MAY 16,2017 - MAY 16,2017 (1 DAYS)
Paris: The 9th arrondissement (quarter) and Montmartre (1/2 day itinerary).
Main Attractions: Place Saint-Georges, Musée de la Vie romantique, Musée national Gustave Moreau, Place d'Estienne d'Orves, Église Notre-Dame de Lorette, Rue des Martyrs, Moulin Rouge, Place du Tertre, Espace Dalí, Sacre Coeur Basilica, Paroisse Saint Pierre de Montmartre, 13 Rue du Mont-Cenis, Rue Foyatier, Barbès - Rochechouart Métro station.
Start: Place Saint-Georges (Closest métro stations: Saint-Georges (line 12). End: Métro station (line 4) Barbès - Rochechouart.
Duration: 1/2 day. Weather: no rain. Distance: 7-8 km. Orientation: the three main points are:
* This is an itinerary for 1/2 or 3/4 day.
* We left the Montmartre for the afternoon and sunset hours.
* Not all the Montmartre sights are covered in this blog. More spots and experiences are detailed in other Tipter Paris blogs.
Our lodging in Paris: Holiday Inn Gare de L'est. Expensive. We were looking for a last-minute hotel. This hotel was the ONLY one we found with vacant room. Very good breakfast. Rooms: so-so (depending on floor and specific room). The rooms in the 8th floor (the highest one - are NOT recommended).
Sacre Coeur from Holiday Inn in Gare de l'est:
Place Saint-Georges is an elegant square with beautiful townhouses that surround it. It owes its charm to the fountain in its centre, its old lampposts, and the mansions around the square. Place Saint-Georges is situated at the junction of rue Saint-Georges and rue Notre-Dame-de-Lorette in the 9th arrondissement. The square is was laid out in 1824 and named after a real estate transaction by a financial corporation, the Compagnie Saint-Georges. The fountain was placed there for horses to drink from. The fountain was dried up following the construction of the métro and, came alive again, in 1995. At the centre of the square stands the monument of the illustrator Paul Gavarni (1804-1866) - constructed at year 1911. Below, the monument's column is decorated with characters he created: Pierrot, Lorette and other girls ("filles légères") who lived behind Notre-Dame de Lorette (see below):
Several mansions are noteworthy: The mansion of Adolphe Thiers (# 27), behind the Gavarni Monument, was built in 1873. It has since been transformed into a library and hosts, nowadays, the Dosne-Thier Foundation:
#28 is the mansion of La Païva and was built in 1840 by E. Renaud in neo-Gothic and Renaissance styles. Esther Lachmann (7 May 1819 – 21 January 1884), was known as La Païva and was the most famous French courtesan of 19th-century. A courtesan is a person who attends the court of a monarch or other powerful person. She was born in Russia and became very influential in Paris of the 19th-century. She married TWO of Europe's richest men (Albino Gonçalves de Araújo and Count Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck), maintained a noted literary salon out of Hôtel de la Païva, her luxurious mansion at 25 avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris. She lived on Place Saint-Georges in 1851 before moving later to the new luxurious mansion at 25 avenue des Champs-Élysées:
If you have enough time - get a stroll in the nearby streets (like, Rue d'Aumale west to the Saint George square) to admire a few Haussmann-era buildings with elegant iron balcony railings.
With our back to the Saint-George métro station - we turn left (north-west) to Rue Notre Dame de Lorette. This is the most chic area in the 9th arrondissement. Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Street is served by the line (M) (12) at Saint-Georges and Notre-Dame-de-Lorette stations , as well as by bus lines 26 32 43 67 74 . We walk until we arrive to a big junction. Here, Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Street changes its name to Rue Pierre Fontaine. Rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle is on your right. We turn LEFT (still, north-west) to Rue Chaptal. Walk 130 m. and you arrive to the Museum of Romantic Life, 16 Rue Chaptal. The Musée de la Vie romantique (The Museum of Romantic Life, or Museum of the Romantics) or Hôtel Scheffer-Renan stands at the foot of Montmartre hill. It is an hôtel particulier building equipped with a greenhouse, a small garden, and a paved courtyard. A tribute to the tradition of 19th century French Romanticism, the Musée de la Vie Romantique offers a free permanent collection. The museum is open daily 10.00 - 18.00 except Monday. Permanent collections : FREE. Temporary exhibitions: Full price : €8, reduced price : €6. It is one of the City of Paris' three literary museums, along with the Maison de Balzac and the Maison de Victor Hugo. The nearest métro stations are Pigalle, Blanche, Saint-Georges, and Liège. The main house, built in 1830, was the Paris base of the Dutch-born painter Ary Scheffer (1795–1858), close friend to King Louis-Philippe and his family. For decades, Scheffer and his daughter hosted Friday-evening salons, among the most famous in La Nouvelle Athènes. George Sand (1804–1876) used to come as a neighbour with Frédéric Chopin. Other guests or participants were: Eugène Delacroix, Franz Liszt, Gioacchino Rossini and singer Pauline Viardot. Later in the century, Charles Dickens, Ivan Turgueniev, and Charles Gounod attended regularly.
