Montmartre (Mountain of the Martyr) owes this name to the martyrdom of Saint Denis, who was decapitated on the hill around 250 AD. Denis was the Bishop of Paris and is now known as Saint Denis, patron saint of the Kingdom of France (wikipedia)
Montmartre is removed from Central Paris, but it’s white Cathedral Sacre Couer up on a hill is visible from much of Paris. This artist’s district is familiar from film, An American in Paris, Moulin Rouge and recently Amelie. The street are quaint and picturesque, many situated on hills.
It is not a glitzy area of Paris, some areas are clogged with Souveneir Shops
Districts (Quarters) within the 18th arrondissement
- Quartier de Montmartre
- Quartier de Pigalle
- Quartier de la Goutte-d’Or, a working-class neighborhood in the arrondissement
- Quartier de La Chapelle
What we like about the 18e:
Naturalia 37 Rue du Poteau
O.K. it’s just a European health food chain, but I discovered it in enchanting Monmartre, just across the street from where VanGogh spent some time. I’ve bought organic apples, cloth grocery bags, and these WONDERFUL miniature dark fruit-grain-seed-apricot bread-loaves that I would travel the world for. There are many Naturalia around Paris
Grenier à Pain 38 Rue des Abbesses
There is always a line at this Boulangier acclaimed for it’s baguettes. I order the same thing here every visit.
The conversation goes as so:
Bon Jour Madame (Good Morning Madam)
Deux Bagettes Cereal, Sil Vous Plait (2 Seeded Bagetes, PLEASE)
et une Financier Fambroise (and a Raspberry Pound Cake)
et une Madeleine Pistaste (and a Pistachio Madeleine)
Sil Vous Pait (THANK YOU)
and although the locals in line are not impressed, she seems delighted
and smiles, says Merci and hands me my bag
Top 10 Bakeries in Paris
Cimetiere de Montmartre 20 Avenue Rachel
This subterianian cemetery recalls Parisians no longer of this world. This serene spot allows us to appreciate the history and culture of this place.
Culinary: Marie-Antoine Carême
Film: François Truffaut
Literature: Alexandre Dumas, Stendhal
Music: Hector Berlioz, Jacques Offenbach
Art: Edgar Degas
Science: Léon Foucault
Pathé Wepler 140 Boulevard de Clichy
We always go to a first run feature film Christmas evening. This large multiplex offers English versions of films. Buy your ticket in advance and arrive early
This district is rich is cinematic history and film houses (TimeOut)
Basilica of the Sacré Cœur
This landmark located atop the butte Montmartre, is the highest point in the city. On the streets west of the church is a circus of tourist vendors, shops and artists.
This ancient winding road is one our favorite streets in Paris
It is definitely not the Champs Ellysees, although souvenir shops may be more proficient here, there is a seedy-patina which we appreciate in this area of history, film and art. A walk up and down these hills is charming and distinct from other neighborhoods in Paris.
If you search, you will find the the fountain where Denis the Bishop of Paris (martyred by being beheaded by a sword) washed-off his head, before carrying it (10K) to his final resting place. Another account of this Christian tradition has his corpse being thrown into the Seine, but recovered and buried later that night by his converts
Nearby Pigalle (this red-light district referred to as “Pig-Alley” by G.I.s in World War II) is a trendy neighborhood experiencing a renaissance.
Without reservation, we return to Montmartre each year.