5th Arrondissement, Paris
Contributed by Project for Public Spaces
This ancient narrow street works in the same way it has for centuries: as a place where people live, shop, eat and meet.
Rue Mouffetard runs on a gentle slope from the Place de la Contrescarpe down to the Square St. Medard. The street has become a major attraction for Parisians - especially young ones - and tourists alike. Houses as old as nine centuries line the street, with cafes, food shops, and a morning market that spills out onto the congested street. While it is open to traffic, it functions for the most part as a pedestrian street - which is a big part of its charm.
History & Background
Rue Mouffetard is a remnant of an old Roman road. Some buildings date from the 12th century, and many have distinct histories; in a sense, this street represents the history of Paris. The market fills its lower half every morning, and people come to do their daily shopping. Its vitality is reminiscent of a scene from the Middle Ages. After the market closes, restaurants open up, offering a wide variety of ethnic foods and more stereotypically French food at cafes and creperies.
Mayor's office of the 5th Arrondissement