Paris: Montmartre Exploration

Old Nov 9th, 2003, 08:15 AM
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Degas
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Paris: Montmartre Exploration


Rough draft of a walk in this area is found below. Would appreciate your feedback and recommendations on places to see and where you might eat or have a drink.

Its about a two mile walk with some steep hills. I figure the best time is early in the morning or late afternoon after some of the tour busses have departed. Hike up to the church or ride the funicular (one metro ticket).

START POINT: METRO STOP ANVERS (LINE TWO)

HALLE ST-PIERRE (ST. PETER?S MARKET HALL). 2 rue Ronsard. M: Anvers. Elegant iron and glass 19C market hall at the foot of Sacre-Coeur. Café, bookstore and Museum of Native Art.

SACRE-COEUR. (Sacred Heart Church). M: Angers or Abbesses. Open: 0700-2200. Free. 3E for Dome and Crypt. Great city views from here. Romanesque and Byzantine architecture. Golden mosaics inside. Took over forty years to build.

NOTE: Skip the Dome and Crypt.

LEAVE CHURCH, TURN RIGHT AND FOLLOW TREE-LINED STREET. AT RUE ST-ELEUTHERE, TURN RIGHT AND WALK UP TO

ST.PIERRE-DE-MONTMARTRE. 2 rue du Mont-Cenis. 0800-1930. Oldest church in area.

PLACE DU TERTE. M: Abbesses. little square in the heart of Montmartre where many artists gather to sell paintings and draw pictures of tourists visiting just as they have done for more than 100 years.

LA MERE CATHERINE RESTAURANT. Favorite of Cossasks in 1814 during Russian occupation.

PLACE DU CALVAIRE, just off Place du Terte, smallest square in Paris with great city views

NORTHERN SLOPES OF LA BUTTE (THE MOUND)

FOLLOW RUE NEVINS TO RUE DES SAULES, THEN TURN RIGHT AND WALK DOWNHILL.

NOTE: View the dome of Sacre-Coeur rising above the rooftops just after the Café Consulat.

TURN RIGHT AT (MAISON ROSE RESTAURANT) UP RUE CORTOT FOR

MUSEE DE MONTMARTE. 12 rue Cortot. M: Lamarck-Caulaincourt. Tue-Sun 1100-1800. Nice
neighborhood museum set up in the oldest house on the Butte.

RETURN TO RUE DES SAULES AND WALK DOWNHILL PAST THE MAISON ROSE TO

MONTMARTRE?S VINEYARD. Rue des Saules.

CONTINUE DOWNHILL TO

AU LAPIN AGILE (1860). 26 rue des Saules. Oldest surviving nightspot in Montmartre.

CIMETIERE ST-VINCENT: Entry on rue Lucien-Gaulard via rue St-Vincent, behind Lapin Agile.

WESTERN SLOPES OF LA BUTTE

RETURN TO RUE DES SAULES AND WALK UP HILL TO THE CREST NEAR THE BAKERY

WALK DOWNHILL. HUG BUILDINGS ON THE LEFT. TURN RIGHT ON RUE RAVIGNAN FOR

Bateau-Lavior (Boar Wash house). Picasso?s studio.

WALK DOWNHILL ONE SHORT BLOCK, TURN LEFT ON RUE D?ORCHAMPS AND JUST BEYOND THE INTERSECTION WITH RUE LEPIC FIND

MOULIN DE LA GALETTE. Only two windmills remain in an area once dotted with them. Originally used to crush stones and grapes. Site of a once famous outdoor dance hall. Renoir?s Bal du Moulin de la Galette shows it in it?s heyday.

CONTINUE PAST THE MAIN ENTRY OF MOULIN DE LA GALETTE DOWN RUE LEPIC TO NUMBER 54 TO FIND

VAN GOGH?S HOUSE (1886-1888).

WALK BACK EAST TO THE INTERSECTION WITH RUE THOLOZE AND TURN RIGHT DOWNHILL ON THOLOZE

NOTE: Studio 28 at number 10 was the first cinema built for experimental films

CONTINUE DOWN THOLZE TO RUE DES ABBESSES AND TURN LEFT TOWARDS THE

PLACE DES ABBESSES. Picturesque, slightly countrified square.

