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We had expected a great panorama on Paris from the stairs of the Sacré Coeur and we were disapointed.
What we first saw in the distance were the buildings of the "banlieue" suburbs of the south of Paris. Here and there we would distinguish a monument shrouded in the historical centre. My photo speaks up for herself I may think.
Furthermore the trees did limit the view to the west so that to see the Tour Eiffel we had to leave the parvis. I presume that for a really good view one has to climb to the dome of the basilica. A touristic success with 10 million visitors.
Actually visiting the Musée d'Orsay we had from the terrace at level 5 a good view on the Sacré Coeur and the Butte Montmartre while the reverse viewing Paris from the Sacré Coeur had been a deception!
"La Complainte de la Butte."
The stairs leading to the Place du Tertre made me remember the lovely song " La Complainte de la Butte" (the lament of the hill Butte Montmartre) written by Jean Renoir, music by Georges Van Parys, and voice of Cora Vaucaire.
This song was part of the film "French Cancan" from Jean Renoir in 1955.
The fifties and sixties were great vintages for the chanson française.
Coming down of the Butte Montmartre I remembered some verses of this song:
La lune trop blême
Pose un diadème
Sur tes cheveux roux
La lune trop rousse
De gloire éclabousse
Ton jupon plein d'trous
The moon too pale
Poses a diadem
On your red hair
The moon too red
Splashes of glory
Your petticoat full of holes
Les escaliers de la butte sont durs aux miséreux
Les ailes des moulins protègent les amoureux
The stairs of the mound are hard to needy
The wings of the mills protect lovers
Best interpretation is the original by Cora Vaucaire. (on youtube: cora vaucaire "la complainte de la butte").
She also sings in a wonderful way the other so nostalgic French song "Trois petites notes de musique".
- Arts and Culture
Tertre in Winter
I wasn't expecting the Tertre that I saw in winter. The esplanades, usually full of life with artists all around, were closed, and the few resistant painters were sheltered inside the restaurants.
The sad emptiness was justified by the weather, but it was a shock the contrast with my expectations.
No, Tertre is in summer, in winter it is just another square!
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Place du Tertre.
My first visit to this place was in the early 1960s and I liked it.
This new visit was disapointing and will probably be my last visit to what became the most touristy place of Paris.
The terraces of the restaurants have invaded in a few decennia the place du Tertre what was not the case on my first visit. The price of 6€ for a cappuccino is probably not far from the price at Palaces Georges V or Crillon in the centre.
I think that what tourists like here is the striking contrast between the village look of the Butte Montmartre and the very architecturally (Haussmann) organized spaces of the centre.
Presently this "aspect villageois" is amplified by the sightseeing and commercial function of the Place du Tertre. A positive point is the fact that the houses are maintained in a good state what is not the case in ordinary French villages.
Sacre Coeur- My favourite place in Paris
My favourite place in Paris....... it may not be the most beautiful or the most romantic or even the most peaceful. But to me... I could sit at the top all day.
Yes you will get harrassed by Gypsies trying to scam money out of you with what ever the scam de jour is or the 'artists' who want to draw you then charge you 40 euros for the privledge but I still love it.
Cafe latte in hand, and ipod turned up I could sit there all day and just take in the breathtaking views of what I think is the most beautiful city fullstop!!!
The singer and actress Dalida (Yolanda Gigliotti) lived in Montmartre for the last twenty-five years of her life. Ten years after her death a little square at the corner of rue Girardon and rue Abreuvoir was named Place Dalida, and a life-size bronze bust of her was set up. The bust was made by the sculptor Aslan (Alain Aslan, born 1930), who also made a statue of Dalida for her grave in Montmartre cemetery.
Dalida publically supported François Mitterrand during the French presidential election campaign in 1981. Inevitably there were rumors (probably true) that Dalida and Mitterrand were having an affair during the two years prior to his election.
In my first photo -- with VT members in the rain including Maaike (VonDutch) on the right -- you can see that Dalida’s breasts on the bust are a much lighter color than the rest of her. This is because touching her breasts is supposed to bring good luck and/or fertility, just like touching the breasts of the statue of Juliet beneath her (fake) balcony at her (perhaps real) house not far from Romeo’s house in Verona.
Second photo: Plaque on the statue: “Yolanda Gigliotti called Dalida, singer, actress, 1933-1987.”
Third photo: Sign at Place Dalida.
Fourth photo: Dalida’s house in Montmartre. François Mitterrand supposedly came here to visit quite often in the evenings from 1979 until he was elected president in 1981.
Fifth photo: Plaque on the wall by her house: “DALIDA lived in this house from 1962 to 1987. Her friends in Montmartre will not forget her.”
Next review from September 2011: The man who could walk through walls
Shops near Amélie’s café on Rue Lepic
I took the first three photos from the same spot, on the corner in front of the Café des 2 Moulins on Rue Lepic.
