Rue Mouffetard | The Oldest Street in Paris

Written by on June 25, 2016 in Arty, Funky, Paris, Quirky, Romantic

rue-mouffetard-parisParis has so many attractions that sometimes it’s difficult to make a choice what you want to see, especially when you don’t have much time. Top visits include the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Sacré-Coeur, but you also have Rue Mouffetard, a street in the 5th arrondissement (Quartier Latin).

This pedestrianised street, which Parisians call “la Mouffe”, is one of the oldest and picturesque streets of Paris. There has been a road here since the Romans were in town, 2000 years ago and it is home to a beautiful street market.

History of Rue Mouffetard

Rue-Mouffetard-paris-oldest-street

This bohemian and multicultural street has not always been called Rue Mouffetard, but had many names like Montfétard, Maufetard, Mofetard, Mouflard, Moufetard, Moftard, Mostard and also Rue Saint-Marcel, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Marceau en Rue de la Vielle Ville Saint-Marcel. Rue Mouffetard is thought to be a deviation of the original Roman name of this road, “mont Cetardus” which refers to a hill close by.

Mouffet means “skunk” in the French language. The street was popular as a location for animal skinners and mofettes is related to the word meaning “odours of pestilent” referring to the horrible smells that were given out by the process of skinning.

So much history in 605 meters!

Rue Mouffetard has a medieval character and is loved by Parisians as much as by tourists. Sometimes it feels as if you have stepped back in time. Thanks to the location of this street on hill Sainte-Genevieve, it has been preserved in an older style. Luckily it escaped being included in the project for redevelopment in Paris when Baron Haussmann was planning and recreating the city’s streets and buildings.

What to see in Rue Mouffetard

Rue-MouffetardIt is a very lively street where you can find a daily market with fresh products. The diversity of shops are a real feast for the senses. The pastries, the cheeses, the lovely smell from the restaurants, it’s easy to spend several hours here. Sitting on a terrace in the sun at Place de la Contrescarpe, enjoying a café au lait and watching people and admiring the old houses and imagine how Parisian life was during the medieval years. It’s very authentic. This street was also a great inspiration for Victor Hugo when he wrote Les Miserables thanks to its atmosphere and good looks, reminiscent still of the middle ages.

What can you find more in this street? Look up as well as down. Several of the buildings have incredible frescoes and sculptures. At the junction of Rue du Pot, you will find a water well dated 1624. Further south in the street you can admire Église St. Médard dating to the 9th century. Near the Place Monge metro, you can find the Monge market, which you can visit on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 07:00 and 14:30.

Sunday afternoons in the Mouffe are especially lively as locals and visitors dance and join in the singing by the Chapel of Saint-Médard in Saint-Médard Square, next to a lovely park.

The market is vibrant and the street is buzzing every day but the busiest times in Rue Mouffetard are Saturday and Sunday mornings. The market and shops are closed on Sunday afternoon and Monday and re-open on Tuesday morning.

How to get there: Take Metro Line 7, exit at Censier-Daubenton Station and walk southwest along Rue Daubenton to Rue Mouffetard.

More things to do in Paris
6 great things to do for a family day out in Paris
5 Great things to do in the summer in Paris
How to spend one day on the Left Bank
5 of the most romantic places to kiss in Paris

Related Articles

Great hotels in Paris

Great hotels in Paris

Written by on October 1, 2019 in Paris

With more than 2000 hotels to choose from in Paris, it’s not easy so we’ve done the hard work for you. Tried and tested, enjoy our pick of the best hotels in the city of light… Fabulous and chic in the Marais The 5 Star MGallery Hotel Paris Bastille Boutet (above) is close to the […]

Continue Reading

Opera Garnier | Paris Opera House, mini-Versailles

Opera Garnier, Opera National de Paris or Palais Garnier, or more known commonly as the Paris Opera, whatever you call it, it’s generally considered to be one of the most important buildings in Paris. Opera Garnier | the Versailles of Opera Houses It’s actually not as old as you might think. In 1860, the city […]

Continue Reading

10 things to do on your birthday in Paris

If it’s your birthday, then Paris is the perfect place to spend it in style. This isn’t the economy version, after all, you only get one birthday a year, I’ve kept it mid-range price-wise but special. Fabulous places to visit, eat, drink and dance – with some free Champagne thrown in… Things to do on […]

Continue Reading

How to spend a perfect day in Paris in the summer

How to spend a perfect day in Paris  in Summer. From dawn to dusk and much later – we’ve got you covered… Morning jog under the Eiffel Tower  It’s a magnificent cliché but like so many clichés – absolutely fabulous. Running in the Champs de Mar where the Eiffel Tower stands – utterly inspiring, and […]

Continue Reading

A tasty tour of Paris

A tasty tour of Paris

Written by on June 2, 2019 in Paris

Travel writer Amy Mcpherson discovers where the locals go when it comes to eating out in Paris… “Don’t go for a restaurant that lists onion soup in its menu,” said Leo Goldstein of Eating Europe Tours when I asked him for his advice on how to choose a good place to eat in Paris. “Onion […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top