Le Moulin de la Galette is a restaurant located at the foot of the famous windmill by the same name. At the beginning of the 20th century, the place and its neighbourhood was popular among bohemian artists, who often depicted the windmill in their works. Today, the bistro offers traditional French dishes, but prices are quite high.
In the 19th century, Le Moulin de la Galette was popular among Parisians seeking entertainment, a glass of wine and bread made from flour ground by the windmill.
19th-century owners and millers, the Debray family, made a brand of brown bread, galette, which became popular, thus inspiring the name of the windmill and several businesses located there, which have included a famous guinguette and restaurant.
Artists such as Renoir, van Gogh and Pissarro have immortalised Le Moulin de la Galette; likely the most notable was Renoir’s festive painting, “Bal du moulin de la Galette”.
Over its history, the building has experienced a wide range of uses: it was an open-air café, music hall, television studios and restaurant. It is now a private property. The windmill Radet, however, marks the entrance to a bistro named Le Moulin de la Galette.
The windmill Moulin de la Galette, also known as Blute-fin, was built in 1622. In 1809, the Debray family acquired two mills for producing flour, the Blute-fin and the Radet, built in 1717.
At the end of the napoleonic empire in 1814, during the siege of Paris three Debray men lost their lives defending the windmill against Cossacks. Among them was the miller who was killed and hung on the wings of the windmill.
In 1830, the windmill became a cabaret. Parisians made their way to Montmartre to enjoy the pleasures of the countryside with a glass of wine, freshly baked bread and a terrace view of Paris and the Seine below. In 1833, one of the Debrays decided to open an area for dancing, dedicated to the Greek muse Terpsichore. His flair for dancing and enthusiasm attracted patrons to the dancing hall and it became a success.
During the Franco-Prussian War Montmartre was attacked by 20,000 Prussian soldiers. A mass grave for those killed during the siege was made just steps away from the Moulin de la Galette.
In the 1870s, Montmartre, attainable by a train ride or an hour-long walk, was still a village with orchards, shops and two remaining windmills. As the nearby fields were replaced with housing and factories, Nicholas Charles Debray sought commercial opportunities to remain a going concern. One of the windmills was turned into a viewing tower and a dance hall was opened adjacently.
The Friends of Old Montmartre association saved the windmill from destruction in 1915. In 1924, its owner moved the windmill to the corner of Girardon and Lepic streets. The windmill has been classified as a monument since 1939. It was restored about 40 years later, but is not running anymore.