Rue de l’Abreuvoir Paris
Discover Rue de l’Abreuvoir, one of the prettiest streets in Paris in the heart of bohemian Montmartre in our complete guide below.
Rue de l’Abreuvoir in Montmartre is one of the most beautiful streets in Paris. It’s a gorgeous spot, with its two photogenic pink houses and ivy draped over old stone walls. But it’s the view of the dome and tower of Sacré Coeur Basilica that is most enchanting and makes it truly special.
Our guide to Rue de l’Abreuvoir delves into the street’s 700-year history, including the many great artists it has attracted over the last 150 years or so. We also show you everything there is to see there and in the surrounding parts of Montmartre, and cover the all-important matter of how to get there.
Why Visit Rue de l’Abreuvoir
Rue de l’Abreuvoir is one of the most picturesque streets in Paris.
This street in Montmartre is also one of the most famous streets in Paris because of the view of Sacré Coeur Basilica from the lower end of the street.
It is also famous as the home of La Maison Rose, The Pink House, a restaurant steeped in 20th century art history.
It was visited by Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, friends of owner Ramon Pichot, and also painted by Montmartre artist Maurice Utrillo (who also painted a picture of Rue de l’Abreuvoir from the bottom of the hill).
La Maison Rose is one of the best-known Montmartre Instagram spots, with its green window shutters and cute small size (a modern building rises a few storeys behind it).
The top of the street also has several other beautiful houses close to La Maison Rose, while the opposite side of the street is a castle-like stone wall with trees within the enclosed area.
Music lovers make a pilgrimage to Place Dalida, at the bottom of Rue de l’Abreuvoir, to see the bust of the famous French-Egyptian singer and actor Dalida who lived nearby in Montmartre.
It’s also very close to many other things to do in Montmartre, and easy to reach.
Rue de l’Abreuvoir History
Rue de l’Abreuvoir is believed to be one of the oldest streets in Paris, with the earliest written reference to it dated 1325. It was then known as the ‘ruelle qui va au but’ – the road which goes to the end.
It was given its present name some time before 1843. An ‘abreuvoir’ is a water trough, though no trace of one is visible nowadays.
The water trough would have been used by livestock – a reminder of the rural nature of Montmartre village until later in the 19th century.
The House of the Eagles (Maison des Aigles) at 4 Rue de l’Abreuvoir may well be the oldest house on the street – its stonework is certainly weathered, was the home of Napoleonic historian Henry Lachouque (1883-1971).
Look closely at the façade of the house and you should spot a stone eagle and a wonderful sundial with a carved cockerel and the inscription, ”Quand tu sonneras, je chanteray,” which means, ”When you shine, I will sing.”
12 Rue de l’Abreuvoir was the residence of influential Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro.
Where Is Rue de l’Abreuvoir
Rue de l’Abreuvoir is on the northern slope of the Butte de Montmartre (Montmartre hill) in the 18th arrondissement of Paris.
It’s in the westernmost quartier (area) of the 18th arrondissement, Grandes Carrières, which is named after the gypsum quarries that used to operate there.
Rue de l’Abreuvoir is a fairly short street, 133 metres in length, and runs between Rue des Saules to the east to Place Dalida and Rue Girardon to the west.
Getting To Rue de l’Abreuvoir
Hilly Montmartre isn’t the easiest part of Paris to get around, with at least one steep walk usually involved getting around the area. However, if you’re a bit limited in mobility, you’re in luck, as the RATP number 40 bus stops within metres of Rue de l’Abreuvoir, at the Abreuvoir-Girardon stop next to Place Dalida.
The 40 bus follows a convoluted circular route which passes three of the closest Metro stations to Rue de l’Abreuvoir, and Sacré Coeur, which is close to the top of the Montmartre funicular.
The nearest Metro stop to the street is Lamarck-Caulaincourt on line 12. It’s a short, partly stepped walk up from there to Rue de l’Abreuvoir.
My favourite route to Rue de l’Abreuvoir is from Abbesses Metro, on the other (south) side of the Butte de Montmartre.
What To Do In Montmartre Near Rue De L’Abreuvoir
Place Dalida offers the best view of Rue de l’Abreuvoir, with the central dome and campanile of the Sacré Coeur Basilica rising behind the ivy-covered houses along the street.
Dalida – born Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti – was a singer and actress who enjoyed enormous popularity across much of Europe, the Middle East and beyond. Her career lasted from the 1950s through until her tragic suicide in 1987. A bust on the small, shaded square commemorates her, and visitors can also glimpse her house on nearby Rue d’Orchampt.
Sacré Coeur is one of the most popular things to see in Montmartre, and around a five-minute walk away. The early 20th century Romano-Byzantine church is one of the great Paris landmarks, and one of the most popular places to visit in Paris. Rue Saint Rustique, which runs parallel to Rue Norvins and Place du Tertre, also has a beautiful Sacré Coeur view.
One of the most famous squares in Paris, the Place du Tertre, is within a minute’s walk of Sacré Coeur. It’s crammed with restaurants, but the best thing about it is the atmosphere and the view of Sacré Coeur on a summer evening.
Many who visit Montmartre also decide to get their portraits painted by one of the artists on the square – or buy one of their evocative paintings of the scene with Sacré Coeur.
Back down the hill, closer to Rue de l’Abreuvoir, the Musée de Montmartre is a great place to find out more about the area, and the Clos de Montmartre across the street is a beautiful small vineyard.
A little further down the hill, lovers of cabaret should pay a visit to Au Lapin Agile, which has been running shows since 1860.
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