I don't know hat happened, but this post was published May 12, got some comments, disappeared, lost its comments... Now published again, May 13 late.
I noticed that after some four years of blogging about Paris, I had not yet published anything about this part of the 15th arrondissement, referred to as Grenelle. Until the 19th century this was a more or less unexploited area not yet part of Paris , even hardly used as farm land. Then, a certain Mr. Violet (and some associates) bought the land and started to have it exploited. We are then actually talking about the area south of the border represented by the red dotted line on the plan here below; north of it was already Paris. The Paris border was until 1860 situated where we today at some places, like here, can see an over-ground part of the metro (see top photo with Invalides in the background) and where we those days would find the wall “Fermiers Généraux” (tax farmers) (see previous post). Grenelle as well as other villages around Paris (Montmartre, Batignolles, Belleville, Charonne….) became thus in 1860 part of the growing Paris and the wall disappeared.
Mr. Violet allotted the area in a very rectangular way, something we hardly find elsewhere in Paris. The reason was of course that we were on virgin land and that no older roads or streets influenced the planning. For himself, he built a little "castle", rather soon transformed into a fire station. In front of the station is a very nice example of the special red lamps that you generally find in front of these stations.
What you may consider as one of the major streets is Rue de Commerce with Place de Commerce, a little square with a building which was the “town hall” until Grenelle became part of Paris and the 15th arrondissement.
Along the street you can also find the “Café de Commerce”, a three story brasserie, which opened in 1921.
There are still a lot of the original buildings around in the area and a surprising number of little squares.
I took also some photos behind some closed gates, but I’m not indicating the addresses; people who live there prefer of course not to have too many “tourists” around.
There are some more remarkable buildings and monuments to be found, but I will revert on that in a later post.