Montmartre & Sacré Coeur, Paris
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.
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...
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.
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.
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!
Favorite thing: The burst of colors that awaits one at Montmartre is delightful respite from the cold, passive glimpse of art at the Louvre. If you are an art afficianado, and had to choose between the Louvre and Montmartre, I would suggest the latter. being jostled by hordes of sightseers, the canvasses lining the corridors of the Louvre are not done justice to. Whatever there is to be seen at the Louvre can be much better seen in art books. go to Montmartre and see art being created, talented hands breathing life onto canvasses ...
The Montmarte area of Paris is legendary as the home of the artist and bohemian lifestyle. At the crest of a hill is the grandeur of Sacre Coeur Basilica in it's white moorish splendour and fabulous views over Paris. There is also Place du Tertres where the artists are all set up to sell their wares. Some will do chariacatures of you for a price. That's fun, and don't forget to bargain a price. It's a bit touristy but it's like a free art gallery, wandering the square and seeing all the artwork on display. Montmarte is full of narrow winding streets, cafes and shops and markets. It's definitely an interesting part of Paris to explore.
Fondest memory: Some of us got our portraits drawn. Mine came out ok but i didn't think it looked a lot like me at the time. the artist drew me without a smile, in a somewhat pensive expression. My mother said she thought it was what i would look like when i would be in my 30's... i was 18 at the time and you know... it does!
The Basilic seems to be white when it is lighted by night.
Really, it has a grey colour due to the pollution.
Fondest memory: When the war with Prussia stopped in 1870, the top of Montmartre Hill was a waste land on which the Garde nationale (Parisian Milice) had hidden its guns.
The 21th March 1871, the French government sent a general to pick them up. The milice resited and it was the beginning of the Commune (one of the numerous Parisian revolution).
The Commune was defeated 3 months later in a river of blood.
The basilic of Sacré Coeur was built from 1876 to 1919 to pay the penalty of the sins of the Commune. For this reason, it was erected at the place where the affaire began.
And it was white to have an image of purity (and also because the Paris limestone is white).
Go to Montmartre (Sacré Coeur, Place du Tertre, Square Willette, the Village and its narrow streets)
Métro : Abbesse, then the funicular to reach the Montmartre Hill.
Fondest memory: Rue des Saules, there is the Montmartre vineyard which is all it remains of the famous vine which covered the hill between the windmills during the 19° Century and before.
Walk in the narrow streets, sit on the banks, look at the shops, take a drink in a 'bistro' (when the Polish troups came to Paris in 1815, the soldiers asks for a 'bistro', such as a coffee shop. The word is remained).
The photo was taken in 1971. It is now a restaurant named the 'Maison Rose', rue de l'Abreuvoir. Have a look at the building and at the neighborhood, It worths to be seen.
Place du Tertre was the main place of the Village of Montmartre.
Now, it is a small square place occupied by the outside tables of the restaurants and bistrots and by the artists.
Each year, the bistrots and restaurants have more place and the artists lose a piece of field.
Fondest memory: The picture was shot in December which is not the high season.
Here you can choose the way to be trapped : buy a drink or a lunch (you will keep the ticket as souvenir), pay for your portrait (you can have the same in your country without the concern to bring it back ), chose a painting of Montmartre (your neighbor has the same), and do not forget the pickpockets (they like the crowd).
Sorry if you are deceived.
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.
Sacre-Caeur is the symbol of romantic Monmartre, where you can always find your own Ameli! If you... smell out the original one, please let me know, I'm in love with her!
This church is the second highest point of Paris, the bell at its tower is one of the heaviest in the world: 18,5 tones! I think that the oval cupola of it looks so nice...