Rue Ranelagh

Arrondissement 16

Number 44, 71, 97

This very long street now linking the very wealthy Avenue du President-Kennedy with the Boulevard de Beauséjour was originally part of the Commune of Passy. Named after the nearby Ranelagh Garden it was opened when the lawyer for the estate agent who demolished the Boulainvilliers Château sold off the land in 1825. It was then successively extended between 1854 and 1877.

Building speculation was rife throughout 19th century Paris. The highest prices for land were reached as the Westward expansion of the city exploded in the 1820s. The Roëhn firm and its lawyer did very well.

From the age of two in 1844, Stéphane Mallarmé lived at No. 44 before being sent to a Christian boarding school between the ages of 10 and 13.

On May 22 1871 captured Communards were lined up against a wall in rue Ranelagh and summarily shot.

In the school year following the Popular Front election victory and strike wave of 1936, Simone de Beauvoir spent a year teaching at the Lycée Molière at No. 71.

The lycée Molière in the early 20th century. Designed by the architect Vaudremer and opened in 1888 it had taken two years to build. The Figaro and other right winters denounced the use of Molière’s name, arguing that he would only have wanted women to be taught morality and housekeeping.

This secondary school for 14-18 year-old was opened in 1888, the third for young women in Paris. its openinig followed the Camille Sée law, passed in 1880 and given the name of the Jewish deputy for Saint-Denis who succeeded Louis Blanc.

Based in the wealthy west of Paris, attending the Lycée Molière provided an education for many of the French female intellectual and political elite in the first half of the 20th century. It became a mixed school in 1973.

Under the Occupation in 1941, at her home in No. 97 Jean Madeline, working with the interpreter Robert Schilling, as part of the Guédon resistance group printed a newspaper there, Unter Uns, aiming to deliver counter propaganda to German soldiers.

The street still possesses an illustration of its earlier wealth, an elaborate mosaic street name and number.
The last section of the Petite Ceinture railway was finally closed in 1985, and the rails taken up in 1993. Since then it has become a 1.2 km green walk way.

At the very end of the street is a green space that was opened on the land that was once used by the Petite Ceinture railway line whose 32 kilometers used to circle Paris.

The road got its name from an 18th century Irish peer, Lord Ranelagh, who built a domed dance hall rotunda in his Chelsea garden in 1742 that was copied near the Château de la Muette in 1774 and then called ‘le petit Ranelagh’. The Jardin Ranelagh, was created on the lawn of the royal Château by Haussmann in 1860.