Moulin Rouge Windmill

By Swanzal Aurora

The name “Moulin Rouge” means “red windmill” in French, and the windmill will probably be the first thing that catches your eye when you visit The Moulin Rouge.

The Red Windmill on the Moulin Rouge is an iconic symbol of the famous cabaret and an essential piece of architecture.

It is more than just a decorative element; it is a beautiful work of art.

Moulin Rouge Windmill History

The iconic red windmill on top of the Moulin Rouge in Paris has a fascinating history. 

Joseph Oller built the windmill in 1889 to remember the old days when Montmartre was a small village with vineyards and windmills. 

The place near Montmartre was known as a red-light district, and the red windmill was a way of remembering and honoring that past. 

The color red was chosen for its association with love, passion, and eroticism. 

The windmill, painted entirely in red, became instantly recognizable and was captured in famous works by artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. 

The Moulin Rouge, with its rich history and association with the vibrant Belle Époque era, continues to symbolize glamour and decadence in the City of Light.

Interesting theory behind Moulin Rouge’s Windmill

A theory surrounding the windmill is related to the Debray brothers.

The Debray brothers, who were the owners of the Moulin de la Galette, were involved in a tragic event linked to the history of the Moulin Rouge. 

During a confrontation, three of the Debray brothers were killed while defending their family windmill. 

In revenge, the brother who survived took action against the Russian officer by shooting him, causing the officer to die.

To remember what happened, the mother put a small red windmill on her children’s grave. 

This is thought to be where the idea for the red windmill at the Moulin Rouge came from. 

So, the red windmill is a way to honor the Debray brothers and the sad event linked to their family windmill.

The windmill was originally incorporated into the design of the Moulin Rouge as a nod to the windmills that used to dot the hills of Montmartre, the neighborhood of the cabaret. 

However, it quickly became an integral part of the Moulin Rouge’s identity and helped to make the cabaret one of the most recognizable landmarks in Paris.

The tickets for The Moulin Rouge sell out quickly! Make sure you book your tickets in advance to avoid any last-minute disappointments.

Moulin Rouge Red Windmill Architecture & Style

In terms of architecture, the windmill is a prime example of the Art Nouveau style. 

This style, which emerged in the late 19th century, is characterized by its emphasis on organic forms and new materials and techniques. 

It is adorned with intricate patterns and shapes, and its bright red color adds to its striking visual impact.

What is the significance of the red windmill on The Moulin Rouge?

The Red Windmill of Moulin Rouge symbolizes the cabaret’s lively and vibrant atmosphere. 

Its bold and striking design reflects the cabaret’s reputation for extravagant shows and raunchy performances. 

It is a symbol of the Moulin Rouge’s spirit and the energy of the performances that take place within its walls.

In addition to its significance and architecture, the red windmill on the Moulin Rouge is also a beautiful and striking element of art. 

To sum up, the windmill’s intricate design makes it a striking and integral addition to the Parisian skyline.

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About the author

Swanzal Aurora is an avid traveler who seeks out thrills and lives a simple, peaceful life. Bright clear skies are her calling.

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