Have you heard of the Villa Léandre? It’s a sublime dead-end street located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris and lined with cozy-looking houses with an Anglo-Norman look. The Villa Léandre is not only charming; it also has a rich history, abounds with secrets, and many artists have passed over its cobblestones. We want to take you on a little escapade in Montmartre to introduce you to this beloved Parisian street! Care to join us?
Let’s take a look back to the 19th century. At that time, the district of Montmartre was not as touristy and sought after as it is today. It was quite the contrary, in fact. It was an impoverished neighborhood with a slum-like appearance and more run-down shanties than liveable homes. Back then, the area was called the Maquis of Montmartre. Shortly before the First World War, the Maquis sold their houses to real-estate developers, who then transformed the neighborhood by building luxury villas. Avenue Junot first appeared in 1909, followed, a little later in 1926, by the Villa Léandre. Since then, this irresistibly charming alley has become increasingly famous for being adorned with attractive houses, some in the British style with brick houses, slate roofs, and small gardens. It is a natural haven of peace in the middle of Paris. Indeed, the Villa Léandre transports us immediately into a provincial and pastoral place, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. The best thing to do is to check it out for yourself by going for a stroll in the streets of Montmartre, thanks to our walk Montmartre, Secret Side.
You might wonder, who lives in the Villa Léandre? The impasse has hosted people from many backgrounds, with many artists among them. Actors like Jacques Jouanneau, Olivier Sitruk or Charles Berry. Juliette Gréco was gifted a house located in the impasse, a gift from Michel Piccoli, but it seems that she has never set foot there, preferring instead the equally chic neighborhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
As you can see, the Villa Léandre is an alleyway that transports its passers-by far from the Parisian whirlwind. A bubble of serenity, ideal for strolling with friends, family, solo, or as a duo, admiring the different residences, and taking tons of 100% Instagrammable photos. It is also an alleyway that regularly hosts film crews shooting TV series or movies. Thanks to an excellent guide who tells you all the details of this spot and its surroundings, you can be completely immersed in the Montmartre atmosphere when you try the walk Montmartre, Secret Side. We promise you’ll love it! Finally, if you feel a little peckish on the way, just click on “pause” and pop over to Chez Marcel to indulge in a delicious brunch. This gourmet pause can be selected directly as a part of your walk. Pretty cool, right?
Make way for fun facts! Ready for some little tidbits of information to pull out during your stroll? Here we go!
At number 15 lived the famous Dadaist poet Tristan Tzara whose house is really worth a look.
At the end of the 70 meters of the villa Léandre, a secret staircase is hidden, leading directly to rue Caulaincourt.
Built in 1926, the Villa Léandre was previously called the Villa Junot. In 1936, it was renamed in homage to Charles Léandre, the cartoonist and humorist famous for his caricatures published in Le Rire or Le Figaro.
Now, you know a wee bit about the villa Léandre, but to learn everything, go on our audio tour Montmartre, Secret Side, which will turn you into an expert on this intriguing alleyway. Not only that, but you’ll also become quite an authority on all the district’s secrets. It is well worth the detour! Have a lovely walk!
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