Montmartre, Le Sacré Coeur
I’ve spent quite a lot of time wandering with one of my dearest friends among Montmartre’s narrow streets this week in order to try and capture some bits of the particular soul of this famous hill and district of Paris.
As I’ve already written in an article some months ago, Montmartre is my favourite district of Paris. It sometimes makes me think of Lyons, which is a compliment in my words. Of course, it is always crowded with tourists, and you can’t even make a step without being hassled by some illegal street seller or portraitist. But still, it is quite a nice place to visit, and I can give you four reasons for it:
1 – Montmartre hosts Le Sacré-Coeur, this amazing and so unusually shaped basilica that sits upon the top of the hill. I must confess I’ve not always been fond of it, especially because I much prefer the gothic architecture of Notre-Dame de Paris, but in the end, it is still the iconic monument of Montmartre, like Notre-Dame de Fourvière for Lyons.
2 – Montmartre is a very lively hill. On the steps before Le Sacré-Coeur, you always find some street artists performing, generally some singer and his guitarist friend singing some of the cheesiest songs the 20th century has produced, and also this football acrobat who’s climbing up a street-lamp while juggling with his feet. Whether you like it or not, you will never find yourself alone in this district of Paris, and it may be one of the main reasons of the touristic success of Montmartre.
3 – The view there is stunning. I’ve already written an article about it, but I’ll say it again: if you have the courage (and money) to climb up the dome of the basilica, you will enjoy one of the most fantastic views of Paris.
4 – Stairs ! I know some people might be reluctant to climb up endless stairways, but I personally find it quite thrilling. Take good sneakers with you, come with a friend who’s in good shape, and be ready to wake up some of your childhood memories, running up and down the stairways that are scattered all over Montmartre. Plus, it’s a good photography subject.
In the end, I’ve been quite happy to spend some time in Montmartre this week, and I hope I will keep the same enjoyment next week while discovering another part of the city. But this is another article you’ll have to wait for.
Le Sacré-Coeur from Montmartre streets
Going down to Paris
Admiring the view
A portraitist Place du Tertre