Montmartre

Sept 21 2017

We arrived in Montmartre via the Metro to the Abbesses station and followed the Sortie (Exit) sign to the stairway.  After several flights I started to wonder how deep the station was and how much longer we would climb.  It wasn’t until we exited the station that we discovered that there is an elevator and that the station is the deepest in the Paris Metro system –  118 ft!  This station has a beautiful glass covered entrance.  I love all of the art deco designs at the metro stations!  There was a vendor selling fresh roasted chestnuts here (as at many of the station entrances) and the wood smoke fire makes it feel like fall!

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Montmartre has a long and interesting history but is probably best know for Sacre-Couer and its artistic past.  In the later part of the 1800’s this area was home to, or frequented by, many famous artists including Renoir, Van Gogh and Picasso.

Montmartre is also where you will find the only remaining vineyard in Paris.  In the Middle Ages the hills of Montmartre were covered with grapevines.  In the late 1800’s a lice born disease destroyed the vineyards.  All of France suffered from the blight and 40% of all French vineyards died from the disease.  The existing vineyard, planted in 1933,  is about 1650 sq ft.  We were not able to fit in a visit to the vineyard this trip but I hope to see it on my next trip to Paris!

The windmill Radet is one of two remaining windmills in Paris.  This windmill, built in 1717, sits above the restaurant Moulin de la Galette.

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Radet windmill Montmartre

Just above the Abbesses Metro station in the Jehan Rictus Square is the Wall of Love.  Made of enameled lava this wall says “I love you” 311 times in 250 languages.  Everyone wants to take a selfie there!

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The little cul de sac, Villa Leandre, was so beautiful and serene. We enjoyed our early evening walk through Monmartre.  At Place Dalida, we could see Sacre-Coeur in the distance.  We continued our walk to Sacre-Coeur and enjoyed the view of the city from the front entrance of the building.

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There are a number of fabric stores in the section of Montmartre south of Sacre-Couer.  We took the Metro to do some shopping.  Getting off the train at the Anvers station  we walked along Rue de Steinkerque.  This part of Montmartre has a different feel.  It is a bit seedier, many different nationalities seem to be here and it feels as if it may not be safe after dark.  There are loads of inexpensive clothing stores in this area.  We found tons of fabric stores, some upscale and some discount.  Many people sew here, including men!  There is so much wonderful fabric to choose from it’s overwhelming.  I am so sorry that I didn’t have some things in mind to sew and an extra suitcase to fill with fabric!  Another area I must return to!

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