Montmartre, situated at 130m above sea level, is definitely one of Paris’ must-see neighborhoods. This enchanting sector of the French capital owes its name to the martyrdom of Saint Denis (“Mount – martyr”), the Parisian bishop and patron saint of France who was decapitated on the hill around 250 AD.
The vibrant and charismatic neighborhood has earned itself a central role in Art History, having been home to the likes of Salvador Dalí, Picasso, Modigliani, Monet, and Van Gogh. Its bohemian feel, with its colorful bars and renowned reputation as a nightclub district, is what makes Montmartre irresistible to so many tourists and wandering souls.
You might recognize Montmartre from La boheme, Moulin Rouge, Amelie, La Vie en Rose – it is definitely as legendary as neighborhoods get. You can actually find the real Moulin Rouge along Montmartre’s streets and enjoy one of its regular burlesque shows.
The Sacré-Couer Basilica is a certain stop for anyone passing through Montmartre; standing majestically above Paris, it begs to be explored. The cathedral’s construction was decreed in 1873 to purify the community of its sins and honor those fallen during the Franco-Prussian war.
Given Montmartre’s rich history as an artistic epicenter, the neighborhood naturally houses many art galleries and the unforgettable Musee du Montmartre, a collection of works by Utrillo, Renoir, Valadon, Dufy, Satie and Poulbout, among others. Another space is entirely dedicated to Dalí – who made Montmartre his home for quite some time – displaying an extended collection of works by the king of Surrealism.
Montmartre is also home to the Musee du l’erotism. The museum is dedicated to erotic art from different cultures throughout history, in all its shapes and forms, and couldn’t be better situated.
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