22.4.09

Saint Ouen Flea Market


There are different flea markets, or “Marché aux Puces”, in or around Paris. The most famous, said to be world’s biggest, is the Saint Ouen one. It’s situated just on the Paris border in the suburb Saint Ouen, as the name indicates.

There were traditions to find this kind of activity just outside the city walls since centuries. The present Paris border was established in 1860 when some of the surrounding villages (like Montmartre, Belleville, Charonne, Batignolles...) were incorporated. The limit was marked by a defence wall since the mid of the 19th century, finally destroyed in the 1920’s (a few traces still left). I guess this explains why the market was more seriously created here at the end of the 19th century. It is thus claimed that it’s about 125 years old (official start 1885), but it seems that it really started in a more organised way and on a larger scale around 1920.

The market is open Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays and during these three days some 150.000 people visit. There are actually 13 different markets with names like Vernaison, Biron, Paul Bert, Serpette, Dauphine... and some 1300 stands. What is offered may vary quite a bit from one market to another, from one stand to the other, going from the simplest junk to the most exclusive antiques. You have to find your way and try to bargain. Don’t forget you credit card, but it’s easier to deal with some cash.

Around the actual flea market, you will also find a large and wilder market, mostly specialising in second hand – or new - cheap clothes, shoes, records...

... and if you are thirsty or hungry, there are solutions. “Chez Luisette” is perhaps the most well known with possibly not the best eating but with “typical Paris” entertainment. There is also the old “Brasserie A.Picolo” and a number of others.

Here follow a few patchworks, with photos, in complete disorder, corresponding to the feeling you may get when going there - part of the charm!

42 comments:

Cezar and Léia said...

Hello dear Peter!
Are you sure you are in Paris? (Kidding )
It seems surreal! Sooo many details in these wonderful pictures, so interesting things , information and links to get!
I can’t say what composition I loved more!
And of course a beautiful “piano”again !Not one…two !!!
But those “golden angels” got me now!
I have visited Paris, it was a great trip in 2000… but I’m sure it can’t compare with all those perfect places that now my poor heart anxious to see and knowing!I feel that I have never visit Paris in fact!
By the way, we can find these pictures in Ipernity?
Many thanks for sharing!Now if you don’t mind, I will enjoy this post a little bit more and take my notes!
See you…
Léia

Dakota Bear said...

Peter,

It looks like there is something there for everyone. I believe I could spend a full day there. I really like the display of dolls.

ParisBreakfasts said...

What WONDERFUL PICTURES!!!!!
Yikes! I bet you walked miles/kilogrames or whatever it is to get all these!
I quit way too early I see now and missed so much...Hummm
Merci!

Michelle said...

I have been trying really hard to control my desire to run away from home and live in Paris. Reading your blog and viewing your pictures is not helping one little bit!

This looks like my idea of the perfect day out (though it would be nice if there were not as many as 150 000 people sharing it with me)

Karen said...

Like Michelle, I want to run away from home and live in Paris.. This market is going to the top of my list but if I go I will have to move to Paris because all of the things I want are too big to carry back to the USA. Of course if I go there by bus or metro I will be limited in what I can buy.

Hope you had a wonderful Birthday.

Mona said...

That market sure has a variety od stuff!

It must be an adventure to visit a place where you can find all sort of stuff that is not available normally!

SusuPetal said...

I love flea markets! I seldom buy anything, but like to take photos about things.

hpy said...

As-tu attrapé des puces?

Comme tu ne participes jamais - ou presque - à des jeux qu'on te propose, je t'en propose un qui te permettra de ne rien changer à tes messages habituels.

Tu peux en trouver les "règles" chez moi ce matin, et pour une fois, comme je t'ai déjà simplifié la tâche, j'espère vraiment que tu participeras avec un de tes collages habituels.

Sinon, je t'envoie des puces, des vraies!

Shionge said...

What a wide selection there and I can see that it draws alot of crowds ya ;D

Did you buy anything?

alice said...