The Museum displays on the first floor family portraits, household possessions, pieces of jewelry and memorabilia - mainly, of George Sand - including number of her own unique and rare watercolours paintings called "dendrites". On the second floor there are a number of Romantic canvases, sculptures and paintings by Ary Scheffer and other 19th century French contemporaries.
From the Museum of Romantic Life - we retrace our steps along Rue Chaptal. Head east on Rue Chaptal toward Rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 130 m. Continue onto Rue Notre Dame de Lorette, 30 m. Turn right onto Rue de la Rochefoucauld, 270 m. On our left is the The Musée national Gustave Moreau, 14 Rue de la Rochefoucauld. The nearest métro stations are Saint-Georges and Trinité – d'Estienne d'Orves. The Musée national Gustave Moreau is an art museum dedicated to the works of Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau. The museum was originally Moreau's dwelling, transformed by his 1895 decision into a studio and museum of his work with his apartment remaining on the first floor. Today the museum contains Moreau's drawings, paintings, watercolors, and sculptures. Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10.00 - 12.45 and 14.00 - 17.15. Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.00 - 17.15. Tuesdays - closed. Prices: adult: €6, concessions: €4. Gustave Moreau first rose to fame with the exhibition in the 1864 Salon of his Oedipe et le sphinx. From the 1880s onwards, he increasingly shrank from public exhibition. This house in Nouvelle Athens, which had been his childhood home, became his increasing focus during this period of his life. In 1895, he commissioned the young architect Albert Lafon to convert it from hôtel particulier into a museum including a dedicated gallery space, private domestic quarters and studio. The latter extended over the second and third floor, connected by a small staircase, providing space for hundreds of paintings and thousands of drawings. In 1897, Moreau decided to bequeath the house and its contents to the French nation, in the hope that its preservation in total would 'allow the public to appreciate the culmination of the artist's lifelong work and labour'. When it opened to the public in 1903, the Musée Moreau had in its collection some 14,000 works. The museum appears today much as it did then, and includes a major collection of paintings both by Moreau and his contemporaries. Wealth of mythological and biblical subjects paintings. Wonderful spiral flight of stairs connecting the painter's drawing rooms and his past studios. From this huge collection of paintings and artifacts - certainly, you can find some wonderful gems and unforgettable pictures. A moving journey to La Belle Époque of Paris during the era of the French Third Republic:
With your back to the museum - turn left and head south on Rue de la Rochefoucauld toward Rue de la Tour des Dames, 15 m. Turn right onto Rue de la Tour des Dames, 170 m. Turn left onto Rue Blanche, 80 m. Continue straight onto Place d'Estienne d'Orves, 45 m. Place d'Estienne d'Orves resides exactly between the Chaussée-d'Antin district and the Saint-Georges district of the 9th district of Paris. The place d'Estienne-d'Orves is served by the line (M) (12) at the Trinité - d'Estienne d'Orves station , as well as close by the 80 99 bus lines. The painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted the place several times during his life.
