The Paris’ 20th district curiosities

The Pere Lachaise Cemetery : The Père Lachaise cemetery is the vastest inner cemetery of Paris and one the most well known in the world. An impressing number of famous personalities are buried there, such as Frédéric Chopin, Honoré de Balzac, Marcel Proust, Jean de la Fontaine, but also Gilbert Bécaud, Yves Montant, Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison.

In May 1871, during the battle of the Commune de Paris, the Pere-Lachaise cemetery had been transformed into a truly civil-war theatre, because of its geo-strategic localization on a hill. While the ’Federals’ had installed their artillery in the center of the cemetery, they had been quickly surrounded by German troops from one side and the Versailles de Thiers fighters on the other side. All of the 147 remained survivors had been executed on 28th of May 1971 before the wall which took later the name of The Wall of Federals, over the southern part of the Cemetery.

The Saint-Germain-de-Charonne Church : In this place had been played the last scene of the film "Les Tontons flingueurs" acted by Lino Ventura, Bernard Blier and Francis Blanche. This church combines harmoniously some 12th century vestiges (thick pillars of the tower) with the elegant architectural styles of 15th and 18th centuries. Alongside with the Saint-Pierre Church of Montmartre, this church is the unique one in Paris to be always surrounded by its ancient cemetery, as was the practice during the Middle Ages days.

The Pavillon Carré de Baudouin : Located at the crossroads between Pyrénées and Ménilmontant streets, it is a "crazy extravagance" house construction of the 18th century targeting to serve as a vacation resort, a festive place for life’s pleasures. Today the pavilion asserts itself as the most important cultural site is this area, with its expositions, shows and fairs not only in line with the current cultural and creative developments of this district, but also at the national and international scales. The entrance for all expositions and conferences is free of charge.

La campagne à Paris : With such a turn of phrase, the tone is set. This district is ideally situated, close to the Edith Piaf’s Place. One feels immediately that there is something unique in this area. Behind threes and a small fountain, a staircase climbs up to a series of small houses : it is the "countryside in Paris". Several small pedestrian streets are gathered in an overall united collection of independent houses constructed as far back as 1906 in order to house working-classes who were benefiting from the new laws on low-cost habitat. Twenty years after the beginning of the implementation of this project, on 20th of June 1926, the "Campagne à Paris" was at last inaugurated. Its 92 pavilions appear since then to be a relatively recent locality in comparison to Haussmanian buildings of a large part of Paris city. The district is calm and well-kept where each one has his own individual house, his car parking space, and even sometimes his own landscape garden : nothing else to says, except we are really somewhere else ! Sometimes Paris has some surprises in its store...