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Exploring little-known charming villages in the heart of Paris

Paris is renowned world over for its myriad attractions. But there are at least few attractions in the heart of the capital of France that largely remain unseen and unheard of. Get ready to discover the rustic village charm right in the heart of Paris. You will be mighty surprised and pleased to explore Mouzaïa and La Campagne à Paris – the two typical villages – which are rare oases offering blissful calm within the city limits.

The two villages – Mouzaïa and La Campagne à Paris – are situated in the 19th and 20th arrondissements, which are in outer Paris and are quite often overlooked. These villages are picturesque and accompanied with the typical rural charm. As you explore these two beautiful villages, it will seem as though they are coming straight out of the storybook. Many local Parisians still seem unmindful about their presence and so do millions of tourists visiting Paris every year. These villages started out as subdivisions for working class during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Over the years, they have become home to Paris’ bourgeois-bohemian, and continue to retain authentic countryside charm as ever portraying the other face of the bygone era of Paris.

Mouzaïa is situated on a gentle slope between the Square de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge and Buttes Chaumont park. Candy-colored maisonnettes can be seen lined on the cobblestones, narrow alleyways of this village. The masionnettes present a scenic look tumbling down the hill from the rue de Bellevue and stopping immediately beyond the rue Miguel Hidalgo. Some of the houses here are delightfully bohemian, while some of them are slightly ramshackle.  The red brick cottages numbering a few dozen were among the first houses to be constructed in 1889. Most of these houses are not higher than two storeys. This is the only place in Paris where two-storied houses are found. There are a total of 400 houses in Mouzaïa. It is rare to find such houses in Paris. When you explore Mouzaïa, you will discover that easy country village atmosphere pervades here. The fancy restaurants and snack chains that are usually found across Paris are typically absent in Mouzaïa. Here few low-key joints for eating and drinking can be found.

La Campagne à Paris is yet another countryside which is located within the boundaries of ancient Charonne village in Paris. Here yow will discover nearly 100 low-rise houses perched atop a small hill northwest of the Porte de Bagnolet. This entire area is termed “the countryside in Paris”. The millstone and brick cottages here are quite elegant and built in 1920s. Nearly all the cottages are identical. This peaceful area is in stark contrast to those found on the bustling streets below.

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