This extensive square is a pleasant stop, facing the imposing Trinity Church. You can rest on some benches installed in a circle in front of the facade of the church, sheltered by some trees or in the amusement park (WI-FI connection !). You will discover this garden at the foot of the Trinity Church. At the top of the staircase leading to it, three statues, "Faith", "Charity" and "Hope", by Duret and Lequesne protect three children at the foot of which three bronze vases allow the water to fall back. You will certainly see sparrows or pigeons come to drink there. The square is very noisy due to its proximity to a big intersection with a lot of traffic. The Trinity Church dominates this square:
Withour back to the church in Place d'Estienne d'Orves we turn left. Head south on Place d'Estienne d'Orves toward Rue Saint-Lazare, 35 m. Turn left onto Rue de Châteaudun, 500 m. note the building at Rue de Châteaudun #44:
In the intersection with rue Laffitte - satnds Église Notre-Dame de Lorette. An earlier chapel of the same name was situated at 54 rue Lamartine but was destroyed during the French Revolution. In 1821, plans were made to rebuild Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, with Louis-Hippolyte Lebas the sole architect. Originally, the church was planned to face northward towards Montmartre, but eventually faced southward towards rue Laffitte. Construction of the church began in 1823 under the reign of Louis XVIII and was completed in 1836 under the reign of Louis-Philippe. Architect Hippolyte Lebas, 1823-1836. The austere structure of Roman basilica contrasts with the pompous interior design Louis-Philippe style. Musician Georges Bizet was baptized at the church on March 16, 1840, and painter Claude Monet was baptized on May 20, 1841. The early 19th century is characterized with neoclassical style, with the church also being designed in this manner. The façade features Charles-François Lebœuf's sculpture: Six angels in adoration before the Madonna and Child.
We continue walking several steps east along Rue de Châteaudun (beyond the church and its intersection with rue Laffitte) and turn LEFT (north) to Rue Flechier. We continue CLIMBING northward along Rue des Martyrs (Metro: Notre-Dame-De-Lorette) (this road climbs upwards into the base of Montmartre). This is the main shopping and market street of the 9th arrondissement - an authentic food shopping experience. It is home to nearly 200 small shops and restaurants. Actually, rue des Martyrs cuts through the formerly working-class ninth and 18th arrondissements. This street is said to have been named after Saint Denis - the first bishop of Paris (250 AD). Tradition has it that Saint Denis, the patron saint of France, was beheaded here in the third century. According to the legend, Saint Denis managed to walk several miles through Paris, preaching while holding his head in his arms. He finally collapsed in the Saint Denis suburbs, a place that is now the site of a beautiful medieval Basilica. Degas and Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted acrobats at the circus on the corner, Emile Zola situated a lesbian dinner club here in his novel Nana, and François Truffaut filmed scenes from Les 400 Coups. Rue des Martyrs is mentioned in Gustave Flaubert’s L’Education Sentimentale, arguably the most influential French novel of the 19th century, and in Guy de Maupassant’s Bel-Ami. Rue des Martyrs is now one of the nicest streets in Paris, home to bohemian concept stores and culinary shops beloved by Parisian foodies. Starting from Notre Dame de Lorette, Rue des Martyrs leads up through Pigalle, all the way to Montmartre and Sacré-Coeur. Once, it was known for its dodgy bars and restaurants, Rue des Martyrs, is now a a Mecca for culinary Parisians. This neighbourhood was once a little run down and dirty, although just as lively and popular as it is today. La Chambre aux Confitures (number 9, part of a small chain) sells more than 100 jams, chutneys and chocolate spreads. Première Pression Provence next door specializes in French olive oil. Pâtisserie des Martyrs (#22) may make the best lemon tart in all of Paris and a perfect assortment of other luxury confections. Apiculturists offers honey-based everything: candles, lotion, tea, nougat, and pollen grains at #30 Rue des Martyrs. Mesdemoiselles Madeleines at #37 makes only Madeleines, the little shell-shaped sponge cakes. Rose bakery #46 was under construction works in May 2017 and, presently, it is beyond its past-famed heydays. There’s always an appetizing selection of healthy organic salads and quiches – not to mention, Rose’s famous carrot cake, zingy lemon loaf, and freshly-made scones. People Drugstore at #78 offers hundreds of brands of beers:
Boulangerie (intersection with rue Manuel):
As we climb rue des Martyrs - we pass Place Lino Ventura:
At the end of climbing Rue des Martyrs - Boulevard de Rochechouart is on our right and Boulvard de Clichy is on our left.
We turn left (north-west) and walk, carefully, along Boulvard de Clichy, for 150 m. until we arrive to Place Pigalle.
