The Moulin Rouge is the world famous cabaret venue which opened in 1889. This was the time known as the Belle Epoque - France was not at war for a change, a century was coming to an end, creativity was blooming, and people were filled with the joys of life. What better time to launch a dance-hall of beautiful showgirls? The fact that Toulouse-Lautrec was obsessed with drawing them didn't hurt either.
Opened by Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler, who were confident their place would outshine everywhere else, the Moulin Rouge had a huge dance floor, mirrors everywhere, and an atmosphere of total euphoria. Here aristocrats came to mingle with the riffraff and women of easy virtue. There were even donkeys for the ladies with an adventurous spirit. Today there are no donkeys, but the euphoria continues. Oller and Zidler were right.