Montmartre & Sacré Coeur, Paris
While you are roaming the area of Montmartre, or coming down the hill from visiting the 'Sacre Coeur', then be sure to look for this special wall covered with
"I LOVE YOU" in languages from all over the world.
Is this not one of MILLES reasons why Paris is such a romantic city???
I THINK SO!!! :o)
xxx ooo xxx ooo xxx ooo xxx ooo xxx
Vigne du Clos Montmartre
Located on Montmartre at the corner of rue St-Vincent & rue des Saules, this is the most famous vineyard in Paris, one that produces 300 bottles (production 2002: 805 bottles) of wine feted by a wine festival every October. Unfortunately, this is closed to the public throughout the rest of the year. The vineyard opened in 1932.
Opposite is Au Lapin Agile and catty-corner to it is Cimetiere St-Vincent where the Montmartois artist, Maurice Utrillo is buried.
Here is more information about other vineyards in Paris.
Association loi 1901
Comite Officiel des Fetes et d'Action Sociale de Montmartre et du 18eme Arrondissement
(Mairie du XVIIIeme Arrondissement)
1, place Jules Joffrin - 75877 PARIS CEDEX 18
The website (in French) provides all the info for the next f?te including activities provided.
Photos: November 2007
The Moulin de la Galette (or Windmill of the Biscuit) is one of two windmills left in Montmartre. Back in the day they used to have outdoor dances such as that made famous by Renoir's "Bal du Moulin de la Galette" (or "Dancing at the Moulin de la Galette, Montmartre" per the Musée d'Orsay's English Visitor's Guide) and Van Gogh's Le Moulin de la Galette.
If you didn't know this windmill was here you'd probably miss it (hidden among the foliage) while trudging uphill on rue Lepic.
Directions: Corner of rue Lepic and rue Tholozé in Montmartre at #77, just up the hill on rue Lepic from where Vincent Van Gogh lived with his brother, Theo (54 r. Lepic).
Every day except Monday rue Lepic beomes a street market (a little slice of local Montmartois life) - best to come on the weekends.
Photos: April 2003
As I mentioned before, we didn't plan anything when we've visited Montmartre, that's why our pleasure to discover different places, monuments, historic buildings was bigger.
Wandering in Montmartre we found on a street Tristan Tzara's house made by the architect Adolf Loos.
A real nightmare going home everyday, isn't it?
They couldn't find another name more appropriate for this street than "Rue du Calvaire".
At least the locals don't need to go to gym anymore...
Just wandering in Montmartre was a real delight because we had the chance to discover funny / interesting places like this one.
I have a terrible need of - dare I say the word? -religion. Then I go out at night to paint the stars...
- Vincent van Gogh, Arles, 1888
Before Van Gogh moved to Arles to paint the stars he lived here at 54 rue Lepic in Montmartre with his beloved brother, Theo.
It is said that Vincent learned to incorporate bold color in his expressive paintings after his move to Paris. Certainly he moved from a more sombre tone in his works to one filled with color & vibrancy after he lived and worked in Montmartre among fellow artists (Gauguin was a great friend of his before they parted company). Could it have been, too, that he was just happy because he lived in Paris?? :)
Photos: April 2003
Chapelle du Martyre
Well, I HAD to see the spot where supposedly St. Denis was beheaded (martyred by the Romans). According to legend, he then picked up his head, stopped to wash it off at a fountain (Impasse Girardon off rue Girardon) & proceeded north walking about 4 miles before finally succumbing to death, exhaustion, or gravity. Where he fell down is the site of the modern-day Basilique St-Denis just outside of Paris proper.
Of course, if you mark his course on a map you'll notice he didn't exactly go in a straight line!
From Metro Abbesses, go east on rue des Abbesses. Rue Yvonne-le-Tac branches off from this street. Continue east 'til just past rue des Martyrs.
Photos: April 2003
This small museum is in a house that was home to Renoir when he did his famous 'Bal du Moulin de la Galette' painting. The house was also occupied at various times by Maurice Utrillo, his mother and other artists., but that is probably true of many places in Montmartre. The museum, while not overly impressive, is a very interesting collection of photos, paintings, posters and memorabilia relating to the history and heyday of Montmartre. There are some original works as well. All in all, it is well worth a visit. I am glad our friend Pam introduced us to it. (Note: in the photo my wife has a cast from Grindelwald, Switzerland but that is another story.) Entry is about 5 euro. Closed Mondays.
