Guide Tour of the 19th arrondissement of Paris, France

The 19th arrondissement of Paris is one of the 20 arrondissements of the capital city of France, located at the northeast end of the city. The arrondissement, known as Butte-Chaumont, is situated on the right bank of the River Seine. It is crossed by two canals, the Canal Saint-Denis and the Canal de l’Ourcq, which meet near the Parc de la Villette.

The 19th arrondissement is a cosmopolitan district, mixing the Old French bohemianism and also the Parisian cosmopolitanism. The 19th arrondissement of Paris is in the north of the city, and is a peaceful, green and family-friendly refuge. It is a very leisurely area which can provide fun for all ages, especially in the warmer months.

Also know as arrondissement of Buttes-Chaumont, the 19th arrondissement of Paris is one of the eight arrondissements formed when the peripheral communes were annexed to the city in 1860 (Belleville, la Villette, as well as portions of the communes of Aubervilliers and Pantin).

It is bordered to the north by the commune of Aubervilliers, to the east by the communes of Pantin, Lilas and Pré-Saint-Gervais, to the south by the 20th arrondissement and to the west by the 10th and 18th th arrondissements.

Besides its friendly and diverse inhabitants, it is a real melting pot of culture, greenery and going out. This district includes many parks including the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, cultural and leisure centers such as the Cité de la Musique, Le Zénith, the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie or La Géode and the Cabaret Sauvage.

Among which, the Parc de la Villette, which is home to the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, a museum and exhibition centre, the Conservatoire de Paris, one of the most renowned music schools in Europe, the Cabaret Sauvage, the Zénith de Paris and the Philharmonie de Paris,both part of the Cité de la Musique.

Two large, wide canals (Canal Saint-Denis and Canal de l’Ourcq) traverse the district and intersect in its middle, where the large Parc de La Villette can be found, housing the science-themed Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, while further south one can find another park, the romantic Parc des Buttes Chaumont. And you can of course stride along the canals.

Villette district – The Villette district is the 73rd administrative district of Paris, located in the 19th arrondissement, in the northeast of the capital. The Villette district comes from the former commune of La Villette, one of the four communes fully attached to Paris (and therefore disappearing) in 1860.

Pont-de-Flandre district – The Pont-de-Flandre district is the 74th administrative district of Paris, located in the 19th arrondissement. This district is where the old slaughterhouses of the city of Paris were located. The district was created in 1859 after the annexation of the Commune of La Villette in Paris.

Quartier d’Amérique – The Quartier d’Amérique is the 75th administrative district of Paris located in the 19th arrondissement. In this district were the old quarries of America, from which gypsum and millstones were extracted for the construction of Parisian buildings (in the central districts). The largest of the surrounding quarries, which was mined in the open, was transformed into a vast public garden under Napoleon III. A large part of this district was the subject of development in the 1960s and 1970s, and towers were built in place of factories, workshops, houses and guinguettes, in particular around the Place des Fêtes. However, there are still alleys called ” villas “, where picturesque houses are lined up (especially around the rue de Mouzaïa).

Combat District – The Combat district is the 76th administrative district of Paris located in the 19th arrondissement. It takes its name from the “place du Combat” which in 1945 became the place du Colonel-Fabien. From 1781 to 1833, there are animal fights. Inside a wooden circus, one can at this time witness fights between dogs and bulls, dogs and boars, etc. On this same square stood the Barrière du Combat forming part of the Wall of the Farmers General. It was positioned in an arc in order to leave the bloody circus outside the city. Until the reign of Louis XIII, on a site probably located in the perimeter currently comprised between rue de Meaux, avenue Secrétan and rue Sadi-Lecointe was one of the most horrible places in Paris: the gibbet of Montfaucon.

Main Attractions
The two main avenues in the 19th arrondissement are Avenue de Flandre and Avenue Jean-Jaurès linked by Place de la Bataille-de-Stalingrad. The first overlooks the Porte de la Villette, the second the Porte de Pantin. Rue de Crimée, which stretches from rue d’Aubervilliers to place des Fêtes, is the longest street in the 19th arrondissement (2,540 m). The boulevard de la Villette, which materializes its southern limit, separates it from the 10th.

The Robert-Debré Hospital, the Grande halle de la Villette and the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie are the three largest buildings in the arrondissement. The other most important buildings are the Cité de la Musique, the National Conservatory of Music and Dance of Paris, the Center des Archives de Paris, the Lycée Henri-Bergson, the Municipal Conservatory and a cultural establishment, the Centquatre-Paris.

There are also many cultural places, such as Maison du film, the FRAC d’Ile-de-France, Le Plateau. Many barges around the Canal de l’Ourcq have a cultural vocation (opera, cinema, theatre). The Cité de la Musique, the National Conservatory and the Parisian Zénith are located on the edge of the Parc de la Villette, near the Grande Halle. The Philharmonie de Paris, a large symphony concert hall with 2,400 seats, was added to the Cité de la Musique in 2015.

