Montmartre & Sacré Coeur, Paris
As I said in my Montremartre tip, there is a different atmosphere in Montmartre. Some say it is more like a village than a suburban district. Certainly it has more quaint buildings and a different life-style thus making it less formal than downtown Paris. So, walking around, finding small details that catch the eye makes it a wonderful place to visit.
Fondest memory: It has a beauty and style of its own.
Anywhere in Montmartre you will see some of the local characters amongst the crowd of tourists. They know how to "work the tourist" but it works both ways as sometimes it leaves a great memory of your holiday and usually does not cost you many Euros.
My wife saw this quaint little Frenchman whilst we were sitting outside a cafe enjoying a coffee in Place du Tertre observing the activity in the square. A few minutes later he approached us using all his French charm and proposing that he write some poetry on this romantic occasion. Five minutes later after a recital in heavy French accent we were left a small piece of paper with handwriting we cannot read and a few Euros light. However, having now been home for several months I notice it has been filed in the photo album and the pleasant memory will always remain.
After visiting Sacre-Coeur we walked for a few minutes until we came to the famous Montmartre Square where artists have gathered for centuries. During the 20th century it was the home of many famous artists and poets who led Bohemian lifestyles.
The Place du Terte, the main square, is crowded with artists and tourists, many people being there to soak up the atmosphere, others there to have their portrait by an unknown artist, and the smarter ones come to have coffee at one of the cafes overlooking the square, and observe the goings on in comfort.
Ha! That was something...
This glass-covered funiculaire was something surprising and not expected to all.
I expected the metro rides, the plane ride. But this!
Well, we were visiting Montmartre area when I first (and only) used it. Even in Belgium, I'd never used any funiculaire.
Fondest memory: For that reason, "funiculaire" is tightly linked to Paris, for me... esp. the Montmartre area...
I was impressed by the ride "in the air".. just hanging in a box, thanks to some cables (or so I thought). As usual, my thoughts couldn't help it. I was imagining what if it got stuck in the air or if the cables got cut...
Yet, I was excited by those rides. But excitement was not that long, I just discovered I have vertigo problems... Instinctively, I avoided looking what was under my box... better fixing something far and seeing it approaching (or so it seems while "my" box was approaching the target). Brrrrr...
The view from here has to be the best over Paris. The one from the Eiffel Tower is gorgeous in all directions, but there is something magical about this one. I love this particular photo, catching the bird atop the typically Parisian light. The domes of important landmarks clearly visible in the distance.
All very atmospheric and surreal. Just lovely :)
We kept promise and we did it, it was full of emotions and feeling to sit inside the Sacre Coeur with you, to hear the words of your holy promise to me, to tell you mine.
Probably who will read this pages about us, will find hard to understand, but there is nothing to understand about a real love, there is only to smile and be happy..
Favorite thing: A place I'm never fed up of walking around, a view over Paris I dislike not to enjoy, an area I love to stroll about... Montmartre is and will ever be MY symbol of Paris... The famous french "bon vivre"...
Favorite thing: ... he sings -- a sundial on the side of a Montmartre house just down the hill from Sacre Coeur. Obviously a reference to a rooster's propensity for early morning crowing ... In any neighborhood in Paris looking at the details is important.
Montmartre and Sacre Coeur are very visible from many places in Paris. This picture was taken from the terrace at Musee d'Orsay in the 7th.
Another great spot is at the top of the escalators at Centre Pompideau in the Marais.
And you can see Sacre Coeur from the RER train coming in from Charles de Gaulle Airport. That's when I know I'm really in Paris!
Well I can't select ONE favorite thing -- but high on the list would be this view over Paris FROM the terrace in front of Sacre Coeur. Among the landmarks that are visible are Notre Dame on Ile de la Cite and the Pantheon in the Latin Quarter.
Fondest memory: Wandering around the backside of Montmartre -- getting away from the crowds and into the streets where people live.
Favorite thing: Glittering diva - Dalida (Yolanda Gigliotti) - has spent 25 years in the heart of Monmartre (11 bis Rue d'Orchampt ). As a tribute to her talent, Paris offered her a Square Dalida in the very heart of Montmartre. There Dalida stands enthroned in the middle of this place which inspires peace and serenity...
Snow-white, vast, just impressive
* One of France's most important Roman Catholic buildings was built as a result of a private religious vow made at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war.
* The ovoid dome is the second-highest point in Paris, after Eiffel Tower.
* The biggest bell in Paris (19 tons) is here.
This is a place I like, as many tourists would. :)
I didn't know at that time why but I know now.. because it was so picturesque. After days seeing the boulevards, Tour Eiffel, Arc de triomphe, how wouldn't you love this place ?
It's irresistible ! You can't escape it... Not only to "Sacré-Coeur" and the great view on Paris. That's classical.
Place du Tertre ... with the painters who would portray you in minutes... I discovered there too the "fusain technique"... Of course, my game was checking whether the painter was good or not.. checking whether the artwork resembled the model. I was a kid. Who wasn't ?
There are other things I like there.
Fondest memory: What I liked most were the fabrics shops in the area. I think it is Marché St-Pierre. There was an upslope street with haberdashers, fabric shops. I remembered I was once there with my Mum... We entered a café (in this little upslope street, I think) and had some good time eating crèpes (?).
Right now, writing to you, I would like to see this marché Saint-Pierre again... and riding funiculaire... oooh!
OK.. something to be done once in a while, not everyday. Like a pilgrimage, in fact... Same as for going to Brussels Grand-Place. One hour sitting there to admire the place in awe, looking at the beautiful buildings... Not to be done every day.
Favorite thing: Sacre Coeur overlooks the heart of Paris, and is a much better viewpoint than the over-rated Eiffel Tower (it overlooks the tower, in fact). It takes many steps to reach the church, but is well worth the effort, and is beautiful in and of itself as well as providing a gorgeous view of the city. Definitely more impressive than the over-rated Notre Dame, as well. Also, Versailles is well worth the day trip, though be sure to allow time for the grounds and the smaller buildings since they are just as enjoyable and aesthetically pleasing -- if not more so -- than the main building and its hall of mirrors.
Make your way to the Sacre Coeur, it is well worth the visit...
While you are there, climb to the top of the dome (about 290 steps) for a wonderful view of the city! The dome reaches a height of 83 metres.
It's open daily from 7 am to 11 pm and entry is free. The dome and crypt are open from 9 am to 7 pm.