Read the Signs: Rue Cler in Paris

Read the Signs: Rue Cler in Paris

An epicurean street and a soldier’s demise

This bustling street in the swish Gros-Caillou neighbourhood of the 7th arrondissement is one of the best foodie streets in Paris. Celebrated American cook and author Julia Child was a regular. She would come here to pick up her ingredients – and flirt with her favourite butcher. “Every woman must kiss her butcher,” she quipped.

Much has changed since Julia’s post-war Paris, but rue Cler has maintained its gourmet credentials. Yet while much is known about the purveyors of delicious goods here, not so much is known about the man it is named after.

Jean Joseph Gustave Cler enjoyed a distinguished career in the French army, reaching the rank of General. He met a soldier’s death in 1859 at the Battle of Magenta, during Napoleon III’s second Italian campaign. Leading a bayonet charge ahead of his soldiers, he was struck by a fatal blow. He was 45. In 1864, the Parisian street was dedicated to him and, in 1865, a statue was erected in his native town of Salins-les-Bains.

Incidentally, it is said that during the Second World War the Salins-les-Bains monument was hidden by Resistance fighters in a rubbish dump because the Germans intended to melt it down for armaments. It was restored to its rightful place in November 1944, using an American Army crane.

From France Today magazine

Read other installments in our “Read the Signs” series:
Read the Signs: Allée Sonia Rykiel in Paris
Read the Signs: Rue Crémieux in Paris
Read the Signs: Place de l’Europe- Simone Veil in Paris

Read the Signs: Boulevard Haussmann in Paris
Read the Signs: Rue du Chat qui Pêche in Paris
Read the Signs: Rue des Mauvais Garçons in Paris
Read the Signs: Avenue de Champagne
Read the Signs: Rue du Temple in Paris
Read the Signs: Rue Guy-Môquet in Paris
Read the Signs: Rue des Francs-Bourgeois in Paris
Read the Signs: Boulevard Diderot in Paris

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Sylvia Edwards Davis is a writer and correspondent based in France with a focus on business and culture. A member of the France Media editorial team, Sylvia scans the cultural landscape to bring you the most relevant highlights on current events, art exhibitions, museums and festivals.

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  • Judith B. Dunn
    2019-07-31 19:15:23
    Judith B. Dunn
    We lived just around the corner on rue Marechal Harispe! Every Saturday we would go shopping on rue Cler and buy all kinds of great things for our dinners to come! We used to buy Pate de foes gras in the shape of an egg! We would by a whole salmon and the poisonerie (sp?) would skin it for me... I could freeze one half and have the other for dinner. The colors, and delicious items for sale were heaven to your soul !