Town hall of the 19th arrondissement of Paris
The town hall of the 19th arrondissement of Paris is the building that houses the municipal services of the 19th arrondissement of Paris, France. The town hall of the 19th arrondissement is located on Place Armand-Carrel. The building was designed by architect Gabriel Davioud and constructed between 1876 and 1878.

The facade of the central pavilion is decorated with the sculptures of The Water Supply by Aristide Croisy and The Cattle Supply, by Georges Clère. The painter Diogène Maillart is the author of the ceiling of the grand staircase, La Ville de Paris instructing its children, and of the ceiling of the landing, La Parure de la femme. Henri Gervex is the author of the painting Mathurin Moreau (sculptor and mayor of the 19th arrondissement) marrying his son, hung in the wedding hall.

Church of Saint-Jacques-Saint-Christophe de la Villette
The church of Saint-Jacques-Saint-Christophe de la Villette, located 6 place de Bitche, is a Catholic parish church built between 1841 and 1844. The church is neoclassical in style, modeled on early Christian basilicas.

The facade is dominated by a porch, of Italian inspiration, with 2 levels. The first level has pilasters of the Corinthian order and, on either side of the entrance, two niches shelter the statue of the two patron saints of the church, due to Antoine Laurent Dantan. The second level is pierced, in its center, with three semicircular bays and decorated with pilasters of the composite order. The whole is crowned with a triangular pediment. The nave is separated from the aisles by a row of Doric columns, fluted in their upper part, which support a row of high windows. The central nave is covered with a painted wooden coffered ceiling.

Church of St. John the Baptist in Belleville
The Church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Belleville is one of the first churches of neo- Gothic architecture built in Paris. Located at 139 rue de Belleville, in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, it was built between 1854 and 1859. The church of Saint Jean-Baptiste de Belleville is the most accomplished work of Jean-Baptiste Antoine Lassus (1807-1857) one of the first architects of the neo-Gothic style in the middle of the 19th century in France.

This church is composed of a nave of five bays with two side aisles and eight side chapels, a transept, a choir with a bay in the extension of the nave, an ambulatory giving access to seven chapels, two sacristies and two bell towers surmounted of arrows. The church measures 68 m in overall length by 25 m in width, the elevation of the facade to the ridge is 26 m, the height of each spire is 57 m, the vault heights are for the large nave of 19 m and 8 m for the side aisles.

The facade is dedicated to John the Baptist, the patron saint of the church and the parish. The iconography, the varied typology of the windows and the techniques used show the archaeological concern specific to neo-Gothic architects. The stained glass windows illustrate stories from the Old Testament.

The sculpted decoration is the work of Aimé-Napoléon Perrey; the windows were made by Auguste de Martel, from cartoons by Louis Steinheil; the hinges of the portal and all the side doors were forged by the ironworker Pierre Boulanger.

The Cent-Quatre
The Cent-Quatre is open to the public all year round, 7 days a week. In addition to the programming of shows, performances, concerts, exhibitions. Inaugurated in October 2008, the Centquatre is a place of creation and artistic production unique in the world, open to all the arts: visual arts, music, dance, theatre, video, fashion, design, cinema, literature… The Centquatre is a place of life, of meeting, where art rubs shoulders with everyday life.

The former Funeral Directors of Paris have had a makeover to welcome the new place dedicated to contemporary, innovative and unique creation. On 39,000 m2 the former Municipal Funeral Service now houses studio-residences, exhibition halls, but also two performance halls, shops, a restaurant, a bookstore, a space dedicated to the artistic awakening of toddlers… All around an impressive interior street covered with a monumental glass roof.

City of Science and Industry Museum
The City of Science and Industry is an establishment specializing in the dissemination of scientific and technical culture. Created on the initiative of President Giscard d’Estaing, its mission is to disseminate scientific and technical knowledge to a wide audience, in particular children and adolescents, as well as to arouse the interest of citizens in social issues. related to science, research and industry. It is at the heart of a system aimed at promoting scientific and technical culture: the Centers for Scientific, Technical and Industrial Culture (CCSTI).

Along with the Cité de la Musique and the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris, it is part of the Parc de la Villette. The slaughterhouse rehabilitation project,September 15, 1980to Adrian Fainsilber. Complementing the Palais de la Découverte located in the Grand Palais, the City of Science and Industry opens its doors onMarch 13, 1986, inaugurated by François Mitterrand on the occasion of the encounter between the astronomical probe Giotto and Halley’s comet. In 2010, the Cité des Sciences and the Palais de la Découverte were grouped together in a common establishment, named Universcience, with EPIC status.

Natural areas
The arrondissement is home to two of the largest parks in Paris, the Parc de la Villette (the first) and the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont (the third, the second being the Jardin des Tuileries).