NOTE: Le Sancerre. 35 rue des Abbesses. Raucous café with music & view of Abbesses street scene.

ST-JEAN L?EVANGELISTE (1904). First concrete building in Paris. Has Art Nouveau curves. Bricks were added to soothe offended city officials.

FROM THE SQUARE TAKE RUE YVONNE-LE-TAC OFF TO THE RIGHT

CHAPELL DU MARTYRE at number 9 is where St-Denis was beheaded. Open daily 1500- 1800.

END THE WALK AT THE ABBESSES METRO STATION.

NOTE: Entrance to the station is a curving mass of delicate iron and one of the two remaining Art Nouveau entrance canopies left in Paris.

FOLLOW-ON EXPLORATION OPTIONS:

To visit Cimetiere de Montmarte (end of ave Rachel off bd de Clichy), take metro to Blanche. Leafy refuge is moving and evocative. Resting place of Degas, Greuze and Fragonard.

To combine with St-Denis Cathedral, take Metro to place de Clincy and transfer to line 13




 
Old Nov 9th, 2003, 08:40 AM
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Hi Degas,

You're fabulous! I never have to plan another Paris trip as long as you keep posting here.

A couple of comments - walk down into metro Abbesses for the wonderful art work lining the walls; done by local artists. There's a couple of hundred stairs so I opted to walk down rather than up. On the metro entrance design is a boat with sails which is the symbol of Paris.

On rue Giradon, near place Dalida (singer - look for her bust), is a lovely small park to rest for a few minutes or have a picnic lunch.

Several artists lived at the bateau-lavoir; Picasso, Renoir, Modigliani, Braque, Dufy.

On rue Norvis is a sculpture of a man walking through the wall called Le Passe-Muraille. There's a story that goes along with this which I can't totally remember but I'm sure someone else on this board will remember or it's probably somewhere on the internet.

Keep up the good work!

adrienne


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Old Nov 9th, 2003, 08:54 AM
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degas, looks like another winner.

Here's a little addition:

CIMETIERE ST-VINCENT: Entry on rue Lucien-Gaulard via rue St-Vincent, behind Lapin Agile. Buried here are proto-impressionist Boudin, Belle Epoque poster artist Cheret and Utrillo.
 
Old Nov 9th, 2003, 09:00 AM
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RJD
 
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Seems like a fine itinerary. But I have a note of caution about Place Du Terte. It is very touristy, with aggressive artists who want to draw your picture and tres expensive food and drink. It's OK and rather quaint as long as you are not surprized by the aggressive selling or the prices.
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Old Nov 9th, 2003, 09:23 AM
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Regarding the AU LAPIN AGILE, in the early days it was the favorite of Renior, Verlaine and Clemenceau. In 1880, a painter named Gil painted the sign of a nimble rabbit avoiding a pot. Poor artists used to gather here to eat and sing and were allowed to pay their bills with paintings. Picasso did so with one that was eventually worth millions.
 
Old Nov 9th, 2003, 09:37 AM
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Degas
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Thanks for the great inputs so far.

Here' a little update on the BATEAU-LAVIOR (Boat Wash House).

Got its name because it was a large wooden structure (burned down in 1970) in much disrepair and was said to resemble the many floating laundry concessions anchored in the Seine. The artists who lived here were always covered in paint and people said they looked like they needed a good hosing down.

 
Old Nov 9th, 2003, 10:42 AM
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Degas, another fine addition to your growing Paris collection. Thanks for sharing all the detailed research and hard work that went in to it.

I wish I had more to add, but this might be interesting: A stairway passage from Rue Lepic climbs up ave Junot which has Art Deco houses with small gardens.
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Old Nov 9th, 2003, 11:07 AM
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Le Maquis, 69,r. Caulaincourt, is a fine bistro, favored primarily by locals. Reasonably priced as well. After a lunch at Le Maquis just walk down the hill to the Cimetiere de Montmartre, an eerie place usually filled with feral cats sitting among the once elegant and stately burial structures. Bring a camera. JP
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Old Nov 9th, 2003, 11:47 AM
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Degas
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Great stuff - keep it coming. Here's one place you might want to try for a drink:

Le Relais de la Butte. 12 rue Ravignan. 1200 to 2300. Old fashioned, filled with plants and friendly.
 
