10 Fascinating Facts About The Moulin Rouge

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10 Fascinating Facts About The Moulin Rouge

Step into the world of the legendary Moulin Rouge. 

This renowned cabaret in Paris has impressed audiences with its lavish shows and rich history since 1889. 

It has stood up to wars and social shifts and continues to be a symbol of Parisian elegance and entertainment. 

Join us as we explore the 10 fascinating facts about Moulin Rouge’s enchanting allure.

1.The Moulin Rouge’s name is possibly linked to a tragic event in Montmartre’s history

In the 1800s, there were a lot of windmills in Montmartre. 

These windmills might have inspired the people who started the Moulin Rouge. 

Another story says they were inspired by a small red windmill that was part of a sad incident. 

This incident took place in 1814 when Napoleon Bonaparte suffered defeat to the Russians.

Even though the Russians were attacking Paris, not everyone in Paris was giving up. 

The Debray brothers, who owned the Moulin de la Galette, were defending their land. 

Sadly, three of the brothers lost their lives. 

The one brother who survived got revenge by shooting a Russian officer. 

But then he was also killed, and his body was cut into pieces and nailed to the windmill.

In memory of this tragic event, their mother planted a small red windmill on their grave. 

You can still see this windmill today in Montmartre’s Cimetiere du Calvaire, one of Montmartre’s two cemeteries.

2. It was the first building in Paris to have electricity.

In the late 1800s, when electricity was a new wonder, the Moulin Rouge became the first building in Paris to use it. 

This innovation brought the windmill’s arms to life and illuminated the building with electric lightbulbs, adding to the venue’s atmosphere.

3. The Moulin Rouge offered more than just cabaret shows.

The Moulin Rouge was not only a cabaret but also one of Paris’s major entertainment complexes. 

In addition to the cabaret show and a huge dance floor, it featured a back garden where female guests could enjoy donkey rides, adding to the venue’s diverse offerings.

4. The back garden of the Moulin Rouge was once home to a large elephant.

One of the main attractions in the area was a huge plaster elephant located in the Moulin Rouge’s back garden. 

This elephant, as depicted in Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 movie on the Cabarate, housed a private club where visitors could view belly dance shows for 1 franc. 

It also served as an interior design element for the cabaret, although it was less glamorous than portrayed in the movie.

5. While the Moulin Rouge made the Cancan famous, the dance wasn’t invented there.

While the Moulin Rouge is frequently linked with popularizing the Cancan dance, it had roots in earlier forms, such as the Quadrille Naturaliste in the 1820s. 

It evolved over time and was adapted by Charles Morton into the “French Cancan” in the 1860s. 

Despite early criticism, the Cancan became a hit at the Moulin Rouge thanks to Charles Zidler’s efforts.

6. The Moulin Rouge’s Cancan performance is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

To celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2014, the Moulin Rouge dancers achieved a Guinness World Record by performing 29 consecutive kicks in 30 seconds, showcasing the continuing success of the Cancan and the cabaret itself.

7. The current building of the Moulin Rouge is not the original.

After a fire destroyed the original Moulin Rouge complex in 1915, it was rebuilt in 1921 in exactly the same way. 

However, the iconic elephant and much of the garden were removed by then. 

Today, visitors can experience some of the garden’s ambiance at Le Bar a Bulles, the cabaret’s hidden bar.

8. The Moulin Rouge has been featured in over a dozen movies and several music videos.

The Moulin Rouge has been featured in over a dozen movies, highlighting its cultural significance and lively atmosphere. 

Additionally, several music videos, including The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside,” have been filmed at the cabaret, adding to its place in modern society.

9. Many legendary artists have graced the stage of the Moulin Rouge.

Over the years, the Moulin Rouge stage has been graced by multiple famous artists, including Mistinguett, Josephine Baker, Frank Sinatra, Edith Piaf, Liza Minelli, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Elton John, and The Village People, highlighting its role as a hub for entertainment and talent.

10. The Moulin Rouge has hosted a number of Royal guests.

The cabaret has also hosted notable visitors, such as Queen Elizabeth II in 1981 and the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) in 1890, showing its longstanding status and place as a must-see attraction in Paris.

FAQs

What inspired the name “Moulin Rouge”?

The name “Moulin Rouge” may have been inspired by the many windmills (moulins in French) in Montmartre. 

Another story suggests it was linked to a specific red windmill connected to a tragic event during Napoleon Bonaparte’s rule in 1814.

Did Moulin Rouge invent the Cancan dance?

No, the Cancan dance had earlier forms, but it was Charles Morton who adapted and popularized it into the “French Cancan” in the 1860s.

What is the historical significance of Moulin Rouge in Paris?

Moulin Rouge has stood as a symbol of Parisian elegance and entertainment since 1889.

It has survived wars and social shifts to remain a cultural icon and a must-visit destination in Paris.

What is Moulin Rouge address?

Moulin Rouge, an iconic Parisian cabaret, is located at 82 Bd de Clichy, 75018 Paris, France

What happened to the original Moulin Rouge building?

The original Moulin Rouge building was destroyed by a fire in 1915. 

It was rebuilt in 1921 in exactly the same way, but the iconic elephant and much of the garden were removed by then.

Which famous performers have graced the Moulin Rouge stage?

Over the years, the Moulin Rouge stage has been graced by famous artists such as Mistinguett, Josephine Baker, Frank Sinatra, Edith Piaf, Liza Minelli, and Elton John.

What kind of entertainment was offered in the Moulin Rouge’s back garden?

In addition to donkey rides for female guests, the Moulin Rouge’s back garden featured a gigantic plaster elephant that housed a private club where visitors could view belly dance shows.

What can visitors experience at Le Bar a Bulles related to the Moulin Rouge’s reconstruction?

At Le Bar a Bulles, the cabaret’s hidden bar, guests can get a taste of the original garden’s atmosphere and experience something related to the original Moulin Rouge.

How to reach Moulin Rouge?

Moulin Rouge is easily accessible by various transport choices such as metro, bus, on foot, taxi, train, or car.

Has Moulin Rouge hosted any Royal guests?

Yes, Moulin Rouge has hosted notable visitors, including Queen Elizabeth II in 1981 and the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) in 1890.

Featured Image: Facebook.com/(Lemoulinrougeofficiel)

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