Ménilmontant

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Ménilmontant (disambiguation).
Rue de Ménilmontant, the main street of Ménilmontant, with central Paris and the Centre Georges Pompidou in the distance.

Ménilmontant (French pronunciation: ​[menilmɔ̃tɑ̃]) is a neighbourhood of Paris, situated in the city's 20th arrondissement. It is affectionately known to locals as "Ménilmuche".

History[edit]

Originally a hamlet within the independent commune (municipality) of Belleville, Ménilmontant was, like other suburban communes surrounding the French capital, absorbed into the city of Paris in 1860. The name is said to derive from Mesnil Mautemps, meaning "bad weather house". By the 16th century mautemps had been corrupted into montant (meaning "climbing"), probably owing to its situation on a hill overlooking Paris.

The area also served as the location of a retreat, established by the Saint-Simonian theorist Enfantin and forty followers. Before its 1860 absorption into Paris, Ménilmontant lay beyond the capital's tax border (octroi), so that wine was cheaper there, leading to the development of numerous drinking establishments, known as guinguettes, in the 18th century. It has long been a predominantly working-class neighborhood, and in the early 1830s became notorious for the commune established there by the Saint-Simonians before being banned by the authorities.

Transport[edit]

Ménilmontant is served by the Ménilmontant station of the Métro.

In popular culture[edit]

Coordinates: 48°51′58″N 2°23′01″E / 48.8661°N 2.3837°E / 48.8661; 2.3837

  • The Ménilmontant neighbourhood is mentioned prominently in Henry Miller's 1956 novel Quiet Days in Clichy as well as in the 1969 film adaptation of that novel by Jens Jørgen Thorsen.
  • Film star and singer Maurice Chevalier was born in Ménilmontant.
  • Menilmontant is the scene of the first part of Russian-born Andrei Makine's novel,"La vie d'un homme inconnu."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Albert Schinz, "Acadamie Goncourt and its Laureate Leon Frapie" in The Bookman, Volume 21, page 290. Dodd, Mead and Co., 1905.