Rue de la Roquette

The Rue de la Roquette is a street in Paris, located in the 11th arrondissement. A street associated with the ancient suburbs in the eastern side of Paris, Rue de la Roquette is a long street, stretching over an area of over 1500m. Known for its vibrant night life, the street is rich in cafes, restaurant and pubs which are popular with the local Parisians, as well as the tourists who visit Paris for an extended stay. Because fashionable brands are associated with bigger, more famous streets, none of the luxury global chain stores are available on the street. There are however shops available for low-profile shopping. Rue de la Roquette is connected to Place de la Bastille, which is a much wider street with some notable attractions such as the Opera Bastille and the July Column.

It is not known with clarity the origin of the name of the street. Two different theories have been created. It could have been derived from the name rocket, referring to a small pale yellow plant from the genus eruca. Or it could have been derived from rock, the English word. Both explanations are plausible, but the true origin remains undetermined. In any case, in the earliest years there were no true settlements around the area, with swamps and marshes covering the greater landscape. However, under the rule of Henry II, the first stone/rock homes were built around the area, and settlement began with the proximity to the capital being highly appreciated.

Rue de la Roquette was a home to several prisons. Most notably in 1830, it had a juvenile prison. It was constructed on the northern side of the street. Only six years later, a second one was opened, where death sentences were carried out. A guillotine was put in place, and on it 69 people lost their lives. It was closed much later and torn down during the beginning of the 1900s. A women’s prison was also at one point built, but it met a similar fate when it was closed. Its remains still stand at what is now La Petite Roquette, at the Square de la Roquette.

One of the attractions in Rue de la Roquette is the fountains. One of them, the fountain of Roquette is enlisted as a monument and therefore under protection from the City of Paris. A modern church, built in a contemporary style is also found on the street. Notre dame d’Esperance or the Church of Our Lady of Hope was completed in 1997. It displays a loveable glass wall with engravings of selected quotations from the New Testament. A theatre, Theatre de la Bastille is also available. It’s a somewhat large establishment, dedicated to modern theater and contemporary dance.

Rue de la Roquette may not offer the most outstanding attractions in the whole of Paris, but it does have its riches. There are many accommodation options available on the street, and with its varied night life, a tourist staying for a couple of weeks would enjoy a stay on Rue de la Roquette.