Sunday, July 30, 2006

A Walk Through Montmartre

We spent a pleasant few hours in Montmartre (Mount of Mars to the pagan Romans, Mount of Martyrs to the Christians who followed them), before and after our visit to the Chapel of the Martyrs. Having taken the "funicular" (sort of like a cable car -- costs one metro ticket) up to Sacre'-Coeur and wandered around there, we gave the rest of our time over to most of a Rick Steves walking tour of the area around the basilica. (Our Rick Steves Guide to Paris really made our trip -- I can't recommend his books enough.)

The photos:

1. Boulangerie (Bakery)
painted by the artist Maurice Utrillo. You can see Sacre'-Coeur peeking up from the background.

2. Renoir lived here while painting his famous
Bal du Moulin de la Galette.

3. La Maison Rose, also made famous by an
Utrillo painting and by the artists and writers who frequented it.

4. amd 5. The Clos Monmartre Vineyard, where monks and nuns have produced wine for 800 years. (Monmartre beckoned artists because of both its pastoral atmosphere on a hillside above Paris and the fact that the Paris wine tax did not apply there.)

6. Le Lapin Agile (The Agile Rabbit): who could resist a cabaret so named?

7. The headless St. Denis -- a bishop sentenced to death by the Romans for speading Christianity, he became the victim of some impatient soldiers who en route to execution neatly sliced off his head, which he then reputedly carried for three miles before finally keeling over. His headless self was a favorite theme of painters and sculptors.

8. The Moulin (Windmill) de la Galette, originally one of 30 windmills on Montmartre. After most of the vineyards disappeared, it found itself in the center of an outdoor dance hall (as painted by Renoir and mentioned above).

You can enlarge the photos for a better look. Le Lapin Agile is worth it.


Theresa Williams said...

Yes, that rabbit is quite something. Agile rabbit--sounds a little sexy, doesn't it?

Stacy said...

Loved the photos... the narrow streets, the ivy covered buildings, the history.. I'm looking forward to seeing more of them.

Paul said...

I took a picture of Maison Rose because I liked the way it looked. I had no idea it was a well-known building.

Globetrotter said...

That rabbit would make a heck of a waitor!

In my opinion, no artist could capture the carefree joie de vivre of the french in portraiture as well as Renoir. My favorite is The Luncheon on the Boating.

Great entry and pics, Robin.

Carol said...

Thanks for giving me a glimpse into your travels with these beautiful phots.

tess said...

What a treat! Of course, I expected that the images would be excellent!