Montmartre is a hill north of Paris. It is famous as the place where art thrived and was home to famous artists like Vincent Van Gogh. The bohemian atmosphere exists even till date with plenty of night clubs, a sex museum and sex shops. Moulin Rouge the famous cabaret still attracts hordes of spectators.
We started our walk from Starbucks cafe which is bang opposite the Moulin Rouge.
The Clos Montmartre Vineyard which is just past the Maison Rose restaurant on the way down the hill is
closed with the exception of the wine festival on the first Saturday in October. It's hard to imagine, but the
vineyard actually still produces a few hundred bottles of wine which are auctioned off during the festival! This vineyard has an interesting history. These vines were originally planted in the 1930s to curb rampant property development.
Many artists had studios or worked around the community of Montmartre such as Salvador Dalí, Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh.
The Lapin Agile was a favourite spot for struggling artists and writers, including Picasso, Modigliani, Apollinaire, and Utrillo. It was more than twenty years old when, in 1875, the artist Andre Gill painted the sign that was to suggest its permanent name. It was a picture of a rabbit jumping out of a saucepan, and residents began calling their neighborhood night-club "Le Lapin à Gill", meaning "Gill's rabbit".
On top of the hill is the beautiful Basilica of the Sacré Cœur. It is built of travertine stone quarried in Château-Landon (Seine-et-Marne), France. This stone constantly exudes calcite, which ensures that the basilica remains white even with weathering and pollution.
There is plenty more to experience and Montmartre is as exotic as it was bohemian - a must visit!