The Butte aux Cailles is an area of Paris very much off the tourist trail in the South east of the city, in the 13th arrondissement, just to the south west of the Place d’Italie. Although very much part of the metropolis these days, it was originally a village outside the walls of the city until it was absorbed in the late 1880’s, and today it still retains much of the character of a country village.
Although the name of the area translates as “Hill of the quails”, it was named after a former landowner named Caille rather than the small game bird.
There were three main reasons for wanting to visit the areas and have a wander round the small, interesting streets.First of all it was an area I’d never visited before during previous holidays in Paris. Secondly I’d heard that the area was noted for Street Art and I wanted to have a look.
Finally the Butte was an important location during the 1871 Paris Commune. The staunchly working-class district was one of the strongholds where the Communards of the Fédérés de la Butte-aux-Cailles, led by the Polish émigré Walery Wroblewski, resisted the Versaillais troops during the latter’s final assault on the rebel city during May of 1871. The events are commemorated by the Place de la Commune, in the centre of the district
The Butte is also home to L’Association des Amies et Amis de la Commune de Paris 1871
Their small shop sells a selection of books, posters and other items about the Commune