I love the hidden corners of Paris that you can stumble upon and suddenly find yourself transported somewhere else, often to a small French town or village. The Sqaure des Peupliers is one of those places, a few narrow cobbled streets full of birdsong and the scent of flowers. Located in the 13th arrondissement, this tiny triangle of provincial France is a lovely detour in the spring and summer. Built in 1926 on the site of old quarries and the river bed of the Bievre, long since disappeared, grand building projects were not possible, and so a charming quarter of modest sized houses was built.
Nowadays, living in one of these houses is pretty much an impossible dream for most of us, but a stroll through the alleyways is available to everyone and is always a pleasure!
Whilst you are there, you can also see the nearby rue Dieulafoy, This street is very different to others in Paris. It’s lined with tall houses, each painted a different pastel colour, and each almost identical, with strange shaped slate roofs. The architect Henry Trésal designed the 44 identical houses in 1921. At the time they were aimed at middle class buyers, and were equipped with a modern bathroom and an obligatory 2.50m space between the house and the pavement, allowing today for some very pretty gardens. Many of the houses have been modified over the years, but you can still see the unity of the architecture in the street.
If you’re visiting the Butte Aux Cailles it’s well worth taking a few extra minutes to explore these two charming streets.
Square des Peupliers, & rue Dieulafoy, 75013 Paris. metro: Tolbiac