Rue du Chat-qui-Pêche – Paris, France - Atlas Obscura
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Paris, France

Rue du Chat-qui-Pêche

The narrowest street in Paris. 

At just under six feet (1.8 meters) wide and about 95 feet(29 meters) long, this medieval thoroughfare is reported to be the skinniest street in the city of Paris (so narrow you can almost touch both sides with outstretched arms). The name, Rue du Chat-qui-Pêche, translates in English to “Street of the Fishing Cat.” Supposedly, this curious name comes from a sign that once hung on the window of a fish tackle shop. But local lore tells another tale. 

The street is said to have been created sometime around 1540, and legend has it that during the 1600s, a man of the cloth named Dom Perlet, who tinkered with alchemy, lived here with an auspicious black cat. As the story goes, this frisky feline could easily swipe up fish with one paw from the nearby river Seine.

At one point, three schoolboys that saw the cat in action determined they were observing some form of black magic, and resolved to take matters into their own hands. They killed the poor puss and dumped its body in the nearby river. Coincidentally, the sorcerer is said to have disappeared at the same time. Eventually, the alchemist returned, saying he had been away on a trip. Not long after, the cat could also be spotted fishing along the river!

Know Before You Go

The street can be located along the Rive Gauche of the River Seine. It runs between Quai Saint-Michel and Rue de la Huchette, in the 5th arrondissement. It's within a quick walk from the Saint Michel Norte Dame Metro stop, accessible 24 hours a day. 

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