The smallest street in Paris

Published by Tiana R. · Photos by Tiana R. · Published on 14 December 2021 at 15h12
Rumor has it that everything small is cute. And Paris’s smallest street is no exception since it is narrowly nestled between stores rues Beauregard and de Cléry, in the city center of the French capital city.

This is not (just) a staircase. With 14 stairs, the rue des Degrés in Paris 2nd arrondissement is the smallest and shortest street in the city. Here, do not expect to this the mailman: this uncommon street in Paris has no door or windows!

It is 18 feet long and 10 feet wide. In comparison, the longest street in Paris, rue de Vaugirard, crosses 3 arrondissement over 14,304 feet (or 4,360 meters). Now, you have all the info, you may wonder “why not walling up this very tiny street or replace it with a small building?”. Well, the rue des Degrés has many stories to tell…

Whether you are by rue de Cléry or Beauregard, you cannot escape it: the rue des Degrés is sloping. This elevation gain is far from being a miracle. The difference of elevation between the two streets founds its explanation in the fact Parisians are dirty.

Please, put your pitchforks away, not us, but Parisians from the Middle-Ages! For 5 centuries, they had the bad habits of throwing their waste in the streets, and especially along the Charles V wall (found below), around the current Place de la Bastille / Place de la République and Place du Carrousel. To the extend that a hill of waste is shaping up.

La plus petite rue de ParisLa plus petite rue de ParisLa plus petite rue de ParisLa plus petite rue de Paris

Called the Mont-Orgueil (Pride Mount) by the then Parisians, this smelly hill is regularly covered to limit the damage. And it is only in 1820, when the Church of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle is built rue de la Lune that the outdoor landfill site is uncovered. Workmen even extracted over 16 meters (52.49 feet) of waste!

Fortunately, all the dirt has grown old, and technologies have evolved. It has been evened to only give a few traces still visible of this hill of waste, including the famous rue des Degrés, the smallest street in Paris (in the event you switched off).

Practical information

Location

Rue des Degrés
75002 Paris 2

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