La Butte aux Cailles, Paris
The Butte-aux-Cailles is a small neighborhood on a small hill (the word butte means ‘small hill’) with relatively small houses and lots of friendly little pubs and restaurants full of arty-looking people.
The word caille means ‘quail’ in French, but that’s not where the name comes from. A man named Pierre Caille bought the hill in 1543 to grow grapes for wine-making, and the hill was later named after him and his family.
Today, the Butte-aux-Cailles is sort of like a scaled-down version of Montmartre, but without the touts and tourists and without the big ugly church at the top.
In fact, for many years the Butte-aux-Cailles had no church at all. On the historical sign (second photo) it says: “Between the Revolution of 1848 and the Great War, the Butte aux Cailles was colonized by scavengers and leather workers. This village without a church was the site of farms, workshops and stores, in a spirit of conviviality and liberty.”
During a visit in 1865, Baron Haussmann proposed to build a monumental church on the Butte aux Cailles, comparable to the church Notre Dame de la Croix in Ménilmontant, for the purpose of bringing religion to this suspiciously secular working class neighborhood. Haussmann himself was a Protestant, but that didn’t stop him from building Catholic churches to keep the working class under control. His idea was to build a church at the very top of the Butte aux Cailles, but the fall of the Second Empire put an end to the project. Only the land had been purchased before Napoléon III was overthrown in 1870.
When a church was finally built, from 1894 to 1912, it was at the bottom of the hill, not the top. It is called Sainte-Anne de la Butte-aux-Cailles and still exists today, although the neighborhood is still not notably religious.
Next review from August 2013: Street Art in Butte-aux-Cailles
This place is in 13eme arrondissement. If you have time to experience a nice walk in this residential area with lovely houses and flowers. It is not like you are in Paris. It is near Place d'Italie. But you could take metro number 6 to Corvisart or Place d'Italie or no. 7 to Place d'Italie .
You can find the sign in brown showing La Butte aux Cailles. Just follow the sign and have a pleasant walk.
This swimming pool is famous in Paris because it uses natural water directly pumped 500 meters under the swimming pool. It has a pool inside and an other outside open during summer.
Address : 5 place Paul Verlaine ( 13rd district )
The "Butte aux cailles" is some kind of a village, like a part of "Le Marais" that is, to some people, completely unknown, and to some others, inescapable. Situtated next to the Subway Station "Corvisart" and "Tolbiac", the area stands on one of the little "mounts" that dot the whole city of Paris (together with the more famous Montmartre [Le Sacre Coeur] and Sainte Genevieve [Le Pantheon]). Peaceful, cosy, full of little cheap places to eat or have a drink, the place is nice to stroll around...
Within the church, I attended a really nice rehearsal of a chorale. In the meantime, I noticed that it was probably the first time that I've entered in such a modern church in Paris : there even are automatic doors !!!
An area in Paris which seems to resist to time, keeping its village atmosphere probably because it's a hill inappropriate to build large constructions.
This place is not touristic and does not hide monument. Walking in possibly paving-stone streets, you will see small houses and many bars or restaurants. A few small shops have been converted to bars the last decennies, but I hope that the evolution will not pervert this area.
Walk around rue Daviel to find "La petite Alsace", consisting of about 30 houses, built in 1910 as social habitations in Alsatian style.
I also suggest a visit or a bath at the swimming pool "Piscine de la Butte aux cailles" (Place Paul Verlaine, 5). This pool in Art-Nouveau style of 1924, disposes of mild water at 28°C coming from an artesian well (582m deep).
(detailed historical information -in French- at Piscine).
Many details about this place and attractions are given in Butte aux Cailles, again in French.
Strolling around the area of "La Butte aux Cailles", as famous as unexplored by Parisians, I bumped into this striking church whose "towers" look like the ones of the "Sacre Coeur"...