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Chapelle St Rita in the Heart of Seedy Pigalle

Next time you’re in Paris visiting Butte Montmartre and you’ve made a stop at boulevard de Clichy to snap a few photographs of the Moulin Rouge, turn around. Located directly behind the fabled cabaret, at number 65 next to a budget hotel, sex shops and in the vicinity of Musée de l’Erotisme is Chapelle Sainte Rita.

Chapelle Ste Rita, 65 boulevard de Clichy

Known as the patron saint of desperate causes, it is said that the Pigalle crowd of the oldest profession in the world has adopted St Rita as their own. The modern-looking chapel occupies the ground floor of a building where the legendary Toulouse-Lautrec was deemed to have lived at some point in time. Inaugurated in 1956 and renovated in 2007, the stained glass window of Sainte Rita’s figure peers from a dark wooden surround, seemingly oblivious to the passing crowds.

Chapelle Ste Rita altar

We paid a little visit inside. The modest chapel had bare walls and a small altar with pine chairs arranged in a semi-circular pattern. There was an elderly gentleman kneeling in prayer, a heavily pregnant African woman lighting a candle in front of the statue of St Rita, and a couple of older people who sat down for a quiet prayer. Not a tourist destination by any means and hardly the place to interrupt with the click of a camera.

For the devout, there is a shop inside the building beside the chapel selling religious souvenirs and vigil candles.

Chapelle Ste Rita from the outside Chapelle Ste Rita stained glass

Chapelle Sainte Rita
65, Boulevard de Clichy
Opposite le Moulin Rouge
Paris 18eme
Métro: Blanche


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.