Passage de la Voûte is a narrow passage that is drawn off the Cours de Vincennes. Hop off the metro or tram at Porte de Vincennes and walk down the stairs to be faced by our tall, slim, bright red feline friend, who awaits with its back arched, and eyes slightly accusatory as you approach.
This cat is the creation of students at a local school who designed this guardian for the recently renovated street. They took their inspiration from Charles Trenet’s song ‘Le soleil et la lune’, where he sings of cats meowing on the Parisian rooftops in the night while he waits for his lover to return home.
The famous French singer-songwriter stayed at a hotel in this street in 1930, supposedly penning one of his well-known songs, ‘L’hôtel borgne’ during his stay.
I like the contrast of the traditional lampposts, cobbled streets and the modern sculpture that reminds me a little of the famous poster of the chat noir.
This can be quite a calm, residential area, but if you follow the passage round south towards Picpus, you can take a quirky little break at Chez Gudule or pop into Le Picotin for a traditional, French meal.