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Marché aux puces – flea market –  the concept is ancient and universal but the origin of the term is disputed. Who started the term Puces ?


We went to the biggest and probably most historical one in the North of Paris – 18th arrondissement – just outside the Porte de Clignancourt – Marché aux puces de Saint-Ouen. Find their web site here.


IT who comes to Paris regularly and knows this place was our guide. We got there by Metro – last stop on Ligne 4 (I think). It claims to be the 4th most visited tourist spot in France (?) with 5 million visitors per year.


At first, we thought it was just one market. But it turned out to be a whole area – a cluster of 15 markets located in warehouses, arcades and buildings, as well as pedestrianized streets.


There is something for every one … from seriously warm coats …

puces-8to wedding gowns …

puces-7to fun costumes for boys …


and girls …


We saw a couple of Mandarin-speaking men wandering the stalls with another French-speaking Chinese asking for oriental ceramic pieces and looking closely at them with a loup – obviously treasure-hunting for the auction houses and the nouveau riche back in China.

Furniture from every period and style imaginable …

puces-619th century …

puces-420th century …


and even religious art.


There were just too many shops and stalls to peruse. We have to come back and focus on things that really interest us, we might even buy something – otherwise it is just overwhelming.


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