Hello again! During our week in Paris, we were able to spend a morning in the region of Montmartre. This area is known for ART! (Not because there are a lot of museums, but because of all the famous artists who lived and worked there).
One morning is not enough to explore all Montmartre has to offer, but when you are only in Paris for a short time, it must do. At the heart of the region is the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, standing on the highest point in Paris, overlooking the rest of the city. There are a lot of stairs to climb to get up to the Basilica, so I recommend taking the Green Metro Line 12 to Abbesses and approaching it from the side! If you do take the stairs, beware of all the people trying to get you to play their games. It’s all a con, so just ignore them. Once you get to Sacré-Coeur, climb up to the dome for an amazing view of Paris. It only costs 6 euros to go up, but there’s no elevator, just 300 steps to the top!!
You can find the entrance to the towers to the left of the Basilica. The view is definitely worth the hike, and as a person who is afraid of heights, I didn’t find the top of this to be bad for me. You can also go inside the Basilica for free.
Montmartre is an interesting area because in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s it began to grow as a hub for young artists. At the time, it was a cheaper area to live (not actually IN Paris, but close enough). Some of the artists who lived and worked in Montmartre were Claude Monet, Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gough, Henri Matisse and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Ernest Hemingway wrote A Moveable Feast about his time living in Montmartre and the Latin Quarter. Other writers, like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein also spent a great deal of time there as well. It’s amazing to think that all these incredible artistic minds were living in one place around the same time. (The more I am in Paris, the more I understand how these artists were so inspired)!
Montmartre wasn’t officially considered part of Paris until the city made it the 18th arrondissement in 1995. Now, many artists display their work on the street for people to buy. Be careful, because many are roaming around, stopping people on the streets or in cafes, asking to draw your portrait then asking for money.
Art is definitely pumping through Montmartre and can be found on every street corner. It’s a great place to wander and get lost. We also found some unique shops and bought most of our souvenirs / gifts in this area.
Towards the end of our time in Montmartre, we set out to find the famous Moulin Rogue. This was where the birth of Cabaret happened, and how the famous Can-Can dance spread throughout Europe. You can still see shows at Moulin Rogue today. It’s marked by the red windmill on top!
I think that if I ever return to Paris, I will have to dedicate more time to this region. Montmartre is definitely fun area to spend some time exploring!
Au revoir! Amanda