J'en ai la tête qui tourne! Il me faudra revenir plusieurs fois pour profiter de tout. Tu as du te régaler à faire des photos mais as-tu acheté quelque chose?

ALAIN said...

- Combien vous voulez pour le miroir octogonal ?
- 250
- C'est un peu cher, disons 100 ?
etc

Non, je ne me suis pas remis à fumer, mais j'ai pensé à des amis qui fument...

claude said...

Tout d'abord et avec un jour de retard, (et je m'en excuse) BON ANNIVERSAIRE, PETER !
Les Puces, je connais, et mon Chéri aussi.
Moi, je les fréquentais jeune en 1967/68 et
Le Grand-Père de Philippe qui était antiquaire avec une petite boutique aux Puces. Il s'en souvient aussi.
Mon exèbeauf y achetait de vielles cravattes que ma soeur refaisait à neuf et je crois me rappeler ses chaussures sur mesure chez un bottier.

Catherine said...

Tes photos révèlent l'atmosphère du lieu, le fouilli coloré, l'ambiance bon enfant des bistrots, la variété. Flea market et attention au pickpockets, j'en connais plus d'un qui sont rentrés bredouille.
Bon anniv. en sourdine. Juste parce que je l'ai appris de façon non officielle. Smile.

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Good pictures Peter! I especially liked that of the scooter parked in the alley!

Cergie said...

Une vraie mine pour un photographe... Surtout compulsif.
:)
Nous passions toujours par là sans nous arrêter lorsque nous revenions de l'Est, mais à présent nous prenons la A86. Ou la Francilienne en cas d'engorgement. Je ne suis allée aux puces à pied qu'une fois il y a bien, bien longtemps. De toute façon j'attrape les puces très facilement, elles me sautent dessus, même les puces de chat.
(J'en ai attrapée une d'ailleurs cet automne en déménageant les trésors de ma tante)

*SparkleMirror* Kiln-Fired Art Studio said...

As Cezar and Léia said, "I feel that I have never visit Paris in fact!" Well, even though I literally have never been, I am feeling as though I have thanks to your Paris. The more I read, the more I learn, and the more I want to know more. When I make my first trip to Paris, I wish to know more than the average first traveler and have less a sense of urgency and anxiety that I will not know the city in time for departure. Thanks Peter!

Bettina said...

I agree with Michelle and Karen that your lovely photos just makes me want to be in Paris NOW and forever !!!

I have never been to this flee market, I have wanted to lots of times, but never came around to go there.
But from you photos I can see that I just have to go there some day. All this great stuff...

Adam said...

These markets are now run by an English company aren't they?

You've taken such a lot of photos and caught the spirit so well that nobody needs to visit! With the English putting up the rents, and with it being such a tourist attraction, of course there are not many bargains to be had, but is there anywhere left that sells antiques at bargain prices?

Thérèse said...

Joyeux anniversaire! Never too late I hope.
Une mine d'or ce marché...

James said...

Hello Peter. This looks like a place to hunt for some very old and interesting things. I would like to see this place someday. Thanks for showing us this wonderful city and not just the obvious places.

Ruth said...

Expensive, but I love it. Bought a 200-year old clock - no works, just the beautiful worm-eaten body. It is such a treat to go there. Oh and once I bought a cutting board with handle and had to carry it "home" on the Metro - I think it looked like a weapon.

Ruth said...

Oh, and I thought you knew about my Paris blog??

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi Now this is the sort of place we like to see when we visit Paris again..!! Great photos.

Marie-Noyale said...

First, Joyeux Anniversaire 1petit jour de retard ce n'est rien!! ;~))

Bravo pour l'effet "Fouillis" parfaitement rendu!! mais comme cela on a plus l'impression de faire des affaires!!!
La derniere fois que j'y etais j'avais trouve une petite coiffeuse.. qui a depuis ete serieusement endommage par des demenageurs...

Coltrane_lives said...

Cool place to check out! I could always use another watch. LOL Merci for the photos and history on this Market.

Cuckoo said...

