Although it has this golden name, it’s not any of the more fashionable areas of Paris; it used even to have - and somehow still has - the opposite reputation. Since some 20 years an important renovation and rehabilitation program is ongoing, which like with many other areas may lead to some kind of gentrification, but it’s still what you can call a working-class area with a very mixed population; the number of immigrants and especially residents with African or Arab origins is high.
This is something you can notice when you walk around the crowded streets and visit some open markets, like the “Marché Dejean”, full of exotic products.
This area was officially annexed to Paris in 1860 and from about the same period dates the church “Saint Bernard de la Chapelle”, although the architecture may look quite gothic. The church has a very good organ, but is known to most people for having been occupied in 1996 by some 300 immigrants wishing to regularize their situation and being expelled by important police resources. When I visited the church the other day, it was peaceful; a limited audience listened to a concert by a young string sextet, plus a flautist. A fine moment!
I‘m leaving for Sweden again, for about a week, but have pre-programmed some posts! Take care!