer, journalist and actor Bill Ramsey (born as William McCreery Ramsey on April 17, 1931 in Cincinnati, Ohio) was very famous for his German-language hits. As he dedicated a whole film on the parisian area Pigalle, please enjoy watching him sing this jolly – and slightly waggish – song from one of his movies “Pigalle – Die große Mausefalle” (or Pigalle – the giant mousetrap … ha-ha.) performed at th great Café Orientale!


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