This area is not for everyone but for those that want to see it, read on.
This cabaret was founded in 1889 and quickly gained popularity for its popular French Can-Can. Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler, the owners of the building picked the name Moulin Rouge, meaning red mill. They also gave it the nickname “Le Premier Palais des Femmes” (The First Palace of Women) boasting that it would be the temple of music and dance.
The Moulin Rouge quickly gained a reputation for being an area where men could watch the scantly clad young girls of Paris dance. I can’t imagine that too many women were happy with this institution. As time went on, the clothes came off a bit more and the dances were more and more scandalous. It was not only the shocking dress and dance that had gained popularity but word had spread of the extravagant décor and the over-the-top costumes. Laden with feathers, sequins, and glitter, the dancers were also given extreme makeup and hair looks. Outraged by the vulgarity, the people of Paris revolted.
After some time, the Moulin Rouge cleaned up their women and their shows and the place was no longer considered a brothel. Instead, it became more of a fashionable music hall with cabaret shows that catered to high-profile clientele. Even such performers as Ella Fitzgerald, Liza Minelli, Elton John, and Frank Sinatra.
This area was immortalized in the artworks of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a French artist who was also a patron of the Moulin Rouge. He often brought friends with him such as Vincent van Gogh and Oscar Wilde.
The famous red windmill can be seen at the top of the hill overlooking the Pigalle district and is a big tourist attraction for those visiting Paris.
Should you decide to partake in a Moulin Rouge show, dress accordingly in formal attire. Children are not allowed. Tickets can be purchased here.
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