"Montmartre - Long before Amelie" Montmartre Area Tip by mariev

Montmartre Area, Paris: 210 reviews and 399 photos

  rue de Steinkerque
by mariev

With its 130 meters, the Butte Montmartre, crowned by the Sacre Coeur, is the highest Paris' "summit".

There are two different stories about the name "Montmatre" origin : the official one beeing 'Mont de Mercure', but, a 13th century legend states that it comes from 'Mont des Martyrs' and refers to those, who, with Saint Denis (the first Paris' bishop), were killed here for their faith in the 3th century.

From the 12th century to the Revoution (1789) Montmartre housed an important and powerfull benedictine Abbaye.

In 1790, Montmartre was divided in two (uphill and downhill). While the downhill part was quite imediately re-included in Paris, the uphill one grew as a prosperous village until the 19th century and kept some independance, even after being attached to Paris in 1860 (and took an important part in the 'Commune' revolution in 1871).

This independant status appealed to artists, especially painters (like Vernet, Géricault, Corot, Pissarro, Renoir, Van Gogh, Utrillo, Picasso, ....) who moved to the Butte Montmartre during all the 19th century and the begining of the 20th.

Since then, if the area has lost its favour among the artists (in the 50's to Saint Germain des Pres (wich has now become a strictly touristy place too)) it has earned a lot among the tourists, especially after the film 'Amelie' (french title : Le fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain) came out.

It's a working class, cosmopolitan, colourfull, ever crowded and lively area dominated by 'artists' (and souvenir shops) place du Tertre, cafes everywhere, and fabric and (cheap) clothes stores.

Address: Butte Montmartre
Directions: It's the hill where the sacre Coeur stands
Metro Anvers or Abbesses

Phone: 33664472932
Website: http://montmartrenet.com/home_page.php

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 3, 2007
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