Cycling around can be a wonderful way to discover a city but I have always preferred walking. Rue des Thermopyles and its neighbourhood is just one of my car-free sanctuaries in Paris.
This passage takes its name from the Battle of Thermopylae, fought on a narrow stretch of land of the same name in the 5th century BC. The victor has claimed the name of rue Léonidas, a few blocks away.
A formerly private residential street, since 1959, the worn cobblestones have been welcoming the public to a stretch of low terraced houses, each with their own character, shaped by the colourful doors and window shutters and a myriad of climbing plants clambering up the walls and tightroping across the electric wires. Depending on the time of year, there are beautiful roses and passionflowers in bloom, but for me, the cascading wisteria in the late spring is the most striking in this setting.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Don’t you feel like you could be in the countryside?
The beauty of this area is not just skin deep; there is a strong community spirit here, which is manifested by its annual street parties, film screenings, occasional pop-up bar and a shared garden for the residents. Keep on walking to the end of the street and across to Cité Bauer to admire an ornate, painted gate to a private residence with a wired heart-shaped peephole.
Rue des Thermopyles | Art & culture, Relaxing
Rue des thermopyles
24 hours daily