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Narrowest Streets in Paris

 

sentier des Merisiers

 

Paris Narrowest Street

There are 6,100 roads in Paris. Many travelers flock to this iconic city to see the grand sweeping boulevards such as the Champs Elysées, Avenue Victor Hugo or Rue Rivoli.

But have you wondered about the narrowest streets in Paris?  We have and surprisingly, there are a few contenders vying for the honour.  

No doubt the narrowest passageway is Sentiers des Merisiers in the 12th arrondissement – but is it a street?  It certainly qualifies as the narrowest laneway at just 1m wide with some sections only a squeezy 87 cm across.  It was named after the wild cherry trees that originally grew by the Thiers wall when it was officially opened in 1857. 

For many years, the passageway was badly lit, but since the lighting was upgraded in the 1980’s, it is now a more pleasant way for residents of the half-timbered Norman style houses to access their gardens.

At a miniscule 80cm wide, another contender for the skinniest street in Paris was the Passage de la Duée in the 20th arrondissement.  But again, is it a passageway or a real street? It doesn’t matter now as restructuring works in the 2000’s profoundly changed the layout.  With a current width of a few metres, we can now cross it off the list.

To save us from this confusion, the street that officially takes the top spot for the narrowest, is Rue du Chat-qui-Pêche in the 5th arrondissement.  You’ll find it near the famous Shakespeare and Company bookshop and it now runs between Quai St-Michel and Rue de la Huchette.  Although, when it was built in 1540, it opened out directly onto the banks of the River Seine.

For all of it’s 29 metres, this quaint street is only 1.80m wide.  It takes it’s name from a picture on a shop sign - Street of the Fishing Cat. 

The original name was Rue des Étuves, and at various times it has also been known as Rue du Renard and Rue des Bouticles.

So next time you are in the city of light, why not explore the tiniest of streets as well as the grand boulevards on the postcards of Paris.