PARIS — Butte-Montmartre

The 18th arrondissement of Paris is one of Paris’ most visited areas and centres around the Montmartre area. It has a charming village-like atmosphere and is full of history. This arrondissement also includes the lively, bustling immigrant neighbourhoods of Barbes and La Goutte d’Or.

The sights found here are:
Basilica of Saint-Jeanne d’Arc
Église Saint-Bernard de la Chapelle
Barbès and La Goutte d’Or Neighbourhoods
Basilique du Sacré Cœur
Place du Tertre
Musée de Montmartre
Musee d’Art Naif Max Fourny
Église Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre
Moulin Rouge
Montmartre Cemetery

Basilica of Saint-Jeanne d’Arc

Basilica of Saint-Jeanne d’Arc
The building of this church was first considered at the beginning of WW1 as an offering for the safety of Paris to be built next door to the only church in Paris to be visited by Jeanne d’Arc. In 1926 a contest was held for the design of a church to be built here and the winner was Georges Closson whose design was never completed. The building of the church began in 1930 but it wasn’t completed until 1964 with a different design.

Église Saint-Bernard de la Chapelle

Église Saint-Bernard de la Chapelle
This is a neo-gothic Roman Catholic church in the Porte de la Chapelle area close to the historic village church of Saint-Denys-de-la-Chapelle where Joan of Arc paused when entering Paris in 1429. In September 1996 it was the scene of an expulsion by the police of illegal immigrants who had taken refuge there.

Barbès and La Goutte d’Or Neighbourhoods
This part of Paris which is found just past Montmartre is quite different from other areas and is an Arabic-African area. In the last few years trendy designers have been opening new boutiques in this area as well as some new restaurants. The Marché Barbès is a great outdoor market on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7.30am until 3pm on the Boulevard de la Chapelle between Boulevards Barbès and Tombouctou.

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur
The Sacré-Cœur was planned to be built as an offering after the defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune of 1871 to cure France of its misfortunes. The church was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus which was a cult that gained popularity after 1873. The foundation stone was laid in 1875 and it was fully completed in 1914 and became a Basilica after WW1 in 1919. The Sacré-Cœur is designed in the Romanesque-Byzantine style of architecture with the triple-arched portico surmounted by two bronze equestrian statues of Joan of Arc and Louis 1X. It has one of the world’s heaviest bells known as the Savoyarde. The Basilica is built of Château-Landan stone which when it rains acts as a bleach which helps keep the façade a gleaming white. The inside is rather plain except for the golden mosaics on the apse which are the largest in the world and depict Christ in Majesty and The Sacred Heart worshiped by the Virgin Mary, Joan of Arc and St Michael the Archangel.
For information about the church visit the website at: http://www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com/us/index.html

Traveller's Tip

For a stunning view of Paris climb to the top of the dome. The walk around the dome itself is very special as well.
  • Make sure you visit the crypt with its statues of the saints and a relic believed to be the Sacred Heart of Christ.
    Place du Tertre

    Place du Tertre
    This square is found near to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur in the heart of the Montmartre district and was once frequented by the famous artists who worked and lived in this area. Every day budding artists set up their easels here and this is the place to come to get your portrait drawn.

    Musée de Montmartre
    This quirky museum is part museum of Montmartre history and part art museum. The building was once a studio for painters, writers and cabaret artists. Probably its most famous inhabitant was Renoir who painted the Moulin de la Galette while he lived here. Other painters who were here at one time or another included Ultrillo, Jean Marais the actor who also like to paint and sculpt and Toulouse-Lautrec. The lower floors of the museum concentrate on the history of Montmartre with documents, maps, ceramic pieces, old photos, engravings, and other memorabilia on display. The upper floor is devoted to the building’s famous inhabitants and there are works by Maurice Utrillo, Emile Bernard, and others. There are also several original Toulouse-Lautrec posters. The museum is open every day except Monday and Christmas Day and New Year’s Day from 11am until 6pm. It costs €8.
    For information about the museum visit the website at: http://www.museedemontmartre.fr (in French only)

    Musée d’Art Naif Max Fourny
    This is a museum of naive art which is often characterised by a childlike simplicity in its subject matter and technique. It is found in the Halle Sain-Pierre which is a former market at 2 Rue Ronsard. It was founded in 1986 by the publisher Max Fourny. The museum displays temporary exhibitions of folk art, naive art and raw art. There is also a permanent collection of around 629 pieces including paintings, paper work, marquetry, textiles and sculpture. It is open every day from 10am until 6pm and costs €6.
    For information about the museum visit the website at: http://www.hallesaintpierre.org/index.php?page=home (in French only)

    Église Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre

    Église Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre
    This church is found at 9 Rue des Abbesses at the foot of Montmartre. It was built between 1894 and 1904 and was the first church to be built of reinforced cement. The façade is of brick and ceramic tile and features an Art Nouveau design.

    Moulin Rouge

    Moulin Rouge
    This world famous cabaret was built in 1889 in the red-light district of Pigalle on Boulevard de Clichy. You cannot miss the red windmill on its roof. It is known as the place where the can-can dance was performed and was the forerunner of similar cabarets across the globe. Today it is a popular tourist destination considered tacky by some but applauded by others and some famous singers have entertained audiences here including Édith Piaf, Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli. Just be aware that drinks can be very expensive here as well as the meals.
    For information about the Moulin Rouge visit the website at: http://www.moulinrouge.fr/index_gb.php

    Traveller's Tip

    If you don’t want to eat or drink here you can book just for the show at 9pm and 11pm but remember it is ‘Adults Only’.

    Montmartre Cemetery
    This is the second largest cemetery in Paris and like the others it is the final resting place of some famous people such as Berlioz, Degas, Nijinsky, Offenbach, Stendhal, Truffaut and Samuel Beckett amongst others. It opened in 1795 at 20 Avenue Rachel.
    For information about this cemetery and others found in Paris visit the following website at:http://www.pariscemeteries.com/pages/montmartre.html

    Traveller's Tip
    If you don’t want to climb the steep hill to Montmartre then there is a funicular you can take from a station at the bottom which is found between the Place Saint-Pierre and the Place Suzanne-Valadon to the top station found at Rue du Cardinal DuBois, where a short flight of steps leads up to the Basilique du Sacré Cœur. You can use a regular métro ticket for the ride which you can buy at the funicular station. Other ways to get to Montmartre without the steep climb are by the Montmartrebus which is a small bus that runs between the Pigalle Métro station and the top of the hill at Place du Mont Cenis, in front of the Église de Saint-Pierre de Montmartre, next to the Place du Tertre every 12 minutes. It is operated by the public transit system which means you can use a regular métro ticket on it. There is also the Montmartre train (Promotrain) which is a tourist train that gives you a 40-minute tour narrated in French and English around Montmartre. It leaves from the Place Blanche, off Place du Tertre between 10am until 6pm and costs €6.