Guide Tour of the Porte-Saint-Denis district of Paris, France

The Porte-Saint-Denis district of Paris, near two of Paris’s six main railway stations in the 10th arrondissement: the Gare du Nord and the Gare de l’Est. Denis is one of paris’s liveliest areas, a multicultural melting pot. The shopping streets here is the real heart of the city, with a huge array of food choices.

Major axis between two popular neighbourhoods, Strasbourg Saint-Denis and Gare du Nord, the Faubourg Saint-Denis Street is a real mirror of today’s Paris: multicultural, traditional and “bobo”. The Faubourg St. Denis exerts an enormous fascination on its residents. From the overlooked architectural grandeur of its twin arches to its teeming, multicultural street life, this square kilometre between Gare du Nord and the Grands Boulevards has an atmosphere that’s unique in Paris.

Coming from the south, from the subway station Strasbourg Saint-Denis, you will first see the porte Saint-Denis, an impressive triumphal arch built in 1672 to mark the boundary between Paris and its “suburbs”. The city has grown since then, but the street kept its “extramural” character, something like a popular border area to the bourgeois centre of Paris, but that welcomes its inhabitants in search of exoticism and simplicity.

The Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis is a street in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. It crosses the arrondissement from north to south, linking the Porte Saint-Denis to La Chapelle Métro station and passing the Gare du Nord. It also marked the eastern boundary of the enclos (later prison) Saint-Lazare. Historically, this street was an extremely upper-class area, occupied by jewellers and textile merchants, since it was part of the king’s processional route to the Basilica of Saint Denis.

Hectic, cosmopolitan and unusual, surprising in many ways, There is a particularly dense and more bustling side to the cosmopolitan Porte-Saint-Denis district, the land of welcome for several communities from all over the world. Traditions, cultures, art of living and gastronomy come together, thus offering a unique cosmopolitan imprint.

At the bends of the streets of many architectural curiosities, the Porte-Saint-Denis district of Paris draws visitors with its lively streets, performance halls and shops. The major works of the Second Empire under the Third Republic, particular to the south, the redevelopment of the Place de la République, the construction of the Bourse du Travail de Paris and the arrondissement town hall, and to the north the creation of metro line, and its viaducts. To the north, the rise of the railroads is transformed the landscape of the borough.

Among the other specificities of the district, the presence of two covered markets, the Saint-Quentin market and the Saint-Martin market. Two of the last covered markets in Paris, and one of them is the largest market in the city. Covered markets that still exist in a few spots in Paris. Marché St-Quentin is the largest and busiest of those. And it has everything. Several butchers, two florists, fishmongers, lots of vegetable sellers, poultry specialists, and ethnic & regional foods. There’s even a shoemaker and a beer boutique. And there are a surprising number of restaurants that receive a nod from Michelin.

Originally, the Porte-Saint-Denis district was the link between the centre of Paris and the Royal Basilica of Saint-Denis. Over the centuries, private mansions and shops began to flourish all over the district. The Saint-Lazare prison, which was located there, then became a hospital before finally being destroyed in the 20th century.

The oldest plot (rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis) is made up of long narrow plots perpendicular to the streets. In the north of the district, the most recent streets were created at the end of the 18th century, subdivided and built mainly from 1821. more rarely in iron and brick, buildings of varying heights and from various eras separated by courtyards. The majority of this building was built between 1850 and 1950 approximately.

The dominant road network, north-south, is made up parallel to the streets of Faubourg Saint-Denis and Faubourg Poissonnière, very old radial or even “cardinal” Parisian streets, of two other more recent roads, the rue d’Hauteville (end of the 18th century and Boulevard de Strasbourg (middle of the 19th century, created by Haussmann). These four lanes are, especially during the day, but also at the beginning of the night, very busy with motor vehicles as well as pedestrians and bicycles.

They are cut or intersected by quieter east-west streets, parallel to the boulevards of Bonne Nouvelle and Saint-Denis, laid out on the site of the former medieval enclosure of the King of France Charles V. Among these, the liveliest, rue des Petites Ecuries, which runs through the middle of the whole district (called rue du Château d’eau, between rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis and boulevard de Strasbourg, before to join Place de la République to the east) was opened in 1780 on the route of the large ring sewer.

