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Story of the intrigued of Rue Le Pic in Montmartre District

With its rather unusual layout in Paris, rue Lepic has surely intrigued more than one. Let’s discover how this path that climbs the hillock was thought of by and for the Emperor Napoleon.

This street, which once belonged to the municipality of Montmartre, connects the Place Blanche to the summit of Montmartre. Mythical, it has been immortalized by Van Gogh in his painting “View of the apartment on rue Lepic”, by Yves Montand in his song “Rue Lepic” or in the film Amélie Poulain with the café des Deux Moulins.


One morning in 1809, Napoleon Bonaparte wants to go to the bell tower of St. Peter’s Church. The reason for this determination is none other than the telegraph Chappe, recently installed on the belfry. To get there, he borrows “The Old Way”, the current street Ravignan. This way allowed the most direct and rapid ascent.

With the rain, the slope, very steep, becomes impassable on horseback. The emperor must finish his walk by creating an easier path to access, which will become a real path thereafter. You are left guessing what is this future street … Who owes its existence to a simple counter-time! This is how the route of the “Chemin Neuf” is decided.

Article December 2017 by Paris Zig Zag