Streets and Stories: Rue Gît-le-Cœur, the Tiny Street that Lured the Beats

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Streets and Stories: Rue Gît-le-Cœur, the Tiny Street that Lured the Beats
Just off the bustling rue Saint-André-des-Arts in the 6th arrondissement, the rue Gît-le-Cœur is a centuries-old street that runs just 112 meters in a straight line to the quai des Grands-Augustins and the Seine. From the beginning of the 13th century, the street was part of the stronghold of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. As with many ancient streets in Paris, its name has changed numerous times over the centuries, from rue Gui-le-Queue to rue Gui-le-Comte to Rue des Noyers and then Gilles-le-Queux. Gilles le Queux, was simply, Gilles the cook, so one imagines he was a pretty good chef to have had a street named after him!   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Paris (@parisalldays) on Apr 10, 2019 at 7:15am PDT The street was badly flooded in 1910 when the Seine rose more than eight meters after much heavier than normal rainfall. Bizarrely, it wasn’t the quais of the Seine breaking their banks that caused the damage within the city, but the sewers and drains designed by Haussmann, which– unable to cope with the deluge– overflowed and infiltrated the buildings and the streets surrounding the Seine. Houses were evacuated, residents moved around by boat, but workman managed to keep the the quais along the Seine in check with hastily built levees. At ten meters wide, the street still packs a lot of new and old establishments along its short length, and is a far cry from its rather shabby past of cheap hotels and run-down buildings.

Lead photo credit : Outside The Beat Hotel, Paris: Peter Golding, Madame Rachou (Proprietor) and Robin Page, Peter's busking partner. Photo: Mike Kay, Wikipedia

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After some dreary years in the Civil Service, Marilyn realized her dream of living in Paris. She arrived in Paris in December 1967 and left in July 1969. From there she lived in Mallorca, London, Oman, and Dubai, where she moved with her husband and young son and worked for Gulf News, Khaleej Times and freelanced for Emirates Woman magazine. During this time she was also a ground stewardess for Middle East Airlines. For the past 18 years they've lived on the Isle of Wight.


  • Marilyn Brouwer
    2020-10-08 07:57:23
    Marilyn Brouwer
    Michael! Thank you so much for writing. You must have such fantastic memories and how fabulous to have taken such an iconic photo. I am exceedingly jealous! Many thanks again.