The rue du Faubourg St. Denis was once the main route into Paris from the north and the way the French kings entered the city in pomp and splendour after being crowned in the Cathedral of St. Denis. The two stone arches of Porte St. Martin and Porte St. Denis were built by Louis XIV after he knocked down the old city walls in 1670 and the royal stables were in the Passage des Petits Ecuries, the present-day home to some of the area’s best gourmet food shops.

In the 18th and 19th century developers carved new cross-streets and filled in the gaps between isolated mansions with six- or seven-storey buildings. These became the apartments and ateliers of craftsmen, although the quartier also had something of a raffish air back then thanks to its proximity to the Grands Boulevards and their many music halls. The music halls are long gone, of course, as are the theatre folk, though there’s a faint echo of the neighbourhood’s colourful past in the form of costume hire shop Sommier at 3 passage Brady.

Yet while the layout of the streets hasn’t change much at all in the last two hundred years, everything else has. These days Turkish, Kurdish, African and Indian businesses sit cheek-by-jowl with art nouveau brasseries and gastronomic French food shops. And sitting on one of the area’s many café terraces, you’ll see a multicultural parade of passers-by and hear dozens of languages spoken.

Back when Vidal moved here, the Faubourg St. Denis, despite its central location, remained a little-known pocket of Paris. Like the now trendy Marais before its giddy transformation, the Faubourg St. Denis was sleazy, run-down and filled with sweatshops and peopled by artists and students and theatre folk looking for cheap rentals. Over the past decade young professionals have been moving in and renovating apartments. And after the waves of immigrants who each brought their own flavour, the latest addition to the mix has been urban hipsters. A growing number of late-night bars and gourmet burger joints attract a young, international crowd and keep the streets buzzing into the early hours.

Many of Tthe appeal of the area’s apartments are spacious by Parisian standards, with two bedrooms and a decent-sized kitchen, attractive mouldings and point-d’hongrie parquet. As demand has increased, there has also been a spate of renovations of what were previously the most run-down buildings, while some top floors – especially in the sought-after rue Martel or rue Paradis – have been turned into luxurious loft spaces.

The Faubourg Saint-Denis Street is slowly changing. Cosy Bars and restaurants are opening, and here and there caterers and specialized fine food stores appear. Recently when one shop on the angle with rue de Metz became a restaurant. What remains is a dwindling number of fruit and vegetable shops whose owners still shout out their prices to passers-by. There is still an amazing array of different types of tomato on offer at any of the three remaining traditional vegetable shops and organic food fans can have their boxes delivered once a week to the passage des Petites Ecuries.

Main Attractions
The Porte-Saint-Denis district is very dynamic, a popular district mix with boho-ized tends and strong identity as a melting pot. Walking around the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis is a great experience. Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis, also known as Little Turkey, offers multicultural culinary experiences and rugged but fashionable bars. Walk along the street towards the north, there is an Indian bazaar, then Mauritanian beauty salons.

The densely built rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis in the 10th arrondissement of Paris is bustling with life. The district clearly represents what Paris really is: a cultural melting pot. Along the almost mile-long street, there is not only a wide selection of restaurants but also two busy railway stations, Gare de l’Est and Gare du Nord. In the north, the street extends all the way to the La Chapelle subway station, and beyond it begins the African quarter La Goutte d’Or.

Culture takes center stage in the Porte-Saint-Denis district, there are many theaters offer an eclectic program of one-man shows to vaudeville and the great pieces of the classical repertoire. The shows make the big difference between one man show, humor, classical theatre.

Porte Saint-Martin
The Porte Saint-Martin is a Parisian monument located at the site of one of the gates of the now-destroyed fortifications of Paris. It is located at the crossing of Rue Saint-Martin, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin and the grands boulevards Boulevard Saint-Martin and Boulevard Saint-Denis. The current monument, fourth of the name, is a triumphal arch 18 meters high, built in vermiculated limestone; the attic is in marble. The spandrels are occupied by four allegories in bas-reliefs.

Porte Saint-Martin is a monument in Paris, located on the site of a gate of the former enclosure of Charles V. It was erected in 1674 by order of Louis XIV, in honor of his victories on the Rhine and in Franche-Comté, by the architect Pierre Bullet, a pupil of François Blondel, architect of the nearby Porte Saint-Denis. The adjacent walls have since been destroyed. Porte Saint-Martin is classified as a historical monument by the list of 1862. Restoration work was undertaken in 1988.

