Pigalle is a district which basically would include the Boulevard de Clichy and part of the Boulevard de Rouchchouart and some of the adjacent streets, passing Place de Pigalle as a central point and Place Blanche, all just south of Montmartre.

Place Pigalle and rue Jean-Babtise Pigalle were given their names in the honour of a sculptor (1714-85). He is the man in the middle here, surrounded by two of his works, one a naked Voltaire (at the Louvre) and one a Virgin Mary (at the St.Eustache church).

Pigalle had its peak during the last decades of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries. A leading “star” has of course been the “Moulin Rouge”, opened in 1889. I have already referred to Moulin Rouge in a number of posts, especially the story behind its name. (You can find such information e.g. here, here and here, with further references to other posts.) A number of books and films have given an image of this area with its artists, its gangsters, its prostitutes (who even have their chapel here – see previous post) ...

Today, the area is dominated by a fading sex shop industry, there is an erotic museum... and hardly any prostitutes to be seen ...
... but there are also a number of theatres, clubs, discotheques... Some examples are the 19th century “Elysées Montmartre” (where it seems that the French Cancan was invented..., where boxing was pupular), ”Le Trianon” and “La Cigale” (Mistinguett, Maurice Chevalier...), now open for today’s music performers. ”Les Deux Ânes” and “Théatre de Dix Heures” are theatres where you today especially meet politically satirical artists.
Along Boulevard de Clichy, there are also a few other interesting addresses. I have already posted about no. 48 ("Cité du Midi"), no. 58 ("Villa Platanes"), no. 94 ("Cité Véron") and no. 104.


krystyna said...

Hi Peter!
First time I am first...

In my country was formed the term "pigalak" with a similar meaning as a Pigalle.
And there is the slogan "In Paris, the best chestnuts are on the Pigalle squere" /I know it does not make sense /It is from polish film.

Thanks for sharing great pisc and informations!

Best wishes!

krystyna said...

Thanks for great "pics"!

Wania said...

Hi, my dear friend Peter

Great post!
Pigalle is a beautiful and picturesque place!

Have a nice week,
Kisses from Brazil,

Eli said...

as always lovely photos. Many happy memories of visits to le trianon and one rather memorable visit to la cigale where we met Garou before his performance!

Never felt threatened in the red light area despite once staying in a hotel next to one where 'ladies of the night' plied their trade!

But these days I prefer to walk along rue des abesses than along Bd de rochechouart


James said...

I like your pictures Peter but when I was there a prostitute couldn't understand why I wasn't interested in giving her 100 euros. She became quite a pest. :)

claude said...

Tu es un vrai historien de Paris, Peter, même pour les endroits les plus chauds....

alice said...

Et moi qui pensais trouver un post sur le 9 novembre place de la Concorde....!

le banc moussu said...

Peter what were you doing in Pigalle at night? Only taking pictures? Your life is very dangerous.

Mo said...

Love this oart of the city. Are you doing subway this month?

Mo said...

Love this oart of the city. Are you doing subway this month?

Kate said...

Top photo is a shot of my favorite subway entry. Enjoy all the night scenes. Thanks again, Peter!

Nisha said...

Night life looks so interesting and awesome.
Though people are wearing woollens, they are enjoying the night.

Thérèse said...

You are living quite an interesting life Peter!
Is Pigalle becoming past History already?

Starman said...

Place de Pigalle....unless you're into sleazy sex, there's not much there to attract. There's certainly nothing "beautiful" about it.

Cezar and Léia said...

Hello dear Peter
I liked your pictures, it's a kind of "the life as it real is"...I mean about those prostitutes in Pigalle and those weird stores...and, so on.
But I think every city, mainly the big ones has these kind of streets.
So...why not Paris? LOL

Anyway I'm more interesting to see others fabulous places by night in Paris, as you always show to us in your well prepared posts.Paris is magnificent and we can discover cool details at every single moment!
I hope to be there soon! *** but first I need to convince Cezar to stop go to Paris to business meeting!

Anonymous said...

I suppose all things must come to an end but I never would have guessed prostitution. I did, however, enjoy your post of many flavors.

Parisbreakfasts said...

