TRAVEL / Paris by foot: A walker's guide: Auteuil

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The Independent Culture
Part of the fascination of the walk around this bastion of bourgeois life lies in the contrasting nature of the area's streets. The old village provincialism of Rue d'Auteuil, where the walk begins, leads to the luxurious modern architecture along Rue La Fontaine and Rue du Docteur Blanche. The walk ends at Jasmin metro station.

Rue d'Auteuil: The walk begins at Place d'Auteuil (1), a leafy square with a striking Guimard-designed metro station entrance, an 18th-century funerary obelisk and the 19th-century Neo-Romanesque Notre Dame d'Auteuil. Walk down Rue d'Auteuil, the main street of the old village, and take in the sense of a past provincial world. The Batifol brasserie (2) occupies the premises of the area's oldest tavern, favoured by Moliere and his actors in the 17th century. The house at Nos 45-47 (3) was the residence of American presidents John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams. Move on to the Place Jean Lorrain (4), site of the local market. Here there is a drinking fountain, donated by English millionaire Richard Wallace in the 19th century. On the right go down Rue Donizetti to the Villa Montmorency (5), an enclave of villas, built on the former country estate of the Comtesse de Boufflers.

Rue La Fontaine: Continue along Rue La Fontaine, renowned for its many Hector Guimard buildings. Henri Sauvage's ensemble of artists' studios at No 65 (6) is one of the most original Art Deco buildings in Paris. No 60 is a Guimard Art Nouveau house (7) with medieval turret and elegant cast-iron balconies. Further along there is a small Neo-Gothic chapel at No 40 (8) and Art Nouveau apartment buildings at Nos 19 and 21 (9). No 14 is Guimard's most spectacular building, the Castel Beranger (10), with a superb iron gate.

Rue de l'Assomption to Rue Mallet Stevens: At the corner of Rue de l'Assomption there is a view of the massive Maison de Radio-France (11), built in 1963 to house French radio and television. Turn left into Rue de l'Assomption and walk to the fine 1920s apartment building at No 18 (12). Turn left into Rue du General Dubail and follow the street to Place Rodin, where the sculptor's bronze nude The Age of Bronze (1877) (13) occupies the centre of the roundabout.

Take the Avenue Theodore Rousseau back to Rue de l'Assomption and turn left towards Avenue Mozart. Cut in the 1880s, this is the main artery of the 16th arrondissement. Cross the avenue and continue to the Avenue des Chalets, where there is a typical collection of weekend villas (14) recalling the quieter suburban Auteuil of the mid-19th century. Further along Rue de l'Assomption, Notre-Dame de l'Assomption (15) is a Neo-Renaissance 19th-century church. Turn left into Rue du Docteur Blanche. At No 9 and down the adjoining Rue Mallet Stevens (16) is a row of celebrated modern houses in the International Modern style by architect Mallet Stevens. The original proportions, however, were altered by the addition of three storeys in the 1960s.

Continue on Rue du Docteur Blanche until coming to Villa du Docteur Blanche on the left. At the end of this cul de sac is the most celebrated modern house in Auteuil, Le Corbusier's Villa Roche (17). With the adjoining Villa Jeanneret, it is now part of the Corbusier Foundation.

Rue du Docteur Blanche to Rue Jasmin: Walk back to Rue du Docteur Blanche and turn right into Rue Henri Heine. No 18 (18) is an elegant Neo-Classical 1920s apartment building offering a good contrast to one of Guimard's last creations from 1926 next door - an Art Nouveau facade tamer than that at Castel Beranger but still employing brick, and with projecting bay windows and a terraced roof. Turn left on Rue Jasmin. In the second cul de sac on the left there is another Guimard house at No 3 Square Jasmin (19). Towards the end of Rue Jasmin is the metro station.


Starting point: Place d'Auteuil.

Length: 3km (2 miles), lasting about 90 minutes.

Getting there: The nearest metro station to the starting point is Eglise d'Auteuil, and buses that take you there are Nos 22, 52 and 62.

Stopping-off points: Along Rue d'Auteuil is the inexpensive trendy brasserie Batifol, with 1930s decor. No 19 Rue La Fontaine is a tiny 1900 Art Nouveau cafe with old tiled floors and original zinc-covered bar. Place Jean Lorrain is a pleasantly shaded square, and on Rue La Fontaine there is a small park in front of the Neo-Gothic chapel at No 40. Further on at Place Rodin there is a pleasant public garden.

Text extracted and maps adapted from the 'Eyewitness Travel Guide: Paris', published by Dorling Kindersley on 9 September, price pounds 14.99. Available from all good bookshops, or to order by credit card (Visa, Access or American Express) telephone 0621 819600, 8.30am-5.00pm.

(Photograph and map omitted)