If you desire about a memorable vacation in a wonderful city that has rich historical heritage and pleasurable places of interest, it’s certainly Paris, the so called City of Lights! From the enchanting beauty of the famous Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame de Paris – the spiritual heart of Paris, to the thrilling Disneyland, Paris has all the ingredients of a colorful and unique tourist destination.
With its beautiful cobblestone narrow streets full of history, charm and happiness, Montmartre is another famous landmark in Paris, found on the Right Bank of the River Seine, in the 18th Arrondissement that remains alive with millions of visitors every year. The highest point of Paris (set on a 130-meters-high hill), strewn with staircases and charming lamps, it’s a meeting spot for lovers of every era that looks grandly out over all of Paris. Translated to mean ‘Hill of the Martyr,’ Montmartre was derived from the martyrdom of Saint Denis, the bishop of Paris, who was decapitated atop the hill in 250 AD.
Blessed with historical and cultural atmosphere, Montmartre was the center of a lot of activity during the Paris Commune in 1871, offering home to the greatest painting movements of the XIX and XX centuries (Cubism, Surrealism, Futurism, and Impressionism). Many artists, from Beriloz to Picasso to Toulouse-Lautrec, lived, worked and played here, keeping the area as the city’s artistic center up until the First World War. In 1889, one of the renowned cabaret theaters opened, the Moulin Rough, meaning ‘red windmill,’ where the high-kicking dance called the can-can was created.
Montmartre Hill, the natural point in Paris is definitely a ‘Must See’ if you ever happen to visit Paris. Its best-known attraction is the gorgeous white-domed Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, which construction began in 1876 and ended only 40 years later. Inside this Romanesque/Byzantine church you will find numerous beautiful paintings and fascinating sculptures, as well as one of the largest bells in the world. There are several ways to get to the church, one of them being the 516 steps you should climb.
Another attraction you should not miss out is the Museé de Montmartre, housing a collection (paintings, lithographs and documents) that traces the area’s rich cultural history and bohemian/artistic past. Here you will also find a fine bookshop that also sells bottles of wine produced from grapes grown in the small vineyard of Clos Montmartre.
Au Lapin Agile – authentic Parisian Cabaret that was the favorite of Picasso is another top getaway in Montmartre, the place where artists, writers and musicians came to entertain, be entertained and to drink together. Situated at the corner of the rue Saint Vincent and the rue des Saules, and with a history of 150 years old, the cabaret is where Parisians enjoy chansons – old French songs accompanied by a piano, as well as poetry. The cabaret show itself lasts for 4 hours non-stop. The Lapin Agile is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00pm to 2:00am and the cost for the show and one drink is around 25 Euros for one person.
Do not also miss out Place des Abesses – one of the most picturesque squares, the world-famous nightclub of Moulin Rough, Cimetiere de Montmartre and Chapelle du Martyre. Keep in mind that the Montmartre can be very crowded at weekend and it’s worth visiting in the morning or during the week.