Last revised: May 26, 2013                                                                                           

  Our 4th day in Paris continues as we explore this great city
 of some 2 million people. The Paris Metro system made our
 adventure fun, easy, and convenient.
 Vacation.     ...

           Montmartre and Pigalle            

Montmartre and Pigalle  - This neighborhood was particularly interesting for me since I've been a great admirer of the work of Toulouse-Lautrec since I saw the original movie "Moulin Rouge" back in the 50s. Montmartre has been associated with the Bohemian lifestyles of painters and poets  of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Familiar names including Lautrec, Picasso, Salvador Dali and others lived and worked in this area.

Moulin Rouge

 Place Blanche  - The site of the Moulin Rouge, Place Blanche (White Square) is the location of windmills that once dotted Montmartre, set up here not just because the hill was a good place to catch the wind -- at over 300', it's the highest point in Paris -- but because Montmartre was covered with cornfields and quarries right up to the end of the 19th century.

Today only two of the original 20 windmills are intact. The most famous, immortalized by painter Toulouse-Lautrec, is the Moulin Rouge, or Red Windmill, built in 1885 and turned into a dance hall in 1900. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec could always be identified by his sleek black coat, checked pants, a green scarf, and a bowler hat peering through his pince-nez glasses at the dancers and making sketches of them.

Moulin Rouge The lines of people across the street were waiting to buy tickets to the most famous of cabarets, the Moulin Rouge. Edith Piaf, Yves Montand, Maurice Chevalier, and Charles Aznavour make their reputations here, and even Frank Sinatra once performed at the Moulin Rouge. Guide books do not recommend the over-priced dinner and highly overrated show.

Interesting Walking Tour of Montmartre

This was a fun place to walk along the winding back streets past cheap clothing and souvenir shops on the way up the hill, the "Butte" (knoll), to the Sacré-Coeur ("Sacred Heart") church with its onion domes and bleached-bone pallor.

Street Art along our walk to the top of the hill.

Fun Cafes and shops!

I'm not sure if this guy thought he was Aristide Bruant, a cabaret artist often painted by
Toulouse-Lautrec, but he was interesting with his cape and feathers...

Cimetiére de Montmartre

On our walk through Montmartre, we saw this most interesting graveyard.

Cimetiére de Montmartre  - Illustrious tombs, many with ornately sculpted monuments,  packed tightly into this intimate space reflect the artistic bent of the former residents, who include composers Hector Berlioz and Jacques Offenback, writers Stendhal and Alexandre Dumas, and other prominent French men and women, including Edgar Degas and Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone.of the saxophone.

Continuing up the hill we enjoyed the small squares, terraces and many original paintings

Place du Tertre - (Montmartre's old villiage square)

Portrait artists are the great-great-grandkids of the Renoirs, van Goghs, and Picassos.

People were as interesting as many of the paintings and prints!


Last revised: May 26, 2013

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