We had expected a great panorama on Paris from the stairs of the Sacré Coeur and we were deceived.
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!
Going to Montmartre is an obvious thing to do when you are in Paris, France and so many people check out the beautiful Sacre Coeur, a basilica on the top of a high hill in Paris. Many people flock to it and take pictures in front of the church and the beautiful view of the city, but surprisingly not many people actually climb up to the top of the church. In my opinion this is a must!!! The view from the top of the basilica is beyond words! I have a photo, however photos do not do a justice! After going to the top i could not believe how many people just stay at the bottom when the view from the top is so beautiful! The ticket to go the top is 6 euros and yes there are plenty of stairs crammed in a tiny spiral but I promise the view is worth the climb! In my opinion one of the best things to do in Paris.
At this address there used to be a collection of flimsy, run-down buildings where dozens of famous or soon-to-be-famous artists lived and worked starting in the 1890s. Among the residents were Pablo Picasso, Max Jacob, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque and Maurice Utrillo.
The original buildings burned down in 1970 and have been replaced, but in the window at the front there is an interesting display about the artists who once lived and worked here.
Next review from September 2011: Dalida
wonderful views of Paris especially in the evenings lol!! right on the hill of martyrs or montmartre, name after St Denis who preached here and died.
Now very touristic but still a must see while in Paris, the atmosphere around it is great old Paris, see the small streets around it, and the many bistros, not to mention St Pierre church next door.
see it and read more in VT ::)
see vital info here
metro to reach it at Jules Joffrin + Montmartrobus (stop "place du Tertre")
metro Pigalle + Montmartrobus (stop "Norvins")
metro Anvers - Abbesses + Funiculaire
Bus : 30 – 31 – 80 – 85 (which arrive at the bottom of the hill)
Parking : Anvers ( 20 mins to walk up the hill or the cable car)
Handicapped people : lift at 35, rue du Chevalier de la Barre
This is my nomination for the ugliest building in Paris.
Or at least the ugliest prominent building. Paris like all cities has numerous ugly buildings, but most of them are smaller and are tucked away in side streets where they only nauseate their immediate neighbors.
Sacré-Coeur, though, is certainly a prominent landmark, even for those of us who dislike the building and what it stands for. Looming above Paris from its position on a hilltop at the north end of the city, it can be seen from most places that have any sort of view at all, and it even serves a useful purpose for those who emerge disoriented from the Métro in some other part of the city and want to know which direction is north.
Like the Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière, which has a similarly dominating position on a hill above the French city of Lyon, the construction of the Basilica Sacré-Coeur on Montmartre was begun in the troubled period of the 1870s to celebrate (or at least assert) the triumph of reactionary "Christian values" over the socialist aspirations of the Paris and Lyon communes.
In the words of Bertrand Taithe, Professor of Cultural History at The University of Manchester: "The reaction to the communes of Paris and Lyon were triumphalist monuments, the Sacré-Coeur of Montmartre and the Basilica of Fourvière, dominating both cities. These buildings were erected using private funds, as gigantic ex-votos, thanking God for the victory over the socialists and in expiation of the sins of modern France." (From the book Citizenship and Wars: France in Turmoil, 1870-1871 by Bertrand Taithe.)
Second photo: Looking up at Sacré-Coeur.
Third photo: Sacré-Coeur from the bottom of the stairs.
Fourth photo: I took this photo from the roof of the Centre Georges Pompidou a.k.a. Beaubourg, which is about three kilometers south of Sacré-Coeur.
Fifth photo: I took this photo from the balcony on the 28th floor of the Chambord Tower at the far south end of Paris. From there it is possible to see both Notre Dame (3.6 kilometers away) and Sacré-Coeur (up on a hill at a distance of 7.4 kilometers) if you look north between the nearby buildings.
If you promise not to be offended I’ll tell you what the Basilica Sacré-Coeur reminds me of. – – –
What? You don’t promise not to be offended? In that case I won’t tell you, so you’ll never know.
(It wasn’t anything very nice, anyway.)
Next review from September 2011: Picnic by the Eiffel Tower
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
The British and Australians have a nice word for street musicians -- buskers.
You can find buskers busking at lots of places in Paris, for instance at the Place des Abbesses in Montmartre.
I was surprised to find these guys playing in the rain, since most musicians I know are very careful not to let their instruments get wet and pack up at the first sign of a shower.
Next review from September 2011: Le Bateau Lavoir
In the Square Jehan Rictus at the Place des Abbesses there is a blue tiled wall with the words “I love you” written in more than 250 languages and dialects.
These were collected by a French musician and artist named Frederic Baron, who “began his project in 1992 by wandering the streets of Paris and asking people to write these words in their mother tongue. Baron feels he has toured the world without ever leaving Paris.”
At first I thought the German sentence was grammatically incorrect, but that turned out to be some other language entirely, and I found a correct German sentence in the bottom right corner.
Second photo: Above the blue-tiled “I love you” wall there is a painting (added later by someone else, I believe) of a woman in a long blue dress saying: aimer c’est du désordre… alors aimons! Which means “Loving is disorder… so let’s love.”
Third photo: Ed (Kaspian) pointing to the sentence in English.
Fourth photo: Ilse (MATIM) getting her camera ready to take a picture of the Dutch sentence: “ik hou van je”.
Fifth photo: VT group in the rain at Square Jehan Rictus. The square was named after an anarchist poet (1867-1933) who used the pseudonym Jehan-Rictus and belonged to the chaotic Bohemian poetic scene in Montmartre starting in the 1880s.
Next review from September 2011: Buskers at Abbesses
Starting from Amélie’s café in Rue Lepic, a group of VT members took a walk through Montmartre “up to the Sacré Coeur using backstreets that miss the general run of tourists”, as Paul (pfsmalo) had promised in his invitation.
So we had a leisurely walk through some picturesque streets such as rue Cauchois, rue Véron, rue Germain Pilon, rue des Abbesses, rue Ravignan, rue d’Orchampt, rue Giradon, rue Norvins, avenue Junot and rue des Saules, which gradually led us up to the top of the hill.
Second photo: A slightly embellished No Entry sign.
Third photo: A quiet walkway in Montmartre.
Fourth photo: One of the two remaining windmills on Montmartre.
Fifth photo: The shop called Zut!, which sells “industrial antiques” such as clocks, globes, lamps and old-time filmmaking equipment at 9 rue Ravignan.
Next review from September 2011: The I-love-you wall
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. 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
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