The Boulevard de Cichy is located near the Paris Metro stations Place de Clichy, Blanche, and Pigalle, and served 2, 12 and 13 bus lines. A bit of a dodgy area but feel safe. At Boulvard de Clichy # 68-70 resides the old cabaret, Le Chat noir (The Black Cat), which originally opened (at 1881) around the corner at 84 Boulevard Rouchechouart. This place was famous for its excellent (and vulgar) entertainments.
adjacent (west) to the Le Chat Noir are two more famous "institutes". At #. 72: Musée de l'Erotisme (Museum of Eroticism) - closed from year 2016. At # 82, beginning in 1889, this is where the Moulin-Rouge (Red Mill), the home of the Can-can, opened its doors. It was founded by Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler. It is famous all over the world by the red windmill on its roof. The Moulin Rouge is the birthplace of the modern form of the can-can dance. The can-can dance revue evolved into a form of entertainment of its own and led to the introduction of cabarets across Europe. Today, the Moulin Rouge is a tourist attraction, offering musical dance entertainment for visitors from around the world. The club's decor still contains much of the romance of la Belle Époque in France. The Expositions Universelles of 1889 and 1900 are symbols of this period. The Eiffel Tower was also constructed in 1889. On 6 October 1889, the Moulin Rouge opened in the Jardin de Paris, at the foot of the Montmartre hill. The extravagant setting – the garden was adorned with a gigantic elephant – allowed people from all walks of life to mix. Workers, residents of the Place Blanche, artists, the middle classes, businessmen, elegant women, and foreigners passing through Paris rubbed shoulders. Nicknamed "The First Palace of Women" by Oller and Zidler, the cabaret quickly became a great success. The place was loved by artists, including Toulouse-Lautrec whose posters and paintings secured rapid and international fame for the Moulin Rouge. The early years of the Moulin Rouge were marked by extravagant shows, inspired by the circus and clowns' performances. One event in the history of Moulin Rouge is the visit of Edward VII. In 26 October 1890 the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII, who on a private visit to Paris, booked a table to see this quadrille whose reputation had already crossed the Channel. Recognising him, La Goulue, the famous can-can dancer, with her leg in the air, spontaneously called out "Hey, Wales, the champagne's on you!". In January 1903 the Moulin Rouge reopened its doors after renovation and improvement work carried out by Édouard Niermans, the most famous architect of the Belle Époque in Europe. Until the First World War, the Moulin Rouge became a real temple of operetta. In 27 February 1915 the Moulin Rouge was destroyed by fire. In 1921 the rebuilt Moulin Rouge reopened. After World War I the Moulin Rouge took off again, thanks to stars such as Mistinguett, Jeanne Aubert, and Maurice Chevalier, and gave the first showing in Paris of American revues. During the Second World War years (1939–1945) the German Occupation 'Guide aryien' counted the Moulin Rouge among the must visits in Paris for its troops. The famous Moulin Rouge stage shows continued for the occupation troops. In 1944, a few days after the liberation of Paris, Edith Piaf, who had been a frequent performer at German Forces social gatherings, during the Second World War, and had been considered a traitor by many, performs again at the Moulin Rouge, with Yves Montand, a newcomer chosen to appear with her. In 22 June 1951 Georges France, called Jo France acquires the Moulin Rouge and starts major renovation work. The evening dances, the acts, and the famous French cancan were back at the Moulin Rouge. In 19 May 1953 performs Bing Crosby, on the first time, on an European stage. The evening attracts 1,200 artists and stars from around the world, including Josephine Baker who sings "J'ai deux amours". Between 1951 and 1960, manyf famous artists appear including: Luis Mariano, Charles Trénet, Charles Aznavour, Line Renaud, Bourvil, Fernand Raynaud, Lena Horne. In 1955 Jo France transfers the Moulin Rouge to the brothers Joseph and Louis Clérico who already own Le Lido cabaret. In 1960 the Revue Japonaise, entirely composed of Japanese artists, launches the Kabuki in Montmartre. In 1962 - the first aquatic ballet in Moulin Rouge. Still, the famous French cancan is performed at every revue. In 7 September 1979 the Moulin Rouge celebrates its 90th birthday. On stage, for the first time in Paris, Ginger Rogers is surrounded by various stars including Thierry Le Luron, Dalida, Charles Aznavour, Jean-Claude Brialy (later, movies star), Georges Chakiris, Zizi Jeanmaire. On 23 November 1981 the Moulin Rouge closes for one evening to present its show to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 4 February 1982 - one-off show with Liza Minnelli. 3 July 1984 - gala with Dean Martin.