Old Nov 9th, 2003, 12:17 PM
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While the square outside is quite touristy, Mere Catherine serves terrific food and the prices are reasonable. Best onion soup I've eaten in Paris!
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Old Nov 9th, 2003, 12:42 PM
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Seamus, I read that it is said to be the home of the original fast-food joint. Cossacks came to eat, asking for their food to be served fast and shouting "bistro!" which is "quickly" in Russian.

 
Old Nov 9th, 2003, 01:18 PM
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Hi degas..

We did almost this entire walk 2 weeks ago..it might be 2 miles but it feels like 10! Use your stairmaster and exercise walk a lot at home before you go!

We really enjoyed the Musee Montmarte, in the oldest house there, small and compact, nice collection, overlooks the vineyard so you can skip that if you like. Email me at [email protected] if you want to see the pictures.
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Old Nov 9th, 2003, 02:15 PM
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ttt
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Old Nov 9th, 2003, 02:38 PM
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degas, did some research regarding the MOULIN DE LA GALETTE:

Built in 1622. During the 1814 Siege of Paris, the mill owner, Pierre-Charles DeBray, was crucified on the blades of the mill in macabre retribution for trying to stop the invading Cossacks. His grave has a small sculpted-stone windmill for a headstone. It became a respectable entertainment venue for families, students and artists to gather on Sunday and evenings. It acquired its name from a popular dish, the griddle cake (gallette) that was made from locally milled grain. Locals referred to it as "The Biscuit Windmill."
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Old Nov 10th, 2003, 08:18 AM
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degas, I know you like historical tidbits, so here's one for you.

Picasso was the subject of a practical joke engineered by a cabaret owner and a famous art critic of the time. Spoofing the "New Style of Painting," they tied a canvas to the back of a donkey and dipped its tail in paint. The animal proceeded to do his natural thing, switching his tail, but this time with paint and canvas. He and his helpers produced several paintings that, to their great delight, actually SOLD.
 
Old Nov 10th, 2003, 08:32 AM
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> On rue Norvis is a sculpture of a man walking through the wall called Le Passe-Muraille.

Made by Jean-Marais, the French movie star of "the Beauty & the Beast" and Fantoma series among others.
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Old Nov 10th, 2003, 09:44 AM
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This past Spring we tried something never done on any of our previous trips. We'd done a walking tour on our own in 1998, in 2002 made the mistake of trying to repeat it on a Saturday. YIKES! But this time we met up at the Abeysses Metro stop for one of the Paris Walks tours. It was worth it just to get the full story behind "Le Passe-Muraille." Very entertaining, and much better than trying to read about/view stuff at the same time. We did the morning tour, and ended up at the bottom of the funicular. A block or two up the road was a terrific bar/resto called Le Progres They had a 10Euro special that was fantastic, and it was a really cool place to hang out as well. Amazing choice of beer/ale and wine by the glass.
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Old Nov 10th, 2003, 10:02 AM
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This seems like a great walk. We are staying in Montmarte during Christmas is anyone familiar with Hotel Fromentin? Degas would you recommend 1st timers to skip the dome of Sacre Couer?
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Old Nov 10th, 2003, 10:42 AM
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Degas
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Thanks for all the additional info and recommendations - will incorporate and make the walk better.

hms, the view from the front of the church is super at sunset. I think you can see, on a good day, close to twenty miles.

Lots of stairs and steep hills around the church so your legs get a good workout. I did the dome the first time around, but not on repeat visits.

Still, it doesn't cost much or take much time. Do it if the spirit moves you.
 
Old Nov 10th, 2003, 02:36 PM
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Be sure to take a good look at the artwork of Francisque Poulbot at the Musee du Vieux Montmartre. He specialized in drawing the little street urchins of Paris.

Regards,

Jinx Hoover
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