Pigalle (French pronunciation: [pi.ɡal]) is an area in Paris around the Place Pigalle, on the border between the 9th and the 18th arrondissements. It is named after the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Pigalle (1714–1785).
Pigalle is famous for being a tourist district, with many sex shops, theaters and adult shows on Place Pigalle and the main boulevards. The neighborhood's raunchy reputation led to its World War II nickname of "Pig Alley" by Allied soldiers. The Divan du Monde and the Moulin Rouge, a world-famous cabaret, are both located in Pigalle.
The area to the south of Place Pigalle is devoted to the retail of musical instruments and equipment, especially for popular music. A section of the rue de Douai consists solely of stores selling guitars, drums, and musical accessories.
Henri Toulouse-Lautrec's studio was here. Artists such as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and Maurice Neumont also once lived here. The works of artist Salvador Dalí can be seen at the nearby Espace Dalí.
Pigalle is a well known spot for tourists who want to experience "Paris by night". It is home to some of Paris' most famous cabarets (Moulin Rouge, for instance, was immortalized by artist Toulouse-Lautrec as well as Hollywood), as well as topless and nude shows.
A film was made in 1994 entitled Pigalle. It was set in this district of Paris and starred Véra Briole and Francis Renauld. The police comedy My New Partner is also set in Pigalle. An album was made by Édith Piaf, entitled La Rue Pigalle. Maurice Chevalier wrote a song entitled Place Pigalle. The recent album by the American jazz singer, Madeleine Peyroux, entitled "Bare Bones" (2009), contains a track entitled "Our Lady of Pigalle". The American pop band Sparks mentioned the district in the lyrics to "Sextown U.S.A.". The Amsterdam-based modern gypsy jazz band Pigalle44 was named after this district.
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