25 September 1984 - gala with Frank Sinatra. 1 December 1986- Mikhail Baryshnikov, creates an original ballet by Maurice Béjart at the Moulin Rouge. On 20 February 1988 Prince Edward is the guest of honour. 6 October 1989 - Centenary (!) gala with Charles Aznavour, Lauren Bacall, Ray Charles, Tony Curtis, Ella Fitzgerald, Gipsy Kings, Margaux Hemingway, Barbara Hendricks, Dorothy Lamour, Jerry Lewis, Jane Russell, Charles Trénet, and Esther Williams (!). 14 November 1999 - last showing of the Centenary revue Formidable, seen by more than 4.5 million spectators between 1988 and 1999. 6 October 2014 - Moulin Rouge celebrates its 125th anniversary. Unique club or cabaret with UNBELIEVABLE history and record of international fame and success. As for the spectacles nowadays - remember two facts: No photos during the show and less formal dress code is allowed. Not cheap but, well worth it !
Place Pigalle (Pigalle Square) draws its name from the sculptor, Jean-Baptiste Pigalle (1714–1785). At the end of the 19th century, it was a neighbourhood of painters' studios and literary cafés of which the most renowned was the Nouvelle Athènes (New Athens). The area around is busy, noisy, dirty and not worth more than a quick photo:
Now, we head (mostly, climb up) to Montmartre. From Place Pigalle - head northeast on Place Pigalle toward Boulevard de Clichy, 60 m. Continue, still northward, onto Rue Houdon, 190 m. Turn left (north-west) onto Rue des Abbesses, 400 m. We elaborate more on Rue des Abbesses in another Tipter blog. Rue des Abbesses continues in the same direction (north-west, and, later, north, north-east and, finally, eastward) as Rue Lepic. Rue Lepic is an ancient road climbing the hill of Montmartre from the boulevard de Clichy to the place Jean-Baptiste-Clément. In 1852 it was renamed rue de l'Empereur, and renamed again in 1864, after the General Louis Lepic (1765-1827). It is a long and demanding climb along this road until we arrive almost to the top of Montmartre hill. This street winds up the slope of Montmartre and features cafes, restaurants, some charming houses, including the two mentioned below. Scenic walk, but it is very steep. Even if the walk is not easy - this street has all the charm of Paris located in one delightful locale. Many small bars, bakeries, and grocers adorn the lower levels, while the upper levels that lead to Sacre-Coeur are lined with pre 1900 multi story apartments. Rue Lepic is our sportive and quaint alternative to reach Sacre Coeur without the crowds, steps, dirt and pickpockets (the tourist hordes at the main steps of the Sacre Coeur are unavoidable).
Rue Lepic #15 - setting of the movie "Emillie" - Cafe des Deux Moulins:
At #54, lived Van Gogh and his brother Théo, on the third floor, from 1886 to 1888:
Rue Lepic #61 - "Le mulin de la galette", one of the last remaining historical windmills in Montmartre:
From Le Moulin de la Galette - it is, still, 350 m. climb up until the famous squares of Montmartre. Head northeast on Rue Girardon toward Rue Norvins, 35 m. Turn right (north-east) onto Rue Norvins, 260 m. Turn right onto Place du Tertre, 40 m. Place du Tertre. The hilltop village of Montmartre has an exciting past. Before it became a part of Paris, it was a quaint village covered in little farms, vineyards and windmills. During the Belle Époque, it became a haven for artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec, Maurice Utrillo, Van Gogh and Picasso thanks to its more affordable cost of living and cheap wine (it was exempt from Paris’s wine tax)! Here, an artistic community was formed, and a lively cabaret culture flourished, many of which you can still see standing today. Place du Tertre used to be the main square in the village of Montmartre before it was absorbed into the modern day city of Paris. Artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Pissarro, Modigliani and many more, have all drawn inspiration from what has become known as “The Artist’s Square”. This little square is famous for the artists lined up on all sides to sell paintings or to draw your portrait or caricature and the accordion playing musicians. The square also is surrounded by overpriced restaurants with indoor and sidewalk seating, as well as tables in the square itself. This lively square resides off one block beyond the Basilica du Sacre-Coeur. Good place, especially for both a sunrise and sunset. Touristy, but still full of Parisienne character. Place du Tertre has to be Montmartre's heart. The picturesque square on the hill gets views of the Sacre Coeur church. BTW, The artists located in the square of Place due Tertre pay an annual fee of just over 550 euros for a 1 sqm. space, which is shared on an alternating roster with another artist. Essentially they only work half the week. Nevertheless, with more than ten million visitors per month to this fine street, this has the potential to be a lucrative business. Currently an artist must make an application and display proof of their artistic abilities to an official at the town hall of Montmartre, then they may be invited to join the ten year waiting list for acceptance. Currently there are a little under 300 painters, portraitists, caricaturist and silhouette artist’s formally and legally operating at Place du Tertre. Don’t get caught! A common tourist trap is not setting a price first before the artist begins the portrait. 10 euros might be a reasonable price... Many people assume that tertre is a derivative of Montmartre, but it is actually much more straightforward than that. Tertre simply translates as a small hill, and place means a public square. Therefore, the Place du Tertre isn’t anything more than a very descriptive name, since it sits on the top of Paris’s largest hill at about 130 meters height.
