Montmartre is a symbol of Paris. High point of the City of Lights (130.63meters above the ground), it is also one of the most touristic area of Paris. But you will discover during your vacations in Paris that there is also a hidden and secret part of it.
Montmartre was initially a calm and bucolic village, independent of Paris. In 1860 it was connected to Paris and became a very popular area of the City of Lights. The name of La Butte, has an older origin. Indeed, it seems that Montmartre was previously called the “Mont Martyrs” – meaning the martyr mount -, where Saint-Denis (bishop of Paris at the time) was beheaded after the Christian persecutions. The legend says that he picked up his head and walked to the point of the current basilica. By the way, one of the street that goes up to Montmartre is called the “rue des Martyrs”.
Today, Montmartre is one of the most touristic area of Paris and is surrounded by tourists from all around the world. The Sacré-Coeur, the Moulin Rouge or the place du Tertre (famous for its accordionists and its caricaturists) are internationally famous. This area of Montmartre deserves its reputation, but there is also a much more intimate area that has nothing to envy to its touristic twin. Indeed, when you access to the opposite side of La Butte, you discover another aspect of Montmartre. The Dalida’s square, the vineyard of Montmartre, or the Villa Leandre (one of the most beautiful hidden cobblestones streets of Paris), are to be visited. The Lapin Agile is also an address you should not miss : great artists such as Picasso, Brassens (a famous French singer) or Apollinaire spent time in there.
Whether it be the touristic area or the hidden area, Montmartre is a must see during your vacations in Paris. A private guided tour would help you understand the rich history of the area.