At the base of the monument, a Latin inscription indicates that within 60 days, Louis XIV crossed the Rhine, the Waal, the Meuse, and the Elbe rivers, conquered 3 provinces, captured 40 strongholds and took the city of Utretch in 13 days. To the left and right of the large opening are two obelisks applied to the wall. They are filled with sculptural groups of trophies of arms. At the bottom of the obelisks are two seated figures. The obelisks are both topped with the gilded coat of arms of the king of France: three fleur-de-lis and a crown.

Palace of mirrors
The Palais des Glaces is a Parisian theater built in 1876 at 37 rue du Faubourg-du-Temple, in the Porte-Saint-Denis district of Paris. The establishment, which specializes in café-theatre and has been directed since 2002 by Jean-Pierre Bigard, also director of the Comédie de Paris, comprises two halls: the main one with five hundred seats (divided between orchestra and balcony) and the Petit Palais des ice cream.

Hôtel Chéret
A private mansion built in 1778, the house has known several owners who each made their own modifications. Its facades are listed as historical monuments and bear witness to the architecture in vogue in Paris in the 18th century.

Manoir de Paris
A tourist attraction, which opened its doors in 2011, it offers visitors an interactive tour staged by actors. You can discover Parisian legends from the 18th to the 20th century, inspired by literature or folklore.

Musée du chocolat
Inaugurated in 2010, Chocolate Museum is entirely dedicated to chocolate. The museum has three distinct poles: the origins of cocoa, its democratisation in Europe and its current consumption. It also has a demonstration area for the preparation of chocolate.

Streets and squares
Place Sainte-Marthe and its adjacent streets also worth discovering, located between the Canal Saint-Martin and the Hôpital Saint-Louis. A former 19th century working-class town, this popular and friendly micro-district with colorful storefronts brings together local shops, small restaurants, bistros, artists’ and craftsmen’s studios.

The Saint-Martin and Saint-Denis gates located respectively on boulevard Saint-Martin and boulevard Saint-Denis are eye-catching. Its triumphal arches were erected to the glory of Louis XIV and his victorious battles. They symbolize the former enclosure of Charles V limiting the city. The narrowest house in Paris at 39 rue du Château d’Eau.

Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis
Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis is a road in the Porte-Saint-Denis district of Paris located in the extension of rue Saint-Denis to the south; it leads to the basilica of Saint-Denis to the north. It is an extension of the rue Saint-Denis to the faubourg or area outside Paris’s walls (as marked today by the Porte Saint-Denis). It also marked the eastern boundary of the enclos (later prison) Saint-Lazare.

Historically, this street was an extremely upper-class area, occupied by jewellers and textile merchants, since it was part of the king’s processional route to the Basilica of Saint Denis. After the French Revolution the street briefly bore the name rue du Faubourg Franciade in 1793 (with the portion between rue Saint-Laurent and place de la Chapelle being renamed rue du faubourg Saint-Lazare and rue du faubourg de Gloire).

On 19 August 1848 the street was the birthplace of painter Gustave Caillebotte; Mistinguett, who made this street famous by singing “je suis née dans le faubourg saint-Denis”, was actually born in Enghien-les-bains.; The “marchandes de quatre saisons” (The street vendors of the Four Seasons) were typical of this street. They can be seen in the 1961 Jean-Luc Godard film Une femme est une femme, but have since been removed because they were causing traffic congestion.

An old Bouillon snackbar has become a fashionable brasserie, Bouillon Julien, well-known across Paris for its profiteroles (a pastry). A fashionable ‘traiteur’, Julhès (formerly Royal-Cabello, founded by Henri Lacour, then by M. Mauduit), known for its mille-feuilles (also a pastry). The training gymnasium of Marcel Cerdan is at number 23, and the “Central sporting club de Boxe”, featured in a scene from the 1954 film, L’Air de Paris, is at number 57. The Reggiani family hairdressers’ shop was at number 83; Serge Reggiani evoked the spirit of this street in an autobiographical song.

Boulevard de Strasbourg
Boulevard de Strasbourg is located in the Porte-Saint-Denis district of Paris.Its name is that of the Alsatian capital, Strasbourg. It is due to the proximity of the Gare de l’Est, called at the time “Strasbourg railway pier”. The boulevard Strasbourg is, in particular towards the crossroads with the rue du Château-d’Eau, the heart of one of the two African districts of Paris. It is dominated by shops, beauty salons and restaurants of Afro – Caribbean and sub-Saharan immigrants.