All of these shops were open on Sunday morning, and there was lots of coming and going, with people from the neighborhood buying their baguettes and groceries for the day.
I’m not quite sure if the bakery is called Saint Preux or Saint Dreux – perhaps some local person can tell me?
Saint-Preux was a character in the novel Julie ou la Nouvelle Héloïse by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, published in 1761. For more on this novel, which was the absolutely best-selling novel of the entire 18th century, please see my tip/review on the Rousseau Museum and Garden in Montmorency.
There is also a French composer (born around 1950) who goes by the pseudonym of Saint-Preux. But there is also a French photographer, film-maker and author called Anne Saint Dreux, so both names definitely exist.
Update: Thanks to Paul (pfsmalo) for confirming that the bakery is called Saint Preux with a P. He looked it up in the yellow pages for me.
Second photo: The fruit and vegetable shop (greengrocer’s, I suppose the British would call it) across the street (opposite, to you) from Amélie’s café
Third photo: A cheese shop (under the scaffold), a honey shop and a butcher’s shop on Rue Lepic.
Fourth photo: Me with my Vélib' bike in front of these same shops. Thanks to Sonja (yumyum) for the photo.
Next review from September 2011: Walking in Montmartre
Montmartre Place du Tertre
Montmartre retired after 1860 (redesign of Paris) painters, poets and artists. In the same period was also considered a Montmartre district of Paris
Those artists are now still and their central place is the Place du Tertre, a stone's throw from the Sacré Coeur
You see them at work on this square with the ability to quickly to sign.Place du Tertre is the former village square of Montmartre, the old council house from 1790 still stands. A portrait of yourself for a few euro these artist they can draw within a few minute
Is located on top of the Montmartre hill, is one of the most visited churches in Paris. There are two ways of going up hill, with cable or the stairs, (we choose the staircase)... once you are on the top, you have the beautiful view of the city it can be very crowded up here
As Montmarte is quite a hilly area of Paris, a cable car (Funiculaire de Montmarte) is available to take you from the base of the church grounds to the entrance of the basilica. The cable car fee is included in regular Paris Metro tickets and passes
Montmarte, famous sites.
Montmartre is very famous by Moulin Rouge. Here you can visit :
- Moulin Rouge : this is the old bar which is very famous for Franch Cancan.
- la Basilique de Sacre-coeur : when the French faced at the danger at the beginning of 20th centry, they built this magnifique cathedral to free from all the dangers. Here is the cathedral when Amelie give the album to Nino in the movie Amelie. you can go up by Funeculaire(you can also use the metro ticket)
- The museum of Gustave Moreau : If you dive in the 19th symbolist art, you must not miss this atelier. This museum is made up 3 floors: first is his appartement, second, large room for his big paintings, the last floor his dessins, sketches and some paintings. When I was in this museum, I felt as if I was in 19th century's house. It's a little place to have the impressions about his painting. Metro: St Georges mon- wed. 11- 17: 15 thu - sun 10 - 12:45, 14- 17: 15
- Historical Travel
- Theater Travel
Basilica of the Sacre Coeur; Paris, France
"The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris", commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris.
A popular landmark, the basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. Sacré-Cœur is a double monument, political and cultural, both a national penance for the supposed excesses of the Second Empire and socialist Paris Commune of 1871 crowning its most rebellious neighborhood, and an embodiment of conservative moral order, publicly dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was an increasingly popular vision of a loving and sympathetic Christ.
The Sacré-Cœur Basilica was designed by Paul Abadie. Construction began in 1875 and was finished in 1914. It was consecrated after the end of World War I in 1919.
Due to its location on the Montmartre hill, the basilica towers over the city; its highest point is even higher than the top of the Eiffel Tower. Thanks to this prominent location the Sacré-Coeur Basilica is one of the most noticeable landmarks in Paris.
The Sacré-Coeur Basilica has managed to keep its beaming white color even in the polluted air of a big city like Paris. This can be attributed to the Château-Landon stones which were used for the construction of the Sacré-Coeur. When it rains, the stones react to the water and secrete calcite, which acts like a bleacher.
Great place to visit to have an amazing view of Paris ... :)
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Montmartre is a hill with an altitude of 130 m, it's located in the 18th arrondissement on the right bank of la Seine. Montmartre is most famous for the Sacre-Cœur Basilica on the top and the wonderful view of Paris. Many of my favorite painters used to work in Montmartre, such as Salvador Dalí, Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh.
The view of Montmartre is constantly being refreshed before your very eyes. Sacre-Coeur was built between 1875 and 1914. Can you discover me in the crowd in front of Sacre-Coeur?
