Rue Mandar

Arrondissement 2

Number 1, 9

The bustling Café du Centre is on the site of the one hat Blanqui and Barbès used as their HQ during the May 1839 insurrection of the 500 members of the Société des Saisons.

On May 12 1839 the café at No 1 was used as Blanqui’s headquarters during the Insurrection against King Louis-Philippe staged by the Four Seasons secret society.

Today’s cafe uses a red star motif everywhere – even on the ceiling. None of the staff I spoke to knew why. But the food and wine were good.

It was one of the few streets that saw a barricade built on December 4 1851 in a weakly-supported attempt to stop Louis-Napoléon  Bonaparte’s coup d’État.

The street was opened in 1790 and named after its architect, Charles-François Mandar. Unlike many contemporary architects, he actually lived in the street he designed. Deliberately, in pursuit of egalitarian ideals, all his neighbours’ houses were built with identical facades.

Mandar (1757-1844) lived at No. 9. During the revolution he got several commissions as a result of his brother knowing Danton and Robespierre, and the rue Mandar was built as a speculative housing development.