The Cité des Fleurs (City of Flowers) is a pedestrian street situated in the 17th arrondissement of Paris. Since its creation in the mid-19th century, it has kept an enjoyable small village atmosphere and is lined with greenery. I discovered this beautiful place last year and had to learn more about it… after a bit of research, this is what I learned.
The elegant Cité des Fleurs
The creation of the Cité des Fleurs was due to two landowners who opened the 320-metre long cobblestoned street in 1847:
- Jean-Edmé Lhenry and
- Adolphe Bacqueville de la Vasserie.
They combined both of their possessions to create a private housing development.
At the time, the street was outside the limits of the Wall of the Ferme générale. It was then included in the commune of Batignolles-Monceau until the latter was annexed by Paris in 1860.
The pedestrian street is bordered on each side by the gardens of small houses and hôtels particuliers (or private mansions).
The lane is punctuated by three small circular squares.
From its origins up to today, the Cité des Fleurs follows strict building guidelines. They regulate:
- the height of party walls,
- the limit in the number of levels,
- the continuously built edge,
- the layout of courtyards and gardens,
- the numbers of trees…
On each side of the street are low walls surmounted by ornamented fences. They are punctuated by cut-stone pillars topped by a unique Medicis’ vase.
The Cité des Fleurs should not be confused with the Cité florale in the 13th arrondissement.
Famous residents of the street
- The impressionist painter Alfred Sisley lived at number 27 from where he painted Vue de Montmartre, depuis la Cité des Fleurs aux Batignolles in 1869. His painting is now displayed in a museum in Grenoble.
- It was also there that sisters Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac, were born, respectively in 1943 and 1942.
The Resistance network in Cité des Fleurs
Number 25 housed the Resistance network ‘Plutus’ during World War II. It played a role in relaying false documents.
Tragically, the place was stormed by the Gestapo on 18 May 1944, the leader Colette Heilbronner was shot and the members were sent to concentration camps.
A commemorative plaque in French reads:
On May, 18. 1944 in this building the Gestapo arrested the principal leaders of the MLN false document relay.
Executed on site: Colette Heilbronner
Died in deportation: Jean Hernes, Ginette Salomon, Fernand Lévy, Ludovic Vemfeld, Charles Ravard, François Vernet.
Fallen soldier: Jean Meyer.
Here are more photos of the elegant lane I took on a sunny September day:
Access to the Cité des Fleurs
- There are two entrances to pedestrians: avenue de Clichy and rue de la Jonquière.
- Access to the public is possible from 7 am to 7 pm from Monday to Saturday and from 7 am to 1 pm on Sunday and bank holidays.
- Closest métro station: Brochant (line 13).
- Check out google map for the exact location of the street.
Do you know of other offbeat places in the Right Bank of Paris? Share them with us by commenting below!
I read your weekly messages and enjoy all of them as I am a bit of a Francophile.
I would, however, love you to do the south of France, especially the Languedoc area as it is my favourite area of France. I am Australian and spent weeks 6 weeks there in Pézenas during the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
Anyway, keep up the good work, we love it.
Thanks Kevin. The Languedoc is one of those French regions I know the least about. If one day I have the pleasure to visit Pézenas and its surroundings, I will not fail to write a report on the blog. I do however have a full article on Carcassonne.
Are most buildings on Cite des Fleurs businesses? I see no access other than to walk down the pedestrians-only street. It seems it would be difficult to use any of the buildings as residences.
Some buildings house businesses and others are residential. There is private vehicular access along the street (there is a gate at both ends). In addition, some residents can also access their homes from Pouchet and Gauthey Streets which run parallel to the alley.
Do you know if Cecile de France lives on this street? Thanks, Vicki
Bonjour Vicki… hmmm actually I don’t have any idea if the actress lives on that street.