The district has the following gardens: Compans garden, Flanders-Tangier-Morocco garden, Butte-Bergeyre garden (formerly Chaufourniers garden), Notre-Dame-de-Fatima garden, Rébeval garden, Regard-de- la-Lanterne, Riquet garden, garden of buildings in the rue de la Marseillaise, Serge-Gainsbourg garden.

Parc de la Villette
Parc de la Villette is one of the largest parks in the French capital, established on the site of large slaughterhouses, built in 1867 on the decision of Napoleon III. La Villette Cultural Park is full of cultural places and activities. The Philharmonie de Paris, the City of Science and Industry, the City of Music, the Zénith de Paris, the Grande Halle de la Villette, the Open Air Cinema and more.

It extends over 55 hectares, including 33 of green spaces, which makes it the largest green space in the intramural capital in front of the Tuileries Garden (25.5 ha), the Buttes-Chaumont park (25 ha), and the Luxembourg garden (23 ha). From the Porte de la Villette in the north, to the Porte de Pantin in the south; the Canal de l’Ourcq crosses it in the middle. Two footbridges span the canal and link north and south. Since 2008, a mobile floating bridge has been installed in summer, halfway between these two footbridges, and facilitates the passage of walkers, cyclists and people with reduced mobility.

The architectural realization of the park was entrusted in 1983 to Bernard Tschumi, a French architect of Swiss origin, following the international competition for the architectural design of the park launched in 1982. The essential particularity of the park is not to break the perspective from north to South. A cinematic walk reveals themed gardens which are all play areas, theaters where nature is staged. A rectilinear “gallery” covered with a wave-shaped roof connects north and south. The park is strongly punctuated by a systematic grid of red buildings called “Folies”.

A varied cultural program offers many entertainment opportunities throughout the year: concerts (jazz, world music, electronic, classical, contemporary, pop and rock), contemporary circus, exhibitions, theatre, dance, open-air cinema … A river shuttle4 connects, via the Ourcq canal, the Bassin de la Villette place de Stalingrad to Aulnay/Bois stopping at the park. In addition, cruises lasting one to several hours are offered with La Villette as the point of departure or arrival. The park communicates with that of Buttes-Chaumont by the alley Darius Milhaud.

Parc des Buttes Chaumont
The Buttes-Chaumont park with 25 hectares on the clock, it is one of the largest green spaces in the capital. Its lake, its waterfalls and its caves, its incredible belvedere, its viewpoints, its suspension bridge and its hilly aspect make it one of the most original and pleasant parks in the capital.

The Parc des Buttes Chaumont was created in 1867 and inaugurated on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition. Non-fertile land, the site was little used before, except that a gibbet was installed there from the 13th century. This place was then a gypsum quarry from the Revolution to 1860. In the planning policy of Paris wanted by Napoleon III, the gardens held an important place. It was decided to buy the land and transform this bit of hill into a garden.

This 24.7 hectare park receives more than 3 million visitors each year. From 2003 to 2006, it was the subject of work aimed at making the floral and vegetal decoration as rich as at its inauguration. However, most of the Park remains accessible.

On either side of the Parc des Buttes Chaumont are two charming places, unique in Paris. On one side the Butte Bergeyre and on the other, the Mouzaïa district. On the program: small houses, flowers, greenery, cobblestones and even a vineyard…

Mouzaïa district
The Mouzaïa district, located between the Mouzaïa streets, of General Brunet, Miguel-Hidalgo is made up of small houses full of charm, built of brick. In 1901, a developer opened small passages between the existing streets and began to subdivide the land. But the Municipality, prohibits to build houses of more than one floor there, because of the fragility of the basement undermined by the presence of gypsum quarries.

Today, these small houses are lined with flower gardens. La Mouzaïa is located on a former gypsum quarry. The name of Mouzaïa is borrowed from an Algerian locality in which a battle took place in 1839 during French colonization. At 46 rue du Général-Brunet, you will find the portal of the Hameau du Danube.

The 19th arrondissement is crossed by the Canal Saint-Denis and the Canal de l’Ourcq, which intersect at the Parc de la Villette. At rue de Crimée, under the only lift bridge in Paris, the Canal de l’Ourcq flows into the Bassin de la Villette, which communicates with the Canal Saint-Martin (10th arrondissement). There is also the dock at the bottom of Rouvray, the smallest canal in Paris (250 m), located on the edge of the Parc de la Villette and blocked by rue Adolphe-Mille.

Bassin de la Villette
The Bassin de la Villette is the largest artificial body of water in Paris. It was put in water on December 2, 1808. Rectangular, 800 meters long and 70 wide, it opens via the rue de Crimée bridge, the last drawbridge in Paris, near the general store, and ends with the Place de Stalingrad where the Villette rotunda. This basin also hosts counters for river cruises, as well as an MK2 cinema complex whose originality, in addition to its location in old converted cast iron gantries, is ensured by a connection by electric boat on either side of the basin.. The basin is bordered to the north by the Quai de la Seine and to the south by the Quai de la Loire, which the Moselle footbridge connects in the middle.