Moulin Rouge

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Parisian nights

Published by Ethel Rudnitzki — 5 months ago

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn in just to love and be loved in return."

If this sentence looks familiar you probably already know what I'm talking about: the Moulin Rouge! 

For those who don't know, the Moulin Rouge is a very famous nightclub in Paris and also scenery for a great musical movie with the same name. 

It used to be a place where gentleman would go to watch dancers and stripper back in the beggining of the 20th century. It is known for its history and also for the facade, with an actual moulin rouge (french expression for a red mill) and sparkling lettering

Parisian nights

Nowadays it is a show house and a club, where theatre, dance and music spectacles take place. And it is also a very touristic spot for those who know the movie or not.


Moulin Rouge was built in 1889, in the edge of Belle Époque, a period in European history when the cities were growing and becoming more and more fancy. People in Europe, and mostly France, were happy and celebrating the end of the Franco-Prussian war - and didn't know yet that in 1914 another great war would start - the 1st world war.  

During that time, Paris had become a bourgeois city, where many artists, writers, poets, musicians, to sum up - all the elite would gather for parties and celebrating. The city was also going through a great urban reform, made by Haussmann, and several avenues were built, making it an even more fancy place. 

Parisian nights

Moulin Rouge became then a place for the bohemian artists to spend their nights. It was a very sucessful club for many years until the World Wars came.

The movie

Many artists from the 20th century dedicated part of their work to the Moulin Rouge, since some of them been there during their life. In 2001, though, the film director Baz Luhrmann made a movie that takes place there. 

The movie is about a young poet, called Christian (played by Ewan McGregor), who goes to Paris for starting his art carreer. He is from a rich family, but is not happy with the bourgeois life of his dad, so he goes to the big city. 

In Paris, he meets other artists and they decide to go to the Moulin Rouge to show their work to financers. Once there, Christian falls in love with the most famous dancer of the club: Satin, played by Nicole Kidmann. 

Their love story develops including all the drama of the beggining of the 20th century: sexism, elites, art and tuberculosis. Several musics are performed during the film, including an amazing version of "Like a Virgin", from Madonna, a cover of "Your Song" by Elton John, and a Mashup with other famous songs such as "Heroes" from David Bohie, "I love you" by Paul McCartney and much more. 

Moulin rouge, the movie, has a great soundtrack, a very entertaining plot and it is very beautiful when it comes to image. It has even won an Oscar for the costumes and art direction, being indicated to many other categories such as best movie, best actress, best sound and best photography. 

The movie makes the real Moulin Rouge an even more intresting and famous place. Many people visit there only because of the film. 


You can see the facade of the Moulin Rouge and enter the main hall while walking around MontMatre neighbourhood in Paris. To get in, though, you must buy tickets for the shows, which can be rather expensive (from 60 euros up, for regular shows). 

Parisian nights

If you're lucky, though, you can go to one of the parties that take place inside the club - they won't cost more than 20 euros. They don't happen very often, but it's worth the shot.

Going for a party or not, Moulin Rouge is a place to go to at night, when the facade is lighen up. I reccomend visiting the surroundigs in the end of the afternoon and enjoying the beggining of the night there. 


The Moulin Rouge is located in a very charmy, artistic and bohemian neighbourhood in Paris: Montmatre. It is the place where artists would gather in the Belle Époque because it was away from the center of the city, therefore the rent was cheap. 

Many nightclubs and bars opened there due to this concentration of young artists. Until nowadays you can find many pubs and parties there. A very cheerful place.

Parisian nights

Also, the region has other touristic attractions, such as the Basilica Sacre Coeur, the highest in Paris, and Café des Deux Moulins, scenery of another famous movie: Amélie. 

In order to go to the Moulin Rouge, you can get the subway or train in the center of Paris. The closest station for the destination is Blanche (line 2) but you can get down at Saint-Georges (line 12) or Gare du Nord (RER B, lines 4 and 9). 

Once in Paris, don't miss Montmatre and the Moulin Rouge - and if you have time, watch the movie before going there! 

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