The New Athens

Come and explore this unknown neighborhood of Paris, hidden between the Opera and Montmartre.
From famous 19th century artists’ mansions to small museums dedicated to romantic or symbolic painters, follow the path of vibrant artists such as Chopin or Delacroix. Discover hidden alleys, artists hideouts and amazing stories linked to this little known district.

Two  intiliate and beautiful Museums on option: the painter Gustave Moreau‘s house-atelier and the musée de la vie romantique (Romantic life Museum)



The New Athens

Practical informations

  • Location : Trinité (line 12)
  • Duration : 2h30
  • Walking tour
  • Private group tour at any date (270€/group) + Museum tickets on top
  • Small group (up to 8 people) 50-80€ pp + Museum tickets on top
  • Option: Museum Gustave Moreau or Museum of romantic life

“True romanticism in Paris”, a paradise for artists and writers in this newly built district in the 1820’s and 30’s, named the new Athens for this reason.
This tour aims at showing to understand and appreciate the social changes that intervened in this area with a stroll through streets lined with mansions and buildings bearing undeniable architectural charm typical of the Greco-Roman influence.
This haven of peace at the time was sought by famous actors and especially actresses working in the theatres of the Grands Boulevards nearby. The houses they asked to build had to symbolize both wealth and success over competitors, but also the romantic feeling fueled by the antic style architecture.

Writers flocked also in the new neighborhood. In a hidden mansion, Victor Hugo sheltered his love affair with his mistress. Alexandre Dumas, Maupassant or Flaubert had their habits there, especially in the countless ‘houses of charm’ where simple prostitutes, or upscale courtesans could be accessed on demand.
The most famous one, the marquise de la Païva, lived in a somptuous mansion still visible on the charming St Gorges square, where many other interesting houses were built nearby.

One of the most famous couple living in this neighborhood was the writer Georges Sand and Polish born composer Chopin. Their flats are to be seen at the back of an alley full of charm, where other artists also lived, and whose atmosphere still bears the nostalgia of this romantic time in the 19th century.

Many painters elected this district as their home. Most notably, Delacroix, Géricault and Gustave Moreau, whose amazing house and workshop has been turned into a museum. We’ll end the tour in another beautiful place, ancient home of painter Ary Sheffer, which now houses the Romantic life museum. Paintings, sculptures, photos and many other artefacts and furniture witness the charm and emotion of this period. The beautiful garden is a real heaven for peace and a perfect place to rest after the walk!

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