The station is the former location of the Barrière Poissonnière, a gate in the Wall of the Farmers-General built for the collection of excise taxes (the octroi). The gate was built between 1784 and 1788, and it was demolished in the nineteenth century.
The elevated line-2 station was opened on 31 January 1903 as the Boulevard Barbès station, as part of the extension of line 2 from Anvers to Bagnolet (now called Alexandre Dumas). It was renamed to its current name eight days later. Line 2 descends into a tunnel to the west of the station. The underground line-4 station was opened on 21 April 1908 as part of the first section of the line from Châtelet to Porte de Clignancourt.