23.1.09

Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine

Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine is a historic street, there since medieval times. It goes from Place de la Bastille (see previous posts) to Place de la Nation (see previous posts). Half way, you will reach what today (opened in 1802) is one of the biggest Paris hospitals, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, which is situated where you as from 1198 could find the Royal Abbey Saint-Antoine.

Very early, artisans, especially in the carpeting and furniture business, were allowed to work here under privileged conditions. For centuries (before IKEA) this was a furniture centre – and to some extent it still is. Furniture styles like Louis XIV, Louis XV, Louis XVI ... were to a large extent created here.

The inhabitants have also had the reputation of being very active in all the French revolutions, including the 1789 one, with the Bastille close by. Also during the later revolutions, they played a dominant role and the street was many times full of barricades and there was intensive fighting. Many of today’s demonstrations follow also this street from Place de la Nation to the Place de la Bastille.

What I here especially want to talk about are all the alleys and back yards you can find along the street, especially between the Bastille and the Saint-Antoine Hospital and this is thus the area we will concentrate on. Sometimes you have to push a door, but most of the alleys are easily accessible. You will find names like Cour de l’Etoile-d’Or, Cour des Trois-Frères, Cour de la Maison Brûlée, Cour de l’Ours, Passage de la Bonne-Graine, Cour de Saint-Esprit, Passage de Main-d’Or, Passage Saint-Bernard, Passage de la Boule Blanche, Cour du Bel-Air, Passage du Chantier... there are tens of them.
First, however maybe a look on some of the buildings as seen in the street itself. Most of them are centuries old. Some of the 19th – 20th century buildings have been transformed to other uses. JP Gaultier’s fashion house was previously in one of those and another one is entirely occupied by a popular four-floor restaurant and night club, The Barrio Latino. At number 74 of the street you can, after entering the gate, find some spectacular buildings - with a still standing steam engine chimney. They seem now to be transformed into modern offices. There is an old early 18th century fountain (Fontaine Trogneux). Some of the alleys and backyards which used to be entirely devoted to small local, mainly furniture business, now look quite idyllic and are partly transformed into modern smaller offices and to apartments (lofts). Others have not yet reached that destiny, have more or less traditional business ongoing and you get an impression of being decades or sometime a century back in time. On some walls there are still old, faded, signs of previous activities ... and also a 1757 sun dial. Many of these buildings date back from the 17th or 18th century. You can find a number of old stairs. But, as previously said, the furniture business is still going on, including as well manufacturing as sales. When I reached the Saint-Antoine Hospital and the 17th century fountain in front of it, I stepped down to the metro.
You can find these photos in full and as a slide show on Ipernity.
I wish you a nice weekend!

46 comments:

Matritensis said...

This is a very nice place, a lot of interesting shops.
Peter, one cuestion, the banana tree in the park, do you know the latin name of this kind of banana tree? is it alive this terrible winter?
I try to find a cold hardy banana tree to my garden.

Cezar and Léia said...

I liked this Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine!I found the old stairs very spooky! :-))

Léia

Tanya said...

It's just so incredible Peter! So much history, and I love all those little alley ways and cute yards. You could walk this area everyday and always see something new. I just love it all!

Michelle said...

I love all the old buildings. The stairs were pretty awesome. I would love to see them. As usual beautiful pictures.

Virginia said...

Peter,
Wonderful alleys and stairwells. Would love to put these on my list to photograph. What great places you can find all over Paris, and I want to see them all! Hope you can join me.
V

jill said...

Peter, what a marvelous group of photos. It is fascinating to see 'common' everyday life. And there is something different around every corner here. I like to see the photos on Ipernity. I always feel like I am walking along with you. Thanks so much!

Olivier said...

bonjour le coup de jeune que tu me redonnes, j'ai vécu des années Avenue Ledru Rollin et pour aller a mon école je prenais ce faubourg direction la bastille et pour aller voir mon amie je prenais ce faubourg direction nation. Avant juste au croisement de Ledru Rollin (direction Bastille) tu avais un cinema ou il projetait deux films d'actions (western, kung fun, etc...) pour le prix d'un. A cela fait plaisir de retrouver ce faubourg.
Bon Weekend

Claudia said...

C'est très parigot tout ça!
Really enjoyed your post. Have a great weeekend.

Cergie said...

