Musée Edith Piaf

Unusual Paris Museums and Galleries

Everyone has heard Edith Piaf’s songs like "La Vie en Rose" and "Non, je ne regrette rien," and many know something of her chequered career. Well, Belleville is the neighbourhood where she grew up. The daughter of an acrobat, her real name was Edith Giovanna Gassion, and she only acquired the name "Piaf" ("little sparrow" – her 1.47m size was in inverse proportion to her voice) later.

Edith Piaf recordThis is a private museum in a Belleville apartment belonging to Bernard Marchois, the author of two Piaf biographies, and is basically a shrine to Piaf’s memory. He knew her from 1958 to her death in 1963. Be warned, it’s up four flights of stairs and there’s no lift! Phone ahead to get the security code you need to get in the front door.

In two rooms you can find memorabilia of the diminutive singer with the giant voice from gold and platinum records to dresses, photos, even a life-sized teddy bear! See her china collection, some of her private letters, maps and lots of photos tracing her life story, furniture from her apartment, her famous little black dress, books, cds, vinyls and of course, music playing in the background.

Here’s an article by Deborah Shaw describing a visit

In addition to being friends with Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland, Piaf is credited with helping the careers of French singers Charles Aznavour and Yves Montand.

Piaf links:

  • Edith Piaf:
    A pretty definitive tribute site with detailed bio, a music library, a bookstore, poster gallery, a film library, links and a shop.
  • Edith Piaf’s Paris:
    A funky site with good bio and interesting photos

Edith Piaf's graveYou can find Edith Piaf’s grave at the Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise which is nearby. She has a very modest grave site, but many thousands lined the street for her funeral.

Edith PiafMusée Edith Piaf

5, rue Crespin du Gast , 75011 Paris
Tel/Fax: 01 43 55 52 72

Metro: Ménilmontant
Bus: 96
Open: by appointment: 1-6 p.m. Closed: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, bank holidays.
Entry: Free, but please leave donation on your way out

Next page : Musée des Egouts de Paris (Sewer Museum)

Please share your thoughts on this by posting a comment below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *