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The Man Who Lives in the Wall

Published on June 16, 2015 by Ralph and Karen

"Le Passe-Muraille" bronze sculpture, Montmartre, ParisLe-Passe-Muraille

We encourage you to seek out this unique, integrated statue with a story to tell in Montmartre’s place Marcel-Ayme, just off of Rue Norvins, in the 18th arrondissement.

French actor Jean Marais constructed this statue – Le Passe-Muraille, or “The Passer Through Walls” – based on the otherworldly premise of a novel with the same name by French writer Marcel Ayme, a native of the neighborhood. That novel’s premise? The life and times of a man who can, of course, walk through walls.

Mostly, this special ability serves the novel’s protagonist, a man named Dutilleul, well. He uses it for workplace hijinks, burglaries and illicit affairs with married women. In the end, though, a cruel fate befalls Dutilleul: his special power picks a terrible moment to stop working, and he remains forever entombed in a stone Montmartre wall.

And now you can visit him, flaunting your ability to move freely in the world.

Meet The Author
Hello! We are Ralph and Karen, an Anglo-American couple who fell in love with Paris and France over 20 years ago. Work-related trips brought us here, but we kept coming back for holidays, then extended visits, and then… In 2005, we decided nothing was stopping us from buying a place of our own in Paris. Lots of research, learning, and many kilometers of sneaker-rubber later, we put our house in the United States on the market. It sold in 10 days, and we found our apartment in Montmartre two months later. After a massive, year-long renovation project and its many challenges, we hit our biggest bump yet. As it turned out, we had to stay based in the US after all. Our lovingly remodeled apartment in Paris became a place where we returned only for short visits. In 2008, we started renting to guests—travelers like we once were (we always preferred apartments over expensive, cramped hotels). And the rest, as they say, is history. Le Trésor de Montmartre has proved quite popular, to the extent that we have trouble finding a break in the booking calendar to stay there ourselves! In the midst of this, we found Nice. After several holidays in and around Nice, we thought, why not buy a pied-à-terre in the area? Despite the challenges involved in renovating from afar—which we knew very well at that point—we jumped in again in late 2010. After another renovation, another year, and hundreds more gray hairs between us, we added Le Trésor de Nice to our rental portfolio. A year so so later we picked up 3 other apartment to manage. We hope you find the properties inviting, and hope even more that you will come see them for yourselves! Please get in touch with questions, or to book your stay at one of our apartments. We’d be happy to share our insider knowledge of these places we love so much.
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