C'est marrant, Marguerite a fait son dernier message sur St Antoine, et lorsqu'HPY m'a demandé ce qu'était la statue d'Union Square, je lui ai dit que c'était le génie de la Bastille sur son pied et que tu ne l'avais pas reconnue ce qui m'étonnais de toi (c'est ce que j'ai mis sur son blog sous son post sous marin)

claude said...

Tu es un vrai historien de Paris Peter. C'est fantastique,
Je l'ai beaucoup arpenté ce fbg quand j'étais môme et la rue Ledru Rollin aussi. Mon Chéri se fourni en belle quincaillerie pour des meubles de style rue de Charonne.
Je suis entièrement d'accord avec Claudia, c'est très parigot tout ç.
J'aime bien la découverte de petites cours symaps avec de la verdure.
Ton blog est un régal pour moi chaque fois que je découvre un nouveau post.

Cergie said...

Il n'y a que toi pour mettre tous ces détails : les pubs délavées par le temps, les arrières cours, les escaliers non dérobés. Quel message vivant particulièrement aujourd'hui, avec cette superbe photo urbaine : les motos, les dames qui attendent, la rue qui tourne, le rythme des façades, la statue qui a changé de pied comme dans une BD de Tardi. J'adore.

Adam said...

A very worthy subject for a post covered with your usual depth, with a wonderful and varied selection of photos. You must have been on that street all day, and on what seems to have been not a particularly nice one either.

When I first arrived in Paris, there were far more of these furniture stores in the street, and slowly they have been replaced by international chain stores. It's easy to understand why - they offered large retail spaces in interesting old buildings, and probably offered the owners a large sum of money too. It does pose an interesting question though - how far should we go to protect this heritage? The simple truth of the matter is that much of the furniture produced and certainly most of the items that used to be found in the street was a type of furniture that people simply don't want in their houses anymore.

Delphinium said...

plus beaucoup le temps, je dois aller prendre un train. je repasserai ce soir pour te faire un coucou. en attendant, sois sage, je t'ai à l'oeil. :-)

hpy said...

C'est un quartier très intéressant, et il faut avoir ou prendre le temps pour visiter aussi les ruelles derrière, et ne pas se contenter de se masser avec tout le monde dans la rue du faubourg St Antoine, car je crois que tu es d'accord pour dire qu'il y a toujours beaucoup de monde.

hpy said...

(Au moins pour le péquenot que je suis.)

Abraham Lincoln said...

Quite interesting to read and to admire the photographs.

Ruth said...

The courtyards with greens and vines make me want to sit there with une café.

I like to hear about the district where the people revolted and demonstrate.

Mo said...

A very interesting quarter. You have presented a great selection of photos.

MARIA said...

Your job is amazing, dear Peter!
Have a beautiful weekend!

Maria from Poland

Dusty Lens said...

This is a wonderful tour! We did not visit this area of Paris; now I wish we had more time.

april said...

It's incredible how you find all those hidden and idyllic places.

Maxime said...

C'est étonnant comme le calme des ruelles contraste avec l'animation de la rue.
Il doit y avoir quelques vieux appartements bien agréables, au-dessus des arrière cours...

Bettina said...

Once again;thank you for a wonderful post. All your posts should be published as a Paris Tour Guide, it would be a bestseller ;-)
Your photos always makes me long for Paris and today is no exception.
Have a nice weekend !

Nathalie said...

J'aime beaucoup la façon dont tu choisis une seule grande photo d'ouverture avant de nous présenter tes autres compositions. Celle-ci est magnifique, elle est vraiment pleine de vie.

Ensuite ta série sur les cages d'escalier est géniale, mais aussi les cours, les passages, les magasins de meubles, les anciennes publicités peintes... quel concentré de vie parisienne ! Un délice pour les visiteurs que nous sommes !

JoAnn's-D-Eyes said...

hi Peter,
Have a nice weekend yourself too, its always refreshing to see/watch your blog, I always am searching for places we have been in person (not inside this hospital haha)
8
But I am still visiting my mom - make lots of pho's from her- since her heartsurgery , busy life...., I am sorry when I do not visti often, but the intesion is ok,

Bye greetings from JoAnn's D Eyes/Holland

alice said...

Ca bouillonne de vie, ce quartier! Bon week end à toi aussi, tu pars à la recherche d'autres trésors cachés?

richard said...

