Falling Into Reveries, Pt.2 (fascinating Montmartre)

By: Vasilisa

When an artist is asked about a place he'd like to go it's highly possible that he or she will answer Montmartre. This is an inspiring place where lived and created the most prominent people from the world of art. Nowadays this is a center of attraction for many tourists who are willing to have a look at the famous Sacre Coeur on the top of the Montmartre hill, admire the serenity and tranquility of the cosy streets or to have their portrait painted by one of the artists.
There are debates about the origin of the hill name. According to the version supported by the Christians in the 4th century Saint Denis along with the other Christians was executed on the top of the hill where the Romans built a temple to their god Mars called Mons Martius. After he was beheaded he picked up his head and carried it down the hill to the place where he was subsequently buried. Since that time the place was called Mont du Martyre (or Martyr's Hill). Nowadays there's a monument of St. Denis in the park not far from Sacre Coeur.
Up to the end of the 18th century the hill was a place of quarries.

This fact explains the presence of mills and the appearance of such street names as Blanche (?white?) because the region was covered with white limestone powder.
With the passing time the quarries were closed and the mills were turned into restaurants and cabarets. 19th century is the beginning of the new, Bohemian, epoch.
It is interesting that up to the 19th century Montmartre remained a village in the Parisian outskirts. Its central square still preserves rural traits. It is square-shaped with a church in the center. Later on the church was turned into the Benedectine monastery. That is in this monastery where the cult of the saint heart (Sacre Coeur) was created. The Basilica was created on the occasion of it.
This Basilica dominates the whole city. A steep staircase leads to the top of the hill. But it's really worth climbing! Breathtaking sights of Paris stretching at your feet are unforgettable. Besides there's a great number of musicians, poets and of course artists searching for inspiration. The quintet of Parisian musical, literary and artistic Bohemia!
But do not forget that this is a functioning Basilica where Mass is celebrated daily. So all the believers have a chance to say prayers to the Sacred Heart or prayer of adoration.
Montmartre also shelters several wonderful museums, including a unique one where one can see about 300 original Dali's artworks.
Don't forget to pop into the famous Lapin Agile (Nimble Rabbit), a favourite meeting place of many artists and poets of the 19th century. This very rabbit inspired Picasso to paint his famous Au Lapine Agile which was sold in the 80th for nearly $50 million and now is on view at New York City's Metropolitan Museum.
So don't miss a chance to join the world of art and inspiration! To feel the atmosphere of the place in full measure book in at one of the cosy hotels which Montmartre hosts in abundance. Enjoy falling asleep and waking up in the real Heart Of Paris!

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