This Paris Life

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The history and charm of the Belleville area of Paris

Exploited since the Middle Ages to supply Paris, the waters of Belleville are an impressive network punctuated with charming manholes.


In order to bring water from the Belleville springs to the centre of Paris, a large aqueduct was built by the city in the 13th and 14th centuries. All along the route, small “manholes” were installed to control the quality of the water.


plan eaux Belleville


A good number of these manholes (whose names we love!) still exist today but are hidden under buildings: those of Chaudron, Lecouteux, Saint Louis and Zouave in the 19th arrondissement, and those of Cascades, Chambrette, Rigoles, Planchette and the religious institution of Saint-Martin des Champs in the 20th arrondissement.


Regard Lecouteux Paris 19


Fortunately for those who are passionate about Parisian history and vestiges, there are still four viewpoints visible from the public highway: that of the Lantern in the garden (which bears its name, as well as those of Messiers, La Roquette and Saint-Martin which are located in the Rue des Cascades on the top of Belleville hill. A nice walk to make to discover these monuments listed since 2006!


regard de la roquette paris


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