Very early on, the "Plaine Monceau", a large terrace overlooking Paris, and the area today known as Les Batignolles district, became a small hamlet nestled in a virtually deserted countryside, property of the "Dames de Montmartre".
Under the ancien régime, the area served as a royal hunting ground, home to numerous deer, stags and hares... Over the decades, two villages were created due to the expansion of farms and houses, which at first were merged with Clichy-la-Garenne. In 1827, the inhabitants of Les Batignolles and Monceau claimed their independence. Batignolles-Monceau was established in 1830.
The population expanded rapidly with modest pensioners, retired shopkeepers, civil servants and other Parisian bourgeois choosing to live in the fresh country air...
Secondary residences and small country houses with gardens were then built. The first town hall was built on 8 April 1830 in La Grande Rue in Les Batignolles. Towards 1860 Les Batignolles village was attached to the town of Paris.
In 1837 the Paris-St Germain railway line was opened. The firstpassenger train travelled between Paris (place de l'Europe) and Le Pecq. A tunnel was built under the Mount of Montmartre by the Rome tube station to link Saint-Lazare station and Les Batignolles, before being destroyed after an accident in 1921.
A few famous people...
The district boasted a very active cultural lifestyle in the second part of the 19th century. Verlaine went to secondary school in Les Batignolles. Mallarmé lived in Rue de Rome and Edouard Manet and his friends from the "groupe des Batignolles" including Zola were regular customers in the district's cafés.
Later on, the singer Barbara or Jacques Brel also lived in the area. André Breton, Blaise Cendrars, Paul Verlaine are buried at the cemetary in Les Batignolles.