We all know the Moulin Rouge. A tourist highlight, with a big commercial touch. But where does the Moulin Rouge come from? Or rather, where do the cabaret shows come from? I mean, the Moulin Rouge wasn’t the first windmill in Paris. No, there are two other windmills in Paris. And at one of them starts the history of the famous (dance) cabarets In Paris! The name of this windmill is ‘Moulin du Gallette’
In 1844, four men from the Miller-Debray family were involved in a fight with Cossack’s, who had occupied Montmartre. Three brothers were killed, but the oldest brother survived. But, because of his serious injuries, he wasn’t able to work anymore. So, he turned his windmill into a ballroom and served with the drinks a cookie, ‘une Galette’ The cookie was a huge success and that for him a reason to name the windmill…Moulin de la Galette! The cookie is still made! Moulin de Galette became a popular place for festivals, party’s theaters and more. Moulin Le Radet and Moulin de la Galette are the only two remaining windmills of thirty who first stood on the hill Butte-Montmartre!
The three brothers of the Miller-Debray family are buried at Cimetière du Calvaire (the smallest cemetery of Paris). And on their grave stands a red windmill (which isn’t so red anymore). The red color symbolizes the many blood during the fight. The famous cabaret, the Moulin Rouge owns his name to this little red windmill. Moulin du Galette is now privately owned and not open for visitors :( It’s also a bit hard to find/photograph because you have to look up!
And then, last but not least, the third windmill of Paris, Moulin le Radet. That’s the one you see on the picture. You can find this windmill in the same street, more or less hundred meter before Moulin du Galette. It’s a bit confusing because, in front of Moulin le Radet stands a Bistro named ”Moulin du Galette” (That’s in honor of Moulin du Galette) Of course a nice idea, but I think that 65% of the tourists gets confused and don’t know, which windmill is the right one. Fortunately, you read this post, and now you know exactly which ‘moulin’ is the right one!