In the middle of the 19th century, paris had a very sufficient number of parallel arteries, but there was lack of roads perpendicular to the river. There was urgent need to create wide weirs at the wharf stations to facilitate the instantaneous flow of the crowd and spread it in the heart of Paris. The Boulevard de Strasbourg came from the creating idea of a main road which, unmasking the magnificent pier of Strasbourg, would end at the boulevard Saint-Denis, and could, later, be continued to Place du Chatelet.

Jardin Saint-Lazare: located on the former Saint-Lazare enclosure, it has been open since 2008 and covers an area of 830 m². This space arranged by the city provides children with games and wooden sculptures.

Square Alban-Satragne: named in homage to a town councillor of the district and the borough, it opened its doors in 1963 on part of the former Saint-Lazare prison, which became a hospital in the 1930s. One can see their vestiges of which only the chapel and the infirmary remain. It has recently been the subject of a new development project.

The Saint Quentin market is the largest covered market in Paris. There are fresh fruits and vegetables but also catering corners that highlight a certain know-how and a certain quality. Marché St-Quentin was built during the expansion of Paris by Baron Haussmann in the 1860s. It employs the same materials, construction techniques, and even design elements use by architect Victor Baltard in his famous (and now defunct) Les Halles commercial food market in central Paris, built at the same time. That is to say — the use of thin iron frames to create high ceilings and an expanse of windows to let in lots of natural light and provide ventilation.

The second covered market in the Porte-Saint-Denis district is equally as well-known. Although it was first established in 1859 (as Marché Saint-Laurent), it’s in a more modern space than Saint-Quentin, or perhaps the word for the space is “eclectic”, since it appears that pieces of the building were added and improved over the years.

There is the usual range of food stalls with quality meats, produce, and cheese. But there are also some unique offerings at Marché Saint-Martin such as a German grocery store stocking smoked hams and dozens of German beer brands. Open Tuesday to Saturday from morning till night as well as Sunday mornings.

The Boulevard de Strasbourg, between Place de la République and Gare de l’Est, is known for supporting the coiffure or hairdressing trade, with dozens of shops selling hairdressing equipment and supplies. Interestingly the African hairdressers of Paris have set up shop right alongside their suppliers.

Meanwhile rue de Marseille has a number of trendy clothing shops. Another good spot to explore the slightly dilapidated Passage Brady. It’s full of Indian and Pakistani restaurants, for which it’s sometimes called “le Petit Bombay”. Stop in at the Bazaar Velan for incense, spices, and kitsch souvenirs.

The stretch of Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis between Gare du Nord and La Chapelle metro station is home to several Asian grocers, clothes/jewellery shops, Bollywood DVD shops and even a mithai (Indian confectionary) shop. VS.CO Cash and Carry has the largest range of food products from India.

Gastronomy is omnipresent, canteens are also springing up to satisfy the many dynamic young people who work in the borough. All cuisines and the new generation of chefs is investing heavily in the Porte-Saint-Denis district. The Porte-Saint-Denis district is also becoming a paradise for vegans. More and more vegetarian, vegan or even gluten-free addresses are opening to adapt to customer demand.

Some notable restaurant included Les Arlots, Hôtel du Nord, La Fidélité, Indian Chez Marcel, the Grand Amour, “bobo”, the 52 and the Richet also highlight the quality of the products. Tasted real African braids at Château d’Eau, eat the best Indian dishes in the North, taste crazy kebabs in Strasbourg Saint Denis…

The bars of the Porte-Saint-Denis district are also one of its strong points. With its central location, it is easy to find yourself in one of the best addresses in the area. Some notable Bar include Chez Prune, Point Éphémère, Colonie de Chez Jeannette or even Le Fantôme.

Several gyms nearby: two Club Meds (Waou Grands Boulevards and République) and the low-cost Club Montana République are all within easy reach. Yoga practitioners are also well served, with the small and intimate Casa Yoga at the end of a plant-filled courtyard at 4 rue de Paradis and Trini Yoga at 24 rue d’Enghien. At the Red Earth Centre at 235 rue Lafayette, Australian yoga teacher Louisa Raszyk is also a qualified shiatsu masseuse.