Founded in 1889, the Moulin Rouge (Red Windmill) was the
greatest of the Paris music halls, and was frequented by
Toulouse Lautrec (whose absinthe spoon is on display at the
The windmill on the roof of the Moulin Rouge is a holdover from
the era of Louis XIV, where the Montmartre district of Paris was
home to as many as 30 windmills. The Moulin Rouge's windmill
was repaired & altered many times over its life.
One of the more peculiar features of the Moulin Rouge was a
large Stucco elephant, bought from the great exhibition
Universal Exhibition of 1889 (like the Eiffel Tower). Ascending
the spiral staircase in one of the beast's legs allowed a
gentleman to witness a belly dance, in the pachyderm's belly!
Of course this was at the height of absinthe's popularity in
Paris, and vast quantity's of the green fairy were consumed