Oh I LOVE Pigalle...mainly because my ancient cousin has always lived there and it holds lots of memories for me. It's become so chic of late, still I hope it doesn't change too much!
Thank you for today's magic carpet ride.

from cali said...

This area I do not know very well. Maybe that's a good thing. :D

Cheryl said...

I love the way Paris looks at night. But I usually think of the monuments, cathedrals and bridges in that respect. But the small side streets, at night, look just as beautiful.

Adam said...

Great night shots - but somewhat risky in Pigalle! Yes, it's much tamer today, but there are still a few odd characters around.

It seems a little unfortunate for the sculptor that his name is now forever linked to a certain kind of sleaziness!

GMG said...

Pigalle was a bit decadent the last time I crossed by; actually the reign of some Brazilian travestis... Maybe one of these days there will be a «movida» there!!
As for the addresses, you missed «Charlot»! ;) It wasn't that bad and always open late... ;))
Have a great weekend!

hpy said...

Voltaire, et surtout le vierge Marie à Pigalle. Tu y vas un peu fort!

Barry said...

I have only been able to visit Paris once. Although the visit was memorable you can't claim to know such a rich and complex city in such a short time. I wish I'd had your blog along as a guide and an introduction back then.

Rob said...

We never visited this neighborhood, lots of neon light. I suppose things must change, perhaps for the better. Would be interesting to witness this area transform into something new.

arabesque said...

hi peter! i immediately want to read further when i saw metropolitain,your first picture's outside the s.way station right?
surprising, how it's transformed into "new" must-see shoppes and museum...and i thought it was all just moulin rouge inspired! ^0^

Gaëlle said...

Il y a aussi plein de salles de concerts dans ce quartier, un bonheur pour les photos de concerts!

Le calendrier vient d'être mis à la Poste, bien protégé. J'espère qu'il arrivera vite et sans problèmes !

Nathalie H.D. said...

Tu as acheté le calendrier de Gaelle ? Bonne idée, elle est vraiment talentueuse !

A fading sex shop industry? I doubt people are less interested in sex than they were before so I wonder what's happening? Perhaps sex toys and litterature are now purchased on the internet, but where have the prostitutes moved to ?

lyliane six said...

Tu es allé te dévergonder à Pigalle!!! Ce n'est pas dans ton genre...

PeterParis said...

Happy to see you as the first ... and to learn about the Polish "pigalak" etc... ! :-)

I guess picturesque is still the word! Kisses from Paris! :-)

I appreciate your preferences! :-)

PeterParis said...

I trust that you resisted anyhow! :-)

Ca fait partie...! :-)

J'y étais, mais les photos ne sont pas bonnes! :-)

PeterParis said...

La banc moussu:
Only taking pictures, don't worry! :-)

No, no subway on the 15th; I'm off to Sweden again! Sorry! :-)

The subway entrance is nice and typical! :-)

PeterParis said...

It was a bit chilly, but now it's warmer again! :-)

It's not what it used to be, I think! :-)

Agree, but there are a number of good theatres, often with interesting artists! :-)

PeterParis said...

Hope that you soon will manage to convince Cezar! :-)

I don't think we have reached the end of prostitution, but it's not any more so visible in this area! :-)

The first impression of these avenues are not the very best today, but there are some very nice places for living if you really start to look around! :-)

From Cali:
Maybe ... but it's still part of Paris! :-)

PeterParis said...

There is a bit of everything! :-)

I have a tendency never to see any danger when I walk around ... in any city! Maybe I'm just lucky ... so far! :-)

Well, Charlot is just around the corner, rather on Place de Clichy! I talked about it on another post! :-)

PeterParis said...

Un mélange de genres, en effet! :-)

Happy to see you around here ... even if you arrive late! :-)

Let's see what it looks like in a few years! :-)

PeterParis said...

There is still quite a lot to see, whether it's of your taste or not! :-)

Bleeding Orange:
Tu y passes donc des fois? :-)

Yes, Internet has certainly taken over. For the prostitutes, they are certainly around, but you don't see many of them in the street in this area. :-)

PeterParis said...

Non? :-))

Marie-Noyale said...

Mon 1er contact avec les chansonniers etait aux deux anes il y a.... quelques annees!!!

PeterParis said...

Juste quelques années! :-)