From Place du Tertre - we make a short detour to Espace Dali. From Place du Tertre head south for 60 m. Turn left to stay on Place du Tertre, 25 m. Turn right onto Place du Calvaire, 40 m. Continue onto Rue Poulbot the special museum of Dalí Paris, 11 Rue Poulbot is on your right. Open everyday 10.00 - 18.30. Prices: adult - € 12, youngsters (8-26) - € 9. At this small and unique museum, visitors can sample the curious and provocative world of Salvador Dalí the famous surrealist artist. The Espace Dalí is the only museum in France entirely devoted to the work (paintings, sculptures, and graphics) of Salvador Dalí. It is a limited exhibition in quantity BUT, quite high in quality and perfectly organized. Many of the artworks illustrate characters from literature such as Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, and excerpts from the Bible. Amazing photo opportunities. Visitors will be awed by the artist's renowned sculptures: Venus de Milo (Dalí's version), the unusual Femme Girafe and a mysterious rendition of Alice in Wonderland. The classically inspired Femme Rétrospectif was Dalí's first sculpture. Provoking, but, still, delightful. Audio guide in a variety of alnguages BUT with an additional fee. Not cheap. Allow, at least, 1 hour:
RETURN (130 m. walk) TO Place du tertre. The Sacre Coeur Basilica is one block more to the east. But, still, you have to walk 250 m. until you arrive to its entrance. Head east on Place du Tertre toward Rue Norvins, 50 m. Turn right onto Rue Norvins, 15 m. Slight right onto Rue du Mont-Cenis, 55 m. Turn left (east) onto Rue Azais, 100 m. Turn right onto Parvis du Sacré-Cœur and take the stairs, 70 m. to Sacre Coeur Basilica, 1 Parvis du Sacré-Cœur. Metro: Anvers, Abbesses, Château-Rouge, Lamarck-Caulaincourt, Bus: 30, 54, 80, 85, Montmartrobus. Opening hours: The Sacre Coeur Basilica is open every day from 06.00. to 22.30. Entrance is FREE. Many people choose to visit the Basilica at night. Why? Partly because it is more romantic of course, and the sky over Paris is especially lovely during summer nights. One of Paris’ most visited monuments. A majestic, WHITE, impressive edifice atop the hillock of Montmartre. The whipped-cream look of the edifice is mainly due to its stone which came from the Château-Landon quarries. In wet weather, the calcite contained in the stone acts like a bleacher to give the church a definite chalky white appearance. ‘Sacré-Cœur’ means ‘Sacred-Heart’ in English and is a reference to the heart of Jesus, which is the representation of his divine love for humanity.
