Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Happy New Year from Paris - Montmartre

Montmartre artists
We continued our sigtseeing of Paris to Montmartre.
Montmartre is one of the most colorful neighborhoods in Paris so it's not surprise that this area is a favorite among tourists. A hill that reaches a height of about 130 meters, Montmartre has been long known as the artist's enclave in the city. The word Montmartre translated means  "mountain of the martyr" and was derived from the martyrdom of Saint Denis - the bishop of Paris - who was decapitated at the top of hill in 250 AD. This hill outside the city was settled during the 19th century. The original inhabitants were forced to move to Paris's outskirts where they quickly established their own "town" without the rules and regulations of the city. That's part of the reason why Montmartre quickly became a popular "free" life area. During the mid late 1800s, artists also began calling Montmartre home. Many famous artists have begun their artistic life at this point; Pissarro, Degas, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir, Picasso and etc.
During the New Year holidays all this part of town was full of people and events. Just walking around the district is a treat. Montmartre's most recognizable landmark is the Basilica du Sacré-Coeur and of course Moulin Rouge.

Sacre Coeur Basilica
Sacré Coeur Basilica
Paul Abadie designed this basilica in a Roman-Byzantyne style. Due to its location on the Montmartre hill, its highest point is even higher than the top of the Eiffel Tower (basilica towers). Thanks to this prominent location the Sacré Coeur Basilica is one of the most noticeable landmarks in Paris. The Sacré Coeur Basilica has managed to keep its white color even in the polluted air of a big city like Paris.
When we were to Paris first time, we visited the Basilica very thoroughly, but this time the line was so great that we were only able to do the lap of honor and get out of there.

Sacre Coeur Basilica
Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge was opened in October 1889. The owners of this new establishment, Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler, who had chosen the name Moulin Rouge (Red Mill) for their theater, gave it the nickname "Le Premier Palais des Femmes" (The First Palace of Women) and claimed that Moulin Rouge would soon become "a temple of music and dance". Moulin Rouge quickly gained a reputation for being the place where men could see young Parisian girls whose unique and amazing dance moves were as flexible as their morals. Visiting Moulin Rouge Today is still very popular with adult visitors to Paris. You'll find lot of tourists snapping photos in front of the huge red windmill that sits on top of the theater. I'll do it next time, I mean visit it.....

To be continued.....

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