Oh dear, how I would love to see myself installed in a little atelier in one of those little "closes". ("Close" is a Scottish word that approximates to these private little environs behind the main thoroughfare)

The last series of posts have been exceptional in my opinion Peter. I think you are fully recovered from the Seine Bridges!

GMG said...

Hi Peter! TGIF!! ;)
It's an amazing post! I wonder how did you manage to get the «insider» look... But if the buildings turn offices, fashion and clubs, I suspect the demonstrations won't get so much support around... ;))
Great historic post on the guillotine; always learning!!
Have a great weekend!

la parisienne said...

A la Bastille ,
On aime bien Nini Peau de Chien
Elle est si belle et si gentilleee
On aime bien qui ça ?
Nini Peau de Chien où çà ,
A la Bastiill !e

JM said...

Fantastic coverage of Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine in every aspect! Great work once more.

Azer Mantessa said...

"For centuries (before IKEA)"

hehehe ... so cute :-)

Cuckoo said...

I would say it was a different post, very enjoyable. I always thought Europe is so well developed now that furniture is always made from machines there.

Ha Ha @"For centuries (before IKEA)"

Peter said...

Matritensis:
Sorry, but I don't know.... and the poor banana tree did not survive even last winter, despite obviously being well protected.

Léia:
It may be the impression it gives, but I think it's fascinating to see these old stairs which have been in use for several centuries.

Tanya:
Well I could not show all my photos and I'm sure I still missed a lot.

Peter said...

Michelle:
You are welcome to see them, but perhaps easier during the working days. Some gates and doors have to be pushed.

Virginia:
I know you have added a number of things for your next visit, but... of course... no problem!

Jill:
Thanks for looking at Ipernity. It takes some time to put the photos there and I have a feeling it's not so much visitied. :-(

Peter said...

Oliver:
On pourrait fair un tour ensemble et tu me racontes tes souvenirs en "live"?

Claudia:
Thanks ... and I wish you also a nice weekend (what remains)!

Cergie:
Je suis retourné sur ton post regarder la statue d'Union Square. Tu as raison!!! Je n'ai pas fait attention!

Peter said...

Claude:
Je suis content si tu te régales!

Cergie:
Content de te voir contente!!

Adam:
You are right! Now, I believe also that when the area becomes somehow more faishonable, the rents go up and it becomes difficult for many artisans to remain there. But, yes, the fashion changes. We are all becoming IKEA....

Peter said...

Delphinium:
Tu es repassée? Je ne vois pas des commentaires supplémentaires. Merci déjà pour cette visite!! Bises! :-)

HPY:
Je suis d'accord! :-)

HPY bis:
(Je ne suis pas d'accord.) :-)

Peter said...

Abraham:
Thanks! How are you doing?

Ruth:
Are you also a "revolutionnaire"?? :-)

Mo:
Thanks! You did not know the area?

Peter said...

Maria:
I'm so pleased to see you here, dear Maria!!

Dusty Lens:
You need time! I have spent 35 years in Paris and have still a lot to discover!

April:
Not too difficult to discover. You need time ... and to push some gates and doors. :-)

Peter said...

Maxime:
Sans doute! Il faut de temps et des moyens pour les transformer vers un comfort "accdeptables" dans les normes d'aujourd'hui!

Betina:
Do you know a publisher? :-)

Nathalie
Presque trop de compliments!! :-)

Peter said...

JoAnn:
I was once inside the hospital. My daughter was born there! Nice souvenirs!

Alice:
Il va falloir partir à la recherche: je n'ai plus de "stock"!

Richard:
Thanks, yes! ... from the bridges and from Venice! :-)

Peter said...

GMG:
Most alleys are open; sometimes you just have to push a gate.
... and let's keep learning!

La Parisienne:
Ah! J'ai la visite de la vraie pairsienne! :-)

JM:
Thanks! I suppose you know the place; you have been "everywhere"!

Peter said...

Azer:
I suppose you have also some IKEA shopes over there?

Cuckoo:
Not too many machines I believe, but a lot of import!

Virginia said...

Peter,
So maybe I need to take some off my list? So many wonderful sites in Paris so little time. Ahhhh! Maybe you can help me decide on the best again?

Ming the Merciless said...

I love photos of the internal court yards and the stairwells. But my favorite is the third to last photo/collage of the old man walking down an alley covered with business signs. That is an awesome photo.

Peter said...

Virginia:
Let's have a long dicsussion! :-)

Ming:
Isn't rather a lady?