Flea markets are always fascinating all over the world. Even in India.

I also like junk markets. Have you ever been to Zurich's junk market on station itself ?

Olivier said...

j'ai un copain, ces parents tiennent un stand de vetement dans les puces. avant, je me baladais souvent la bas pour trouver des vieux disques et livres...j'adore on trouve de tout, c'est totalement delirant

Jilly said...

Whoa! What a feast of colour,oh my! Great collage. Just love this. Peter I have an old French woodburning stove I bought in a marche aux puces in Paris. I wonder if it was this one. I simply can't remember but it looks similar. Perhaps there are many Marches aux Puces in Paris? I love my little woodburning stove, not that I use it. You'll see it soon!

mum said...

A se damner !!! heureusement que je n'habite pas dans le coin!

Peter said...

Léia:
Sorry about the pianos! (Actually I thought about you when I took the photos!) :-)
No time for Ipernity right now.

Dakota Bear:
If you really start to look, you would spend more than one day! :-)

ParisBreakfasts:
You will soon be back ... and with good shoes! :-)

Peter said...

Michelle:
I'm only happy if I can participate in inciting you to move here! :-)

Karen:
I believe some kind of delivery service could be organised! :-)

Mona:
You can make it really interesting if you take the time to look closely! :-)

Peter said...

SusuPetal:
It's interesting just to watch ... and of course also to take photos! :-)

hpy:
Je n'aime pas trop les puces... alors sous menace, je participe! :-)

Shionge:
I bought two old newspapers, some 100 years old. There were some interesting articles! :-)

Peter said...

Alice:
J'ai acheté deux exemplaires de "Le Petit Journal". Négociés à 10 €. :-)

Alain:
C'est bien de penser à ses amis! :-)

Claude:
Pour chacun de mes postes, je te sens un peu nostalgique! :-)

Peter said...

Catherine:
Je suis revenu avec mon portefueille intact, sauf pour les dépenses de mes petits achats ... et un verre! :-)

Rakesh:
Thanks! Yes I saw this little alley... :-)

Cergie:
En allant à pied, tu n'habitais pas Cergy? :-)

Peter said...

SparkleMirror:
I hope I can be your guide when you come here! :-)

Bettina:
Well, I understand that you are soon on your way! :-)

Adam:
I think the land belongs to Saint Ouen and then there are several different sub-markets. Maybe one of those are controlled by English? Haven't heard about it. Don't know. :-)

Thérèse:
Merci!
Une mine d'or... pour qui? :-)

Peter said...

James:
It's probably not so easy to find the undiscovered da Vinci any more, but anyhow! :-)

Ruth:
Just to buy a charming thing that you like is a pleasure. Must not necessarily be a bargain!

Yes, I knew about your Paris blog, but I was not aware that you had been posting on it again! :-)

Anne:
Nice to hear that you already think about coming back! :-)

Peter said...

Marie-Noyale:
Tu peux réparer? ... et merci! :-)

Coltrane...:
The watches I saw were on the Rolex and more level. But I guess you could find anything! :-)

Cuckoo:
I have been to the Zürich railway station, but then there was no junk market. Too bad! :-(

Peter said...

Olivier:
Donc, tu quitte ton banlieu sud de temps en temps? :-)

Jilly:
Yes, there are others, but this is the biggest one. :-)

mum:
Moi non plus, mais pas trop loin! :-)

Roberta said...

With a full month in Paris coming up, perhaps I'll go here often ... what a marvelous and entertaining adventure that will be...

Sahar said...

Beautiful photos! Even though I've been there, your photos capture so much more!

What did you use to make the collages?

Amélie Textiles said...

Il n'y a pas que Saint Ouen.....
Venez nous voir : aux Puces de Vanves C’est une caverne d’Ali Baba, un grand bric-à-brac qui s’ouvre tous les Samedi et Dimanche, toute l’année, de 7 h à 13 h.
Des babioles aux merveilles plein de "trucs" à vendre et aussi à photographier !

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