The old village of Auteuil
Starting point: M° Mirabeau (16th district)
Leave the Métro through the rue Mirabeau exit. Turn right onto rue Antoine-Roucher to place d'Auteuil, which is dominated by the church of Notre-Dame-d'Auteuil, a 1880 Romanesque-Byzantine "pastiche".
Take at first rue Chardon-Lagache, then rue du Buis and finally, on the left, rue d'Auteuil. At no. 16 stands the hôtel (private residence) de Puscher. The hôtel de Verrières used to be at nos. 43-47. In the 18th century it belonged to the "demoiselles de Verrières", protégées of Marshal de Saxe. One of them would later become George Sand's grand-mother. Further down rue d'Auteuil, you will find place Jean-Lorrain, where an animated open-air market takes place every Wednesday and Saturday morning.
Take rue La Fontaine and then turn right on rue Bastien-Lepage. Do not hesitate to have a look at villa Michel-Ange on your right. You will notice the building at the far end, with its ceramic decorations and large windows, like those of artists' studios.
Follow rue Leconte-de-l'Isle on the right, then turn left onto rue des Perchamps, a narrow and winding street. At the intersection with rue La Fontaine, turn left onto rue George-Sand, then right onto avenue Mozart, until you get to M° Jasmin. Turn left onto rue de l'Yvette where, at no. 25, the Bouchard Museum can be found. Henri Bouchard (1875-1960) himself had this house built in 1924. A lovely little garden lies hidden behind a long wall. Auteuil used to have lots of gardens like this one.
At the end of rue de l'Yvette, turn right onto rue du Docteur-Blanche, until you reach rue Mallet-Stevens, on the right again. This street's buildings were designed by Mallet-Stevens, Le Corbusier's forerunner, between 1923 and 1939. Their style was inspired by Cubism and Art Déco. The building at 9, rue du Docteur-Blanche (1927) is also due to Mallet-Stevens.
Go back to rue du Docteur-Blanche and turn left. On your left you will find square du Docteur-Blanche, where Le Corbusier Foundation occupies "villa La Roche" (open Tuesday to Thursday 10-12.30 a.m./1.30-6 p.m.; Monday 1.30-6 p.m.; Friday 10-12.30 a.m./1.30-5 p.m.; closed on Sat. & Sun., in August, from Dec. 25th to Jan. 1st and on public holidays. Tel. 01 42 88 41 53). Villa La Roche and the one next to it were designed and built by the famous Swiss-French architect, Le Corbusier (real name: Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, 1887-1965) in 1923.
N.B. Another splendid work by Le Corbusier is the seat of the Swiss Foundation, part of the Cité Internationale Universitaire (international university campus), at 19-21, boulevard Jourdan, 14th district, RER Cité-Universitaire.
At the end of rue du Docteur-Blanche, turn left onto rue Raffet, rue de la Mission-Marchard and rue Bosio. Once on rue Poussin, turn right until you get to villa Montmorency (1857), a private street lined with large and luxurious mansions, many of them owned or rented by celebrities. It is closed to non-residents. You will only be able to catch a glimpse of a small pagoda emerging from the trees.
Turn left onto rue Girodet and go back to place Jean-Lorrain. Take rue Michel-Ange and then rue Molitor, on the left. Villa (private street) Boileau is at no. 18, with its brick and stone cottages, small gardens and ivy-covered gates.
Turn right onto rue Boileau where, at no. 34, a luxuriant wistaria has spread onto the walls of the nearby garage. Erected in 1891 by Guimard, the hôtel Roszé has retained its Art Nouveau looks. A few yards away, you will find hameau Boileau, created from 1838 to 1843. Some of its original houses remain, together with more recent neo-Gothic or neo-Classical "pastiches".
At 62, rue Boileau, the building of the Viet Nam Embassy recalls - quite appropriately - a pagoda. Its white tiles, however, do not look very exotic!
At the corner with rue de Musset, you will be surprised to see a sign indicating the "Laboratoires aéro-dynamiques Eiffel". Mr. Eiffel moved his machinery here, when it became too cumbersome at the tower that still bears his name.
Turn right onto boulevard Exelmans, cross it, take rue Michel-Ange on the left and finally turn onto rue Claude-Lorrain, the first street on the left. Past the Auteuil Cemetery and a row of salmon-pink working-class houses, you will get to avenue de la Frillière, on the right. What a pompous name for such a small street!
Turn left onto rue Parent-de-Rosan, where villa Mulhouse, with its 67 cottages, can be found. In spring, its gardens fill with roses and wistaria.
After the Russian Revolution of 1917, many Russian exiles settled around here. The Orthodox church of All-the-Saints-of-the-Russian-Land is on rue Claude-Lorrain. On the opposite side of the street stands the Polish church of Sainte-Geneviève.
Take rue Boileau on the left, then turn right onto rue Charles-Marie-Widor until you reach rue Chardon-Lagache. Turn left. The studio of the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux can still be found at 39, boulevard Exelmans. The building was modified by Hector Guimard in 1895.
Cross boulevard Exelmans and turn right onto rue de Musset. Turn left onto rue Jouvenet, that ends on rue Chardon-Lagache where, at no. 41, you will find villa de la Réunion (1856). The two buildings at its entrance are due to Hector Guimard. On the left, the hôtel Jassédé (1893) pre-announces the Art Nouveau. At no. 8, the hôtel Deron-Levent was designed by Guimard in 1908.
Go back to rue Chardon-Lagache, turn right onto rue Mirabeau and enter the Sainte-Périne Park, which was opened to the public in the 1970s.
Back on rue Mirabeau, turn right until you get to M° Mirabeau.
OTHER INTERESTING BUILDINGS IN AUTEUIL
By Hector Guimard: Castel Béranger (1894-98), 14, rue La Fontaine; nos. 17, 19 & 21, rue La Fontaine; nos. 8 & 10, rue Agar; no. 11, rue François-Millet (1909); hôtel Mezzara (1911), 60, rue François-Millet; no. 122, avenue Mozart (1912); no. 18, rue Henri-Heine (1926); a small prefabricated hôtel particulier (1922, an epoch-making innovation) at 3, rue Jasmin.
By Paul Abraham: a 1930 school (now closed), 15, rue Henri-Heine.
By Henri Sauvage: a 1928 studio building, 65, rue La Fontaine.
By Ernest Herscher: a 1905 building, 85, rue La Fontaine.