Immortalised in paint by the likes of Renoir and Van Gogh, the Moulin de la Galette has a storied history in Montmartre.
The moulin (windmill) was originally comprised of two mills: le Blute-fin and le Radet. Together the two mills were known as le Moulin du Palais, the first mention of which came in 1622. The mill was purchased by the Debray family in 1809 for the production of flour, however it soon became a new addition to the Montmartre nightlife.
In 1814, during the Franco-Prussian War, thousands of Russian soldiers attacked Montmartre. The Debray family decided to fight off the invaders, which resulted in the death of the father. Local legend says that the patriarch was then cut into pieces and nailed to the wings of the windmill. His son Nicholas Charles, also took a spear to the stomach but lived to change the mills fortunes.
Bal du moulin de la Galette
In 1834, Nicolas-Charles subsequently turned the location into a cabaret and outdoor dance hall. The Moulin de la Gallete as it became known (it only took the name officially in 1895) quickly became a hotspot for artists and writers. Sitaued at 3 Rue Girardon, at the corner of Rue Lepic, the Moulin soon became famous for its bal dance parties. One of these parties was depicted by Renoir in his painting the ‘Bal du moulin de la Galette’.
The moulin was an inspiration to many other noted artists of the time; Van Gogh, Picasso, Utrillo, Toulouse-Lautrec, Casas and van Dongen among others all painted the famous mill. As the belle époque died down, so did the Moulin, however, its windmill is the last remaining of the hundreds that were once a feature of the Montmartre countryside.
Although the windmill is perfectly functioning, today the mill sits on top of a namesake restaurant at 83 rue Lepic. The windmill is still visible from Lepic (especially in winter), the modern day Moulin de la Galette is now one of Montmartre’s most popular eateries.
Our guests can find the Moulin a mere 350 metres from our hostel. Book a bed or a room with us today and discover Montmartre from your doorstep!