We also visited the well-known cabaret-restaurant "Lapin Agile". We had delicious crêpes there and Pablo Picasso and Maurice Utrillo painted it. Not the crêpe, but the "Lapin Agile". And not while we were there, but many years before that.
- Arts and Culture
It's the dollop of cream on the dessert that is Paris. Basilique Sacré-Coeur is perched on the highest hill of the city, Butte Montemarte; Hill of Martyrs. Some believe this to be near the execution site of early Christians at the hands of the Romans - including the first bishop of Paris, Saint Denis. As the legend goes, he tucked his decapitated head under his arm and trotted north to where a basilica was built in his name and where his remains are buried.
This basilica was constructed in 1875-1914 on the ruins of a former abbey as an atonement and memorial for lives lost in the Franco-Prussian War and Paris Commune, and dedicated to the Sacred Heart (Sacré Coeur) of Christ. Unlike other Catholic churches, the Host of the Sacrament is on permanent display above the altar and venerated "in perpetuity" by members of congregation. This means there have been parish volunteers there to worship 24/7 every day and night for nearly 100 years.
Mostly, visitors come here for the panorama of Paris from the steps or highest central dome of the church. And take some time for a wander of touristy-but-fun Place du Tertre (to the left of the basilica) after your visit.
Things to know:
• Because of the Perpetual Adoration of the Host, visits to the basilica should be treated as if attending church. Appropriate dress and silence is requested, and photography/video taping of any kind is expressly forbidden. They mean business, too: church staff is vigilant regarding slealthy shutterbugs.
• We purposely chose the interesting way to get there, huffing and puffing our way up through the backstreets. An easier route is via the funicular that takes you from Place Saint-Pierre to the square at the base of the church. Cost is one metro ticket each way.
• Admission to the church is free - climbing the tower and exploring the crypt costs around 8 euro for a combined ticket
• The exterior of the basilica and the view are more interesting than the inside but don't miss the golden mosaic in the apse, one of the largest in the world, and enormous organ. The travertine stone of the exterior contains a mineral that continually bleaches away the effects of weather and pollution and maintains that luminous glow.
• Place du Tertre and the square in front of the church are swarming with hucksters who want to draw your picture or sell you stuff. Some of the artists are pretty good but I'd observe a few and settle firmly on a price before letting them put pastel to paper. Ignore the rest (firmly) and do watch your pockets in this area.
• The best times to photograph the church are at sunrise or sunset on a clear day when the surface reflects the colors
• The basilica's website is rather curiously disorganized and lacking in critical information (such as no photography) but contains visiting hours and some history:
Better background information can be found here:
- Budget Travel
- Religious Travel
The man who could walk through walls
At Place Marcel Aymé, just off of rue Norvins, there is a statue by sculptor Jean Marais called Le passe-muraille, based on a short story by the French author Marcel Aymé (1902–1967), who lived here in Montmartre for many years.
In this story a quiet middle-aged office worker named Dutilleul suddenly discovers that he has “the unusual ability to pass through walls without inconvenience”. His doctor discovers the cause, un durcissement hélicoïdal de la paroi strangulaire du corps thyroïde (which I won’t attempt to translate), and prescribes "le surmenage intensif“ (intensive overwork) and some packets of medicine.
Since there is no way he can be overworked in his quiet office job, and since he neglects to take the medicine, he retains his unique ability and gradually finds some uses for it, first to frighten his new boss, then to rob banks and jewelry shops and finally to have an affair with a frustrated housewife who lives nearby.
By accident he takes some of the medicine, and his affair with the frustrated housewife provides him with some unaccustomed and very intensive exercise -- so he loses his ability just as he is in the middle of a wall, where he remains stuck for ever.
The statue shows him stuck in the wall. This is close to where Dutilleul lived in the story (75 bis de la rue d'Orchampt).
Second photo: VT member Maaike (VonDutch) holding hands with the statue of the man who could walk through walls.
Third photo: Signs at Place Marcel Aymé.
Fourth photo: Since I had never read the story Le passe-muraille I bought a copy the next morning at the fnac bookshop at the Gare de l’Est (East Station), thinking to read it on the train. But the story turned out to be quite short and easy, so I read it in the café before even getting on the train. Fortunately the book includes nine more of his stories that I read later.
If you would like to read this story in English, click here for a translation by Karen Reshkin.
Or, if you would prefer to read it in the original French, cliquez ici for the complete text.
Next review from September 2011: Sacré-Coeur
- Arts and Culture
all about Montmartre
its one of the highlights of the butte or hill of montmartre so wonderful that you will go there.
The butte or hill or mount of martyrs has a lot of history of FRance not just Paris, here St Denis was beheaded and eventually where he fell a basilica rises today where most of the Kings and Queens and family of France are buried.
This is the site for tourism in Montmartre, and on the upper right hand you have a place to translate it by google in many languages , I have it in English . Know all about the hill here
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