A lovely flânerie along a charming Parisian street
This little street carries one of the most romantic names of any street in Paris. Rue de la Lune in the second arrondissement runs from boulevard de Bonne-Nouvelle down to rue Poissonnière.
Records of its existence date back to 1648, and its name is probably down to a street sign on one of its shops. These insignia were seen around the city, serving to distinguish a commercial locale from the surrounding residences. These emblems could be a metal plate hanging from a pole, a plaster moulding or a painted image related to the line of business of the establishment within, such as a pair of scissors for a barber shop.
While we can’t really be sure, the half-moon, reminiscent of a croissant, could have been used to identify a baker. Moons were also used to signal the entrance to a cabaret, hence the expression ‘logés à l’enseigne de la lune’ (living under the sign of the moon).
Rue de la Lune used to house a former enclosure of Charles V, the convent of the Filles-Dieu, dating back to 1513 but destroyed for fear that Henri de Navarre’s troops would use the hill to set up cannons for the siege of Paris, and in 1918, during the First World War, one block was hit by a shell fired by the Grosse Bertha Howitzer cannon that terrorised Parisians.
From France Today magazine
Read other instalments in our “Read the Signs” series:
Read the Signs: Rue des Dames in Paris
Read the Signs: Rue Vaugirard in Paris
Read the Signs: Rue du Croissant in Paris
Read the Signs: Rue Cler
Read the Signs: Allée Sonia Rykiel in Paris
Read the Signs: Rue Crémieux in Paris
Read the Signs: Place de l’Europe- Simone Veil in Paris
Read the Signs: Boulevard Haussmann in Paris
Read the Signs: Rue du Chat qui Pêche in Paris
Read the Signs: Rue des Mauvais Garçons in Paris
Read the Signs: Avenue de Champagne
Read the Signs: Rue du Temple in Paris
Read the Signs: Rue Guy-Môquet in Paris
Read the Signs: Rue des Francs-Bourgeois in Paris
Read the Signs: Boulevard Diderot in Paris