There's a lot to love about Montmartre, that beautiful butte on the Parisian skyline. In fact, if you approach it from the Abbesses metro, you'll soon see the famous "I Love You" installation, with these words written in dozens of languages.
(A diversion: Butte is defined as an isolated hill with steep sides and a flat top. This leads me to wonder if the slang for our posteriors -- butt -- was derived from this French word.)
Our guide to this part of Paris was Peter of Peter's Paris, a site I'd recommend every Francophile and French tourist for its wonderful history and photo posts. One of the best parts of blogging is meeting people around the world and when Peter learned Rick and I were coming to Paris, he kindly offered to take us to Montmartre. He's highly qualified -- Peter volunteers as a tour guide in the City of Light and as you can see from his blog, knows his stuff well!
I could take you on a virtual tour but I fear it would be far too long a post so let me leave you with a few things I love about this part of Paris. Some may seem silly but together they form a divine picture of a very old part of Paris. Let's start with the views. This is hilly territory. Whether you are looking at the views of Sacre Coeur from Montmartre's streets....
....or looking at Paris from one of the terrific lookout points, you have splendid eye candy. Winding streets, a variation in landscape, it's all there.
Speaking of eye candy, it is a wisteria lover's dream city. How I wish I could do this in my own yard!
There's history in Montmartre, too, and plenty of it. Numerous artists and musicians, particularly from the Impressionist period and the early part of the century, created some of their best work here and joined in grand evenings at the bar Lapin Agile.
Montmartre recognizes some of these with placques, such as Eric Satie. You can learn about others at Montmartre's museums, if you don't have a Peter around to help guide you!
You'll want to stop for a snack or lunch here. Peter knew a wonderful brasserie where we enjoyed champagne and a lovely lunch.
I took the photo below to remind me of the name, but I can't tell in the glare. Peter, if you see this post and can remember, will you please add it in the comments?!
I loved the cemetery here. Parisian cemeteries are like a walk through history and this one is no exception with the gravesites of Jacques Offenbach, Hector Berlioz, guitarist Fernando Sor, and Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone, among countless others.
The graves are beautiful and unique and the setting, a beautiful hillside (of course), was lovely, even on a rainy day.
Although I didn't realize it when I took this photo of a cat hiding out in the rain, our Marmelade Gypsy was making his way to his own end and four months later that cat I would adopt -- Lizzie Cosette -- would look just like this one.
A big thanks to Peter for showing Rick and me this beautiful spot of Paris. For me it was a second visit to Montmartre. I had seen it three years before with my friend Jerry, visiting the Place du Tertre, where artists paint all day, catering to the tourists and where we enjoyed a sunset picnic on the steps of Sacre Coeur. For Rick, it was the first time and for both of us, new discoveries.
This post is part of Paris in July, a wonderful summer blog event hosted by Tamara at Thyme for Tea, where you can find additional posts about the city of light and the books and films it has inspired. Enjoy!
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