This is Léon, the last Gas streetlamp in Paris !

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Malakoff does not rank amongst my favourite destinations in the Paris region. I knew very little of this residential suburb in the Hauts-de-Seine département. I was aware of a vestige of gas lighting there. On a sunny day I reached the verdoyant district of the sentier du Tir to meet Léon. Léon? The name of the last gas streetlamp in Paris! Come with me, I’ll show it to you!


Léon : the last gas streetlamp in Paris

They are many vestiges of gas lighting left in Paris and region. But there is only one still working.

You’ll find it in the sentier du Tir, a shady pedestrian street.

Last Gas streetlamp in Paris © French Moments

Entrance to Sentier du Tir, Malakoff © French Moments

Is it this lamp stand?

Last Gas streetlamp in Paris © French Moments

The Sentier du Tir, Malakoff © French Moments

Nope. The next one!

Last Gas streetlamp in Paris © French Moments

Léon, the last Gas streetlamp in Paris (Sentier du Tir in Malakoff) © French Moments

It was affectionately baptised Léon.

Léon, the last gas streetlamp in Paris.

Although technically it is located just outside the limits of the Paris municipality, in Malakoff.

Léon is a survivor of a bygone era when Paris and its suburbs were lit up using gas. It all ended in 1975 when the last fixtures of the public gaslight network were converted to electricity.

Last Gas streetlamp in Paris © French Moments

Léon, the last Gas streetlamp in Paris (Sentier du Tir in Malakoff) © French Moments

Thanks to the dedication of locals living in the area, Léon was never converted to electricity. 

Come closer to the lamppost and see for yourself: its hundred-year-old lamp is still glowing!

The original Auer burner works continuously day and night.

Last Gas streetlamp in Paris © French Moments

Léon, the last Gas streetlamp in Paris (Sentier du Tir in Malakoff) © French Moments

When coming back to the métro station at Porte de Vanves, make sure you walk along the pedestrian alley. It leads to a quiet public garden. Paris seems so far away!

Last Gas streetlamp in Paris © French Moments

The little park at the end of Sentier du Tir in Malakoff © French Moments


Malakoff? Doesn’t sound French to me!

If this is what you think too, well you’re quite right. How on earth did we come with such a Russian-sounding name so close to Paris?

The reason is quite simple. The commune of Malakoff was created on 8 November 1883 out of the commune of Vanves. The new locality was named from an inn sign: “À la Tour de Malakoff” (At the Malakoff Tower). The inn was given this name in 1855 in commemoration to the Battle of Malakoff, fought during the Crimean War.

Today, Malakoff is a residential commune in the Hauts-de-Seine département (92) with a population of approximately 30,000.


Access to the last gas streetlamp in Paris

To access the last gas streetlamp of Paris, get off at the métro station Porte de Vanves (line13). The tramway 3a also calls at Porte de Vanves. Walk approximately 650 m to Sentier du Tir.

From Porte de Vanves, walk along the Avenue de la Porte de Vanves which later spans the Périphérique. Now on the territory of Malakoff, cross the square (place de la République) and continue on rue Ernest Renan. Further on, turn left on Sentier du Tir.

Find out more about the exact location of the last gas streetlamp in Paris on google map.

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Last Gas streetlamp in Paris © French Moments


 

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About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

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