Cardinal-Lemoine(ligne 10), Place Monge( ligne7)
|Bus : ||lignes 47, 89|
The Â«MouffetardÂ» area is located in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, on the Left Bank of the Seine.
Middle Ages: The Rue Mouffetard was part of a main road â Rue Saint Marceau â which ran along the line formed by the Rue de la Montagne Sainte GeneviÃ¨ve, Rue Descartes, Rue Mouffetard and the Avenue des Gobelins.
The name Â«MouffetardÂ» comes from the French word Â«mouffetteÂ», which is the name given to a skunk, and refers to the horrible smells and fogs which used to linger in the lower areas of the Mouffetard. This was due to the leather tanneries which used to be situated on the banks of the BiÃ¨vre river which runs along there.
The Rue Mouffetard, affectionately known as Â«la MouffeÂ», remained a village for a long time. The area was relatively unchanged due to its situation on the Saint GeneviÃ¨ve hill, which protected it from modernity and Baron Haussmannâs clean-up of 1860 onwards.
17th-19th centuries: In the 17th century, this village gradually became a lively city suburb and was integrated into Paris in 1724.
Most of the areas which surrounded Paris were over-populated, poor areas into which an increasing number of people were pushed when urbanisation (and thus demolition) projects took place in Paris.
Any clean-up efforts on these unsalubrious, overpopulated areas had little impact on the Mouffetard, which was a set-back for the plans of both Charles X and Napoleon III.
20th century: It was only in the 1950s that the unhealthy conditions in the Â«MouffeÂ» were finally âcleaned upâ.
Today: After some excellent renovation work, the narrow streets and abrupt slopes of the Mouffetard area give it the appearance of a village in the heart of Paris.
Part of the area is now pedestrian only and is crowded on summersâ evenings.
On the Rue Mouffetard one can see old signs (e.g., at no. 122, or on the Rue de l'Estrapade), the testament to an earlier age, when a house was identified by its sign, that is before house numbering was introduced in 1805.
The Mouffetard area has many restaurants, clubs and bars, and lively open markets.