Formerly a Gallo-Roman village that led to Flanders, La Villette was turned into a commune during the French Revolution and, in 1860, reattached to Paris. La Villette is located in the 19th arrondissement (district), North-East of the capital. In its heart, the immense 'Bassin de la Villette' (the 'Villette Basin'), the biggest artificial lake in Paris, links the Ourcq and the Saint-Martin canals. North, the district borders with the Parc de la Villette. Also noteworthy is the fact that, at the intersection of the Villette Basin and the Ourcq canal, we find the last lift bridge in Paris (the Flanders' bridge, which began functioning in 1885 and is classified as a historic monument), that crosses the canal. The basin banks are notably vibrant thanks to old stores transformed into university halls of residence and into artists' workshops. On the dock, and surrounding the MK2 movie theater complex, many cafés and restaurants are the proper tranquil havens in which to discuss warmly late in the evening. South, the 'Place de la Bataille de Stalingrad' (the 'Stalingrad Battle Square'), closes the Villette Basin, with its fountains and terraces and a lock that makes a passage to the Saint-Martin canal possible. On the square, the 'Rotonde de la Villette' is a monument, used in the XVIIIth century to control the trade that entered Paris. It now hosts, apart from the rotunda itself, a fashionable restaurantunder its dome, and works as well as a cultural space, especially for musical events.
Discover the secrets of Montmartre with a guide: Place du Tertre with its painters, and the Sacré-Coeur Basilica. The outing ends with a guided tour of the Louvre Museum: the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, the Coronation of Napoleon I.