The top of the hill of Montmartre where the church now stands has been a sacred site where druids were thought to have worshiped there. The Romans had built temples dedicated to gods Mars and Mercury. At first glance you may think the Basilica is very old because of its style of architecture, but it was actually built in the late 1800’s. Its design is based on the style used in the ancient Romano-Byzantine empire, which you can see more often in the southern regions of France. Authorized by the National Assembly in 1873, the project was to build an imposing Christian church visible from all over Paris. The cathedral was built to honour those who perished during the French Revolution and during the Franco-Prussian war, and to make good for the 'crimes' committed by the Paris Commune. As well as honouring those who died it was also built to inspire faith into the French people who lived on and struggled during what was a very trying era. Originally the funds for the construction of Sacre Coeur were to be only from wealthy donors. Seventy-eight different architects entered a competition for the right to design Sacre Couer. The winning design was submitted by a veteran architect named Abadie. Abadie was already well known for his restoration of the St. Front Cathedral in Perigueux. The foundation stone of the Basilique Sacré-Coeur was laid in 1875. It was consecrated in 1891, fully completed in 1914, and elevated to the status of a basilica in 1919, after the end of the WW1.
Sacre Couer from rue du Chevalier-de-La-Barre:
The Bell Tower is not open to visitors. The church bell tower is also enormous, in fact it is one of the largest and heaviest in the world weighing 19 tons. However, despite its size the inside of the Basilica de Sacre-Coeur is vast rather than interesting and fails to live up to the expectations you have from the outside. The great bell, the Savoyarde, is one of the world's heaviest bells at 19 tons:
Access to the Basilique Dome is outside the Basilica on the left. There are 300 steps to climb and no lift. Opening hours: Every day from 08.30 to 20.00 (May to September) and 9.00 to 17.00 (October to April). From the top of the dome of Sacré-Cœur (accessible to the public by stairs), a breathtaking view of Paris extends to La Défense, the Eiffel Tower, the Montparnasse Tower, the Panthéon, the Bois de Vincennes, the Buttes-Chaumont and the basilica of Saint-Denis. Nearly all the monuments of Paris can be seen with the binoculars. it is the second-highest viewpoint after the Eiffel Tower. The walk around the inside of the dome alone is worth the climb. The dome is supported by 80 columns, each topped with a different capital.
Every Sunday: 11.00 High mass with the Little Singers of Montmartre, 18.00 and 20.15 Last masses. You can walk into the cathedral for FREE and take photos of the stained glass windows and various pulpits. If you're lucky, you can hear the nuns singing which is lovely (no photos and silence whilst service is on).
Inside, the Sacré-Coeur is dim and rather gloomy except for the golden mosaics glowing from apse. This apse mosaic, designed by Luc-Olivier Merson (1922), is the largest in the world. It depicts Christ in Majesty and The Sacred Heart worshiped by the Virgin Mary, Joan of Arc and St. Michael the Archangel. The floor plan is an equal-armed Greek cross, with a large dome (83m high) over the crossing. In the huge choir, 11 tall round arches support a barrel vault. The main portal has grand bronze doors with foliage designs. Created in Romano-Byzantine style, the Sacre-Coeur has several design elements that represent nationalism as the principal theme. The triple-arched portico is surmounted by two bronze equestrian statues of France's national saints, Joan of Arc and King Saint Louis IX, designed by Hippolyte Lefebvre. The crypt (might be closed) contains statues of saints and a relic that some believe to be the very Sacred Heart (Sacré-Coeur) of Christ. The Sacre-Coeur Basilica houses a large pipe organ, constructed by Aristide Cavaille-Coll, containing 78 speaking stops and 109 ranks extending across the 32-note pedalboard and four 61-note manuals. At the rear of the grounds is a contemplative garden and fountain:
Sacre Couer is one of the best places in Paris, rivaled only Montparnasse Tower and the Eiffel Tower, for a birds eye view of the city. When you get to the Sacre Coeur, there are stunning views (mainly, incredible views of Parisian rooftops) over Paris.