We like walking through streets as you can stop and linger at various spots which grab your attention. We saw this train going through the streets and thought what a good idea for those who do not have time to walk the streets or others no longer up to long walks.
For families with kids it is a great reward for being good. We did not take the ride but it was very populsr.
This is another 'landmark' from the film 'Amelie'. It is M Collignon's grocery store, where Amelie bought her fruit and veg from. The film renamed the building 'Maison Collignon, and this still remains above the shop.
The owner has now created his own website below, tracing the steps of Amelie's adventures
Address: 56 rue des Trois Freres, 75018 Paris
On the right one of the street mimes entrancing a young Parisian;)
On the left the sculpture commemorates the work by Marcel Aymé of a man who could pass through walls, until one day he got stuck. The title of the story is "Passe-Muraille", first published in 1943.
Although many (I included) would not consider Sacre Coeur as off the beaten path, there is one part of that many tend to over look. The dome of Sacre Coeur is open to the public for stunning views of Paris. This is the second highest vantage point in Paris; the Eiffel Tower is obviously the first.
To get to the dome entrance, you have to go to the left side of the building (when facing the main steps). There is a small directional sign pointing you in the direction. Once get on that side, go down the steps to what appears to be the sublevel. There is a small entrance way with an automatic ticket machine. For €5 (cash or French credit only), you are dispensed a ticket to insert in the automatic turnstile to gain access.
After entering, you begin to climb many steps, sometimes steep with a tight spiral. At a couple points, you have to walk a path across part of the roof. Once you reach the top (actually the base of the dome), you will have a 360° view of the city. On a clear day, the views are spectacular and breath-taking. There are several high-powered pay telescopes around the viewing deck. Although the deck space is a little narrow, there are stone benches. The view deck is rather grimy and littered with graffiti, but that should not detract from purpose: the views. I climbed the dome on my birthday and sat there gazing out at the city of Paris; what a way to spend a birthday!!
I would highly recommend taking the effort and cost to walk up to the top of the dome, especially since you will most likely already be planning to visit Sacre Coeur.
North of the Seine in the hills is the historical Montmarte District. As Vienna was a city where great classical musicians existed, and how San Francisco and New York were cities where great poets and writers congregated, Paris' Montmarte District is where many great painters and artists lived.
Toulouse-Latrec painted grotesque portraits of Harlots, Monet took peace in Montmarte's Pastoral scenes, Renoir, Picasso, Dali, Pisarro, Cezanne and van Gogh all lived about the streets of Montmarte.
Take the busy 2 (blue line) Metro to Blanche Station. As you walk out, you'll see the lighted windmill made famous by Moulin Rouge, a cabaret theatre.
Find Rue Lepic and walk up the hill. You will come across many great restaurants and shops. 15 Rue Lepic is the cafe where Amelie was filmed at. Keep walking up the long and windy hill and, eventually, you'll stumble into 54 Rue Lepic. Inscripted next to the street number is plaque which indicates that Vincent and his Brother Theo Van Gogh lived here. It is the entrance with the black door.
If you are a fan of the film 'Amelie' then a visit to Paris wouldn't be complete without a visit to the restaurant where Amelie used to work in Montmartre. Most of it has been preserved as to how it was in the film (the copper-topped bar, mustard coloured ceiling, 1950's style decor and neon lamps - so has the unisex toilet) however, the classic cigarette stand has been removed to make space for more tables. A gnome is even on the bar, similar to the one in the film! The cafe had a downbeat funkyness to it.
I took Robert Frost's suggestion to "take the road less travelled" literally when I decided to take every side street possible on the way to the Sacre Coeur. No funicular. No tourists en route. Should you choose to do the same, you'll be amazed when you find amazing boulangeries, patisseries, and cafes throughout what has come to be one of may favorite areas: Montmartre.
Don't be afraid of getting lost. If you keep walking uphill, you'll eventually find the basilica. If you get tired, who cares? It's reason enough to take a break for a cafe creme.