Today, let's visit Montmartre! Though horribly touristic, it is much dear to my Parisian heart as a big part of my childhood when it was less impacted by mass tourism.
Each day I could see the Sacré-Coeur church rising above rue des Martyrs like a giant creamy Pavlova dessert.
As soon as the spring days were arriving, Montmartre was one of our favorite places where to go on Sundays. First, we were climbing the rue des Martyrs up to avenue Trudaine where we were reaching the Anvers public garden, and after having crossed the boulevard Rochechouart, we were entering in a different village than mine. We were climbing the rue de Steinkerque which at that time was crowded with colored stalls of fabric shops now replaced by hideous gift shops selling not made in Paris or France souvenirs.
If I was walking with my mother, we were slowly climbing through the Sacré-Coeur garden with its strong box wood scents.
If I was walking with my great grandmother or my dear Suzanne, it was instead a cool and easy climb with the funicular.
Later as a teenager I was climbing the hill once a week with my friend Sylvie where naturally warmed up we were attending the modern dance school at avenue Junot.
OK, let's stop here with my own souvenirs and let's see what we are going to visit. I have chosen a progressive and smooth tour beginning with rue Lepic and using steep streets only when going down at the end of our tour. We will start from boulevard de Clichy where we will pass-by a symbol of Paris: le Moulin Rouge. Then, we will climb the rue Lepic, so lively with all the cafes, restaurants and shops which remind me the atmosphere around rue des Martyrs. We will see there the two Moulins de la Galette, which have survived among many mills which were standing on this windy hill. When arrived at the top of the hill, we will walk in streets immortalized by many painters and artists from Montmartre. We will enjoy the view above Paris from the Sacré-Coeur square, the highest spot in Paris before walking down to boulevard Rochechouart.
The photos taken by Atget convey what was Montmartre in his time, a village with old rustic houses both close to and far from Paris. At this time, it was a wild and shaped place quite different from the place today, a little bit fake and like a museum piece for tourists. During our tour, we will stop at the places captured by Atget :
- Boulevard de Clichy
- Rue Lepic
- Rue de Norvins
- Rue de l’Abreuvoir
- Rue Saint-Vincent
- Rue des Saules
- Rue Cortot
- Rue du Mont-Cenis
- Rue Saint-Rustique
- Rue du Chevalier de la Barre
- Place du Tertre
- Rue du Calvaire
- Place Charles Dullin
- Boulevard de Rochechouart
Boulevard de Clichy