If you don't want to climb the steps you can get the venicular tram up for a couple of euros. Particularly convenient for handicapped, elderly and children is to take the Petit Train from the Moulin Rouge to the Place du Tertre - 6,50€ per adult:
We start our way back from the Montmartre. From Sacre Coeur Basilica we walk southwest on Parvis du Sacré-Cœur toward Rue du Cardinal Guibert. Take the stairs, 70 m. Turn right onto Rue du Cardinal Guibert, 95 m. Turn left onto Rue du Chevalier de la Barre (get nice photos of Sacre Coeur - see above), 85 m. On your right, at the intersection of 13 Rue du Mont-Cenis - note a plaque paying tribute to the old cabaret of Patachou that packed Parisian nights in the past. Patachou is one of the most popular singers of the post-war period in France. Henriette Ragon, of her real name, grew up in Paris. In 1948, Henriette Ragon opens with her husband "Chez Patachou", a tea room and a restaurant. She then hires an accordionist to offer a musical atmosphere and sometimes "push the ditty". Seduced by her voice, customers push her to try the song. It is a success and journalists are hurrying into what will quickly become the cabaret "Chez Patachou" of Montmartre. The biggest names came to perform in this famous cabaret. Jacques Brel sings for three years. In January 1952, it was the turn of Georges Brassens to make himself known thanks to the Patachou scene, pushed by his friend Pierre Galante, a journalist at Paris Match. Sung by Patachou, the songs Brave Margot and the Lovers of the public benches pack the spectators and Georges Brassens goes up to sing including The Gorilla and Fuck of you:
At the NORTH end of Rue du Mont-Cenis stands Paroisse Saint Pierre de Montmartre, 2 rue du Mont Cenis. Opening hours: everyday from 9.00 to 19.30 except on Friday from 9.00 to 18.00. The historic Saint-Pierre de Montmartre, one of the oldest churches in the city definitely deserves a visit. Saint Pierre de Montmartre is the oldest church in Paris. It replaces an ancient chapel where pilgrims stopped over on their way to the Basilica of Saint-Denis in the north of Paris. This first chapel was erected on the site of the Temple of Mars built by the Romans after they invaded France 20 centuries ago. It is the only remainder of the old royal Benedictine convent of Montmartre, built in the 12th century by order of King Louis VI and his wife, Adelaide of Savoie. The Church was partitioned in 1134 and was hence able to receive both Benedictines and parishioners at the same time. Restored by Sauvageot in 1905, the interior of the church has some beautiful contemporary stained glass windows by the master stained glass window maker Max Ingrand, and outside there are bronze doors dating from 1980. Next door is the Jardin du Calvaire (Calvary Garden; closed), which contains Stations of the Cross created for Richelieu. THe adjacent cemetery (rarely open) contains the tomb of the circumnavigator Louis Bougainville (1729-1811) and the sculptor Pigalle (1714-85):
The church is built on a traditional Latin-cross plan, with three aisles and a transept, and is a jumble of medieval and later styles. Inside, the nave is Romanesque but is covered with a 15th-century vault and flanked by aisles added in 1765 (north) and c.1838 (south). The windows are filled with stained glass windows of the 20th century. The transept and choir are also Romanesque, and the choir has one of the earliest ribbed vaults in Paris (c.1147). The apse was rebuilt in the late 12th century. Behind the altar is the tomb of Adelaide de Savioe, the nunnery's foundress and the mother of King Louis VI. Four marble Roman columns with Merovingian capitals (7th century) can be seen in the church: two against the west wall, one at the apse entrance and one in the north aisle:
Head south on Rue du Mont-Cenis toward Rue Saint-Rustique, 60 m. Turn left to stay on Rue du Mont-Cenis, 55 m. Continue east onto Rue Saint-Eleuthere - heading to the Funiculaire station, 60 m.
Turn your head to the south to get a sunset view of Tour Eiffel:
On your right - Espace Montmartre. A unique building in Montmartre with a panoramic view over Paris, the Sacré Coeur, the Eiffel Tower. A building built for the Paris Universal Exposition of 1900.
We take the stairs and descend along Rue Foyatier. One of the most famous streets in Paris, it consists of flights of stairs giving access to the top of the hill, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, and the other attractions of the upper-Montmartre neighborhood. The Montmartre funicular runs alongside it:
view of Sacre Coeur from Rue Foyatier:
At the southern end of Rue Foyatier we turn LEFT (east) to Place Saint-Pierre. Facing you are the grassy and terraced gardens leading you to the basilica. The gardens were once gypsum quarries, hence the odd design. it's time to take the obligatory photos no (see photo above). If you are hungry, grab a crepe or sandwich from the stand on your left, or the pleasant café with the best view of the gardens and basilica on your right.
Turn RIGHT (south-east) to Rue Seveste. Head southeast on Rue Seveste toward Passage Briquet. Turn left onto Boulevard de Rochechouart. Turn right. Turn left and you arrive to the Métro station (line 4) of Barbès - Rochechouart.