| by Kenneth Chase | No comments

Montmartre Is The Heart Of Paris

Montmartre is one of my
favourite neighbourhoods in Paris. With its steep staircases and ivy-covered buildings, it feels a bit set apart from the rest of the city. And it is – it’s located in the 18th Arrondissement and gets its name -Montmartre –
from its position at the top of a high hill. Montmartre is best known for three things: art, nightlife, and the white-domed basilica that sits
at the summit keeping watch over Paris. It won’t take long to feel the
artistic vibes in this district. Walking around you’re sure to notice
statues and plenty of street art. You may even catch a songbird
giving a free performance. The history of the art scene in Montmartre
is evident practically everywhere you look. When you walk around up near the base of the basilica, you’ll find artists set up with their paintings to sell or working on their latest piece. Look for Place du Tertre which is the square
where artists congregate. There’s a long history here and this square has been
open to the public since 1635, many years before it became known
as a gathering place for artists to live and work. Monet, Renoir, Degas, Picasso, Mondrian, and Modigliani either lived
or had studios around here. You can still see where two of its
most famous residents once called home. Vincent Van Gogh and his brother Theo lived here behind the big blue door
from 1886 to 1888. Vincent slept in a small room
and had a studio at the back in a room with a small window. You can imagine the space inside
and the walls being covered by his paintings. Not too far away is where Toulouse-Lautrec
lived and worked from 1887 to 1893. Toulouse-Lautrec is perhaps the artist
most associated with Montmartre because he painted many scenes of daily life here and in 1889 he was commissioned to paint posters
for the newly opened Moulin Rouge. They displayed his art and always
reserved a table for him. It’s here at this address he would’ve
worked on those now iconic posters. That original Moulin Rouge
burned down in 1915 but it was rebuilt. It’s just down from Montmartre
in the neighbourhood of Pigalle. Its red windmill and bright lights are unmistakable and its known as the birthplace
of the can can dance and you can still see the cabaret show to this day. Back up the hill in Montmartre
is Moulin de la Galette best known as a favourite place
of entertainment for artists like Renoir who painted a famous scene here
that you can now see at the Musee d’Orsay. The windmill doesn’t turn anymore
but it’s a designated historic site. Today it’s still a place for gathering and entertainment as you can eat at the restaurant here. Not far from the iconic Moulin de la Galette is a park where you can find a mural dedicated to love. It’s called the Wall of Love or the I Love You Wall. It was created by two artists in the year 2000 and is composed of 612 tiles
that take up 40 square metres. The words ‘I love you’ are written
311 times in 250 languages! The splashes of red represent a broken heart
and how humanity has been torn apart and the mural seeks to reunite us all. It’s fun to go and look for your language
and take a photo. Something you might not love
about Montmartre after a while are all the stairs. 113 steps. Montmartre. If your feet need a break, or even if they don’t, I highly recommend taking a ride
on the Little Train of Montmartre, as it’s called. I love this thing so much
and its existence makes me happy. For 6,50 € you get a 40 minute guided tour
that talks about the history of the area and some of its most famous residents and stories. It’s also just a great chance to get an
overview of Montmartre in a very charming way. On the left, the Café des 2 Moulins, which became famous with the film
“Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain.” Another fun way to get up to Montmartre
is by taking the funicular. It’s part of the Paris metro system and you’ll find not only tourists but locals with their groceries getting a lift up the hill. It’s been used since 1900 and was completely rebuilt in 1935
and then again in 1991. So it’s been shuttling people up and down
the hill for over a hundred years now and carries around 2 million passengers per year. It climbs up 36 metres and takes a minute and a half. It’s a short journey but another way
to feel part of the local history. The funicular will bring you
to the summit of Montmartre which also happens to be the highest point in the city. Here you find Montmartre’s most visible landmark: the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris or simply Sacré-Cœur as it’s better known. It’s a Roman Catholic church and it’s white domes
are an iconic site throughout Paris because you can see it from so far across the city. The church itself isn’t so old,
at least by French standards. It was built from 1875 to 1914 and was consecrated after the war in 1919. The site, however, has a long history
as being a place of worship from the Druids to the Romans and beyond. You can go inside and see the
beautiful dome from the interior as well as the stained glass and the organ. As lovely as it is inside, I personally much prefer the exterior and the view of Paris from this vantage point. The steps and lawn here are a
super popular place to hang out. The summit of Montmartre is home to another church which is much less known but much, much older: in fact, the church of Saint Peter of Montmartre
is one of the oldest churches in Paris. It was built in the year 1147 and it’s just around the corner
from the better known Sacré-Cœur. Don’t miss the chance to go inside here. It’s not often you can visit anything
that’s almost 900 years old. Head back to Sacré-Cœur
and climb the 222 stairs to the bottom where you’ll find one of Paris’ magical carousels. This one has pictures of Venice around the top. I don’t know about you
but I find carousels absolutely enchanting and for only 2 Euros,
it’s irresistible to go for a spin. It’s fun to scope out what you want to ride
ahead of time as you watch it go ’round. You want the inside? Yeah. Ok. It doesn’t matter. Yeah, yeah. Take the inside if you want. This carousel is full of horses to choose from and riding it made me so, so happy. Montmartre is, of course,
also the setting for the movie Amélie and you’ll recognize many of the spots
in this video from the movie, including this carousel at the base
of the Sacré-Cœur steps. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour around
one of the most charming districts in Paris. We’ve made lots of other videos about Paris so check them out for more on what to do, where and what to eat, and where to shop. If you liked the video please give it a thumbs up and subscribe for lots more
travel adventures around the world. Thanks for watching!

Leave a Reply