Five fun facts about Rue Mouffetard, the best walk in Paris

So in case you missed it, this week’s walk show was down the incomparable Rue Mouffetard on the Left Bank of Paris.

Here’s the trailer to give you an idea of what happened.

The street is in the 5th arrondissement and starts at the Place de la Contrescarpe (pictured at the very top) – then it runs down to a set of markets at the bottom. You can get there from the Place Monge Metro station.

And it’s the absolute best street in the fifth, at least according to this ranking on The Earful Tower. Listen the podcast episode below where the best street in all 20 arrondissements is revealed.

Now, here are five fun facts about the wonderful Rue Mouffetard.

1. It’s one of the oldest streets in Paris. 

It’s been around since the Roman times and used to be the route that the Romans would take when heading back to Italy. Though today, you’re more likely to find tasty treats than roaming Romans.

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2. Hemingway wrote about it

Ernest Hemingway called the street “a wonderful narrow crowded market street” on the first page of his hit novel A Moveable Feast. Yes, as shown in the walk show, he lived just off the Place de la Contrescarpe at the top of the Rue Mouffetard and obviously spent a lot of time there. But don’t get too excited, Hemingway also penned it as a dirty, wet street full of drunkards. Times have changed, Hemingway!

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3. It’s been immortalized by a boy with wine bottles

The famed photo below, taken by French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, was taken on the street in 1954. If you’ve never heard of Cartier-Bresson, he was the guy who took street photography to the next level, and was a master of the candid photograph.

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4. You can still get water from the old fountain

There’s an ancient water well on the street’s intersection with Rue du Pot, and it has been there since 1624 — and it still provides delicious water (as evidenced in the videos!) Right behind the scooter, pictured below, you’ll find the fresh water running all summer. No idea why someone parked their scooter in front of a water well. Bad scooter etiquette. Won’t be any of that in the Honeymoon season of the Earful.

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5. It’s had a few name revamps

The locals call it La Mouffe as a term of endearment. And the road has had plenty of different names in the past, including: Montfétard, Maufetard, Mofetard, Moufetard, Mouflard, Moufetard, Moftard, Mostard.

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So why am I writing about Rue Mouffetard? Well this week I walked from one end to another with the talented tour guide April Pett. You can see the full video by becoming a Patreon subscriber to The Earful Tower. I do these every week.

And as a special treat this week, below is a longer segment from the walk on the new YouTube channel. Check it out and please subscribe for more.

If you want to support The Earful Tower, here’s what you get in return. And here’s how to get the guide book.

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