Monday, October 12, 2009

Marché aux Puce St. Ouen - Paris

The marchés aux puces, or flea markets, of Paris are legendary. In fact, the name itself originated at the biggest and most famous, St.-Ouen, just outside the city’s ring road at Porte de Clignancourt, where back in the 1880s an “unknown bargain hunter” looked down from nearby fortifications, observed junk dealers selling scrap metal, rags and old furniture, and exclaimed, “My word, but it’s a market of fleas!”

The same vendors have occupied some of the market stalls for decades, even generations. The scale and scope of the entire Marche aux Puce is initially overwhelming, but actually quite manageable in one to two days. The great variety of items and styles, from all periods and countries as well as its unique atmosphere, put this spot at the forefront of the world's antiques markets. More than 2000 traders set up throughout the fifteen markets and in the many surrounding alleyways. The Marché aux Puces is not only very popular with the people accustomed to going there, but also with those who love to take a walk with a difference.

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