Paris 12th District
Paris 12th District is located on the Rive Droite and is commonly known as Quartier de Reuilly.
Quartier des Quinze-Vingts, Quartier de Picpus, Quartier de Bel-Air and Quartier de Bercy.
Paris 12th District is part of the Faubourg St-Antoine.
The original village developed around the influential and long gone Abbaye de St-Antoine-des-Champs.
King Louis XI passed a chart granting the abbey the right of justice on its land.
This prerogative allowed carpenters who settled near the abbey to live and work independently from their restrictive guilds and therefore create their own designs.
This freedoms are at the origin of a very creative phase in the history of furniture making.
As soon as the 17th century, cabinetmakers found inspiration from the royal workshops.
They therefore started to use precious wood and metal such as ebony, mahogany and bronze and produced unique pieces of marquetry.
Sadly this era of creativity died out at the French Revolution when the guilds were suppressed and the abbey demolished!
The lack of competition led to a loss of creativity.
This worsened with the industrial revolution of the mid 19th century and the production in series introduced with mechanization.
However, despite this decline, Paris 12th District has remained the first French producer of wooden furniture.
It’s held this ‘title’ for the last three centuries!
The district boasts the highest number of craftsmen rewarded with the Meilleur Ouvrier de France distinction.
Art tuition is also present with the prestigious Ecole Boulle.
The vibrant district today houses more than one thousand small factories and workshops specialized in wooden furniture and related crafts.
The Hopital des Quinze-Vingt was founded by Saint-Louis in order to accommodate 300 blind people.
It was transferred in the former barracks built by the architect de Cotte during the 18th century.
Rue Picpus replaces the lane running through the village of Picque-Pusse.
It lead to St-Denis Abbey in the north and St-Maur-des-Fossés Abbey in the east.
Bel-Air village was once the favourite area for the Parisians who wanted to escape Paris and were in search of fresh air!
The Quartier de Bercy developed by the fiscal wall and its toll gates and Paris official wine warehouses.
These former wine warehouses were converted in a large public garden in the 1970s.
The Parc de Bercy was landscaped in the 1970s on the site of warehouses.
It turns Paris 12th District into the greenest districts in Paris.
This district is today an active and pleasant area which has retained some of its charm.
The Faubourg St Antoine is still a maze of blind alleys, hidden courtyards and small streets.
Metro stations serving Paris 12th District
Line 1: Bastille, Gare de Lyon, Reuilly-Diderot, Nation, Porte de Vincennes
Line 5: Bastille, Arsenal, Quai de la Râpée
Line 6: Nation, Picpus, Bel Air, Daumesnil, Dugommier, Bercy
Line 8: Bastille, Ledru-Rollin, Faidherbe-Chaligny, Reuilly-Diderot, Montgallet, Daumesnil, Michel Bizot, Porte Dorée