‘Every stone has its story in this wellspring of revolution,’ wrote the socialist Prosper-Olivier Lissagaray of this corner of the 12th arrondissement. You wouldn’t guess it today – the site of barricades in the French Revolution, and again during the short-lived Paris Commune, it’s now known for the lively market that sets up daily (except Monday) on the Rue and Place d’Aligre.
One of the oldest in Paris, the market survived the turbulent events of 1789 and 1871, and continues to ply its second-hand clothes, bric-a-brac and cheap food as if the city around it hadn’t changed one bit. Your experience of the market depends largely on where you go: the top of the street is where to head for seasonal fruit and veg (€1-3/kg), whereas a detour through the covered Beauveau market will take you through the pricier fishmongers’ and butchers’ stalls. Don’t miss the motley collection of books, African masks and other trinkets that line the artisanal stands in the main yard.