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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 ?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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and girls …

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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 …

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and even religious art.

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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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