Being a village that has always deviated from the Parisian norm, Montmartre, meaning the mountain of the martyr, has flourished into one of the top places to visit in Paris and is absolutely worth it. Shedding a whole new spectrum of light upon the Parisian way of life outside of the city.
Due to the emperor, Napolean the 3rd, giving land from within the city to his wealthy associates, the citizens that originally inhabited the land were dislodged from their homes and forced to move to the outskirts of the city forming a town where the original rules and regulations of Paris did not apply. This resulted in the gradual development of the booming nightlife Montmartre is celebrated for today, with places like the Moulin Rouge. In the late 1800s, Montmartre became home to many famous artists that we admire today such as Van Gogh, Picasso, and Matisse. Obviously being influenced and inspired by his surroundings during his two-year stay, between 1886-1888, Van Gogh skilfully depicted Montmartre’s rural side in a series of work today called the Montmartre paintings. Declared as a historical area Montmartre has had very little renovations nor development as it is required to stay as untouched as possible which is brilliant of course as it has allowed the little town to retain its wonderful character. Just fifteen minutes outside of Paris if you take the train, Montmartre is without a doubt worth a visit, just walking through the streets is inspiring, making you feel as though you’re in one of France’s real little villages in the 1800s.
Of course, Montmartre is not just a beautiful, untouched French village, but also has sites within its radius that often attract lots of tourists every year. Besides the local night clubs and a trip to the Moulin Rouge, there are places that continue to add to the vibrant artistic flare of the village. Such as Place du Tertre where the world’s most valued artists originally set up their easels. Today the tradition continues as many aspiring artists, attempting to make their place in the world evidently following in the footsteps of the masters, display their art and might even tempt you to have a portrait of yourself done. If you are extremely interested in the artistic history of the village there is the Cimétiere de Montmartre, the cemetery of Montmartre that was developed during the French revolution, where many artists have been laid to rest. It is also known as the artist’s cemetery for this reason. Naturally, there is also La Musee de Montmartre, the museum of Montmartre, which is where Maurice Utrillo, a Montmartre native, once lived and produced his work which would be an obligatory visit as a tourist in an artistic village. Montmartre is also home to the Sacre-Coeur Basilica which resides on the hill, it is accessible by the funicular railway, bus or foot. The trek itself is seen as a modern day pilgrimage.
Montmartre offers to the world, through being preserved, an insight into the old unregulated French way of life that is not easily found in a modern day society.