All Paris Hotels Blog

April 27, 2010

Montmartre, Paris

The 18th arrondissement of Paris known as Montmartre is so-named after the 130-meter-high hill which rises up in the middle of the district and is home to its most famous and popular attraction, the Sacre Coeur.

With the cheap and efficient metro system whisking travelers into the area from around the city, Montmartre is easy to explore from anywhere on the Paris hostels map – although it’s steep slopes and steps can be a challenge for even the fittest backpacker!

Sacre Coeur

The white-domed Sacre Coeur is a Roman Catholic basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. It’s a popular landmark in Paris and dominates the skyline perched atop the hill. This is the highest point in the city, making it visible from many Paris hostels in Montmartre and beyond.

It was built between 1875 and 1914, but was not formally dedicated until after World War I in 1919. The iconic dome is made of travertine stone, which exudes a substance called calcite, so ensuring that the basilica will always remain white in spite of weathering and pollution.

The top of the dome is open to tourists and offers panoramic views of the city and there is also a garden for meditation in the complex, as well as a fountain.

Moulin Rouge

Made famous by the 2001 film of the same name that starred Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, the Moulin Rouge (or Red Windmill) is a must-see for any visitor to Montmartre, or indeed, Paris.

The cabaret show gets its name from the red windmill on its roof and has been the location of performances by legends like Frank Sinatra. Today it offers musical and dance entertainment to adult visitors from around the world – including the traditional French cancan dance.

L’Espace Dali Museum

In the mid-1800s, the area became a significant artistic center in the French capital when numerous impoverished painters moved in here and the renowned artists Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec have all been associated with Montmartre.

In the heart of the arty neighborhood, this museum offers Dali fans a view of the surrealist artist’s sculptures and cartoons. Although Dali was known more for his paintings, these pieces are as delightful as some of his more famous works.

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