Rungis Market over time

Rungis Market is deeply rooted in the history of Paris and the Paris region. Let’s take small trip back in time, from the origin of the Halles to today’s national wholesale market.


5th century

A Parisian market, the “Palu market” (or Palud), was set up on the Île de la Cité. The original market was transferred to the right bank of the Seine, on the place de Grève (the current location of the Hôtel de Ville).


Middle Ages


Louis VI ordered the market to be moved to the centre of Paris, at the place known as Les Champeaux (“Small Fields”), at the crossing of the three major traffic roads, the rue Saint-Denis, the rue Montmartre and the rue Saint-Honoré.


Philippe Auguste moved the “Saint Lazare” fair from the Northern neighbourhoods of the city to the Champeaux. Two initial wood buildings were erected to host commercial activities (particularly non-food related, at the time) and the covered market got the name “Les Halles”.

Sketch of Philippe Auguste and Louis Le Gros


Philippe Auguste had an enclosure constructed, making the market a part of the city.


Middle of the 13th century

Louis IX had three new buildings constructed, of which one was for the hawking of fish. Les Halles became the biggest market in the capital and played the role of wholesale food supplier for Paris.


The Market was open three times a week.


Modern era


François I had the existing buildings demolished and reconstructed again in accordance with a new ordered plan. The activity of the market became daily and several other markets opened up for breads, cheeses, eggs and butter.


To gain space, the plants market was moved to the quai de la Mégisserie; only the cut flowers market remained at the Marché des Halles. The “halle au blé” (wheat hall) was moved and constructed at its final location; it then went on to become a commodity exchange.


The Holy Innocents’ Cemetery was moved to the south of Paris, making space for the herbs and vegetables market (large vegetables, garlic, onions, bay laurels).


Contemporary era


After a fire, Napoleon I launched the project for a permanent Central Hall between the Marché des Innocents and the Halle aux blés, which was never completed.


A new “Halle à la viande” (Meat hall) was created, called the Marché des Prouvaires.

A black and white archive photo of the Marché des Prouvaires


The project for creating a large central Hall to serve the capital was restarted.

The project submitted by architects Victor Baltard and Félix Callet was chosen.
Sketch of Victor Baltard and the slaughterhouses of La Villette


Ten fully glazed halls decorated with cast iron columns and separated by an alley under a glass roof were built, each with its speciality (number 3 for meat, number 9 for fish, etc.).



17,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables passed through Les Halles.


678,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables were sold at Les Halles that year.



Since traffic and access difficulties were increasing, an interministerial committee decided to construct a network of national interest markets, aimed at improving the flow of the transactions and ensuring the transparency of commercial operations.



It was decided to move the Halles outside of Paris. At the end of the year, Rungis was chosen.


Libert Bou was appointed as the Commissioner of Development of the national interest market in the Paris region.


Creation of SEMMARIS, future developer and operator of the site.

Construction of the Rungis International Market


The Halles de Paris were relocated to the Rungis national interest market between 2 February and 2 March.

3 mars 1969

The Rungis Market opened its doors to buyers for the first time.


In the wake of the slaughterhouses at La Villette being abandoned, the meat activity, which had remained at the Halles, became part of the Rungis Market.