Rue Saint-Denis is one of the oldest streets in Paris. It stretches between Quai de la Megisserie on the Right Bank of Seine, in the 1st arrondissement, and the boulevard Saint-Denis. It’s filled with number of sex shops, but also contains some clothes shops, restaurants, the church of Saint-Leu-Saint-Gilles and the Chambre des notaires building.
Interesting places to visit:
At n° 60 (corner of rue de la Cossonnerie): Remains of the Cour Batave, a collection of buildings constructed for Dutch speculators by Jean-Nicolas Sobre and Célestin-Joseph Happe in 1790, one of Paris’s first examples of private housing development.
At n° 92: Église Saint-Leu-Saint-Gilles
At n° 142 (corner of rue Grénéta): House built in 1732 by Jacques-Richard Cochois for Claude Aubry. Attached to it is the ‘fontaine Greneta’, rebuilt at the same time as the house, but whose original dates back to at least 1502.
At the end of rue Saint-Denis, at the intersection of the Grands Boulevards, can be found the Porte Saint-Denis. Rue Saint-Denis is then extended from there out into what was medieval Paris’s suburb by the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis.
Its history dates back to the 1st century, when the Romans laid it out. In Middle Ages it was extended to the north and quickly became a notorious place of prostitution. The street’s name comes from the fact that it was the historic route to Saint-Denis abbey.