Sacre Coeur & Montmartre

Yesterday on our way back to the hotel, we were walking through Place Vendôme. It’s a circular “place” (square) with luxury jewelry stores, the someday to be reopened Ritz hotel, Napoleon’s column in the center and the Ministry of Justice. We noticed some police and a car on the opposite side of the street we were crossing, but didn’t know what was taking place. Apparently, a robbery had taken place at one of the high end jewelers.

Demand pricing for higher end hotel rooms is starting to kick in with the beginning of Fashion Week. The room we have will increase by 50% in its nightly rate over the next five days to 1,200€/night, breakfast not included.

There’s some blue sky and white puffy clouds passing overhead of the hotel atrium while we’re having “une petite dejuener” (breakfast), so hopefully that means the rain is gone, at least temporarily. Relaxing over a café au lait before we start our journey outside today.

Today we’re going to Sacré-Cœur and Montmartre area.

The easy way up (funicular).

The hard way up

We took the easy way up and down. It’s worth a Metro ticket each way.

Inside, Sacré-Cœur is enormous. There is a service of some nature taking place. There is a nun playing some sort of keyboard instrument and there were nuns in the choir section singing. For all of the people visiting the Basilica, it was very quiet and beautiful. Built under the auspices of the State, the Basilica was begun in 1870 and finished in 1919. It escaped major damage from bombing in the last days of WWII.
They have a website, of course




Just around the corner and up some narrow cobblestone streets from Sacré-Cœur is
Saint-Pierre de Montmartre.

It’s the site of a former royal monastery, founded in 1147. Dame Adelaide de Savoie, Queen of France, who founded this abby, is buried here.


Doors to Saint-Pierre de Montmartre

The streets around Sacré-Cœur and Saint-Pierre de Montmartre are narrow, cobblestone streets (only wide enough for one way). On the way up to Saint-Pierre de Montmartre, both sides of the street are full of souvenir shops and sketch artists wandering around with their sketch boards, anxious to make your sketch or caricature. Honestly, I’ve never seen so many in such a small area. In high tourist season, this area must be shoulder to shoulder.


There are plenty of curious little streets, including one, rue de Calvaire, which extends down a long series of steps to another street below.

We took the easy way down Sacré-Cœur using the funicular. We are headed over to Bread & Roses, near the Mothership. In fact, I’m told some DWs park their DHs (dear husbands) here while they shop next door at 24 Faubourg.

We’d really already done our shopping at the Mothership, so it was more of a sweep through to see what other people were buying.

Next stop was Lalique, a well known French art crystal maker, on rue Royale.

We had decided to stop at an Eric Kayser to get something for dinner, since we never had lunch, but as we made our way towards the store, it started to rain. We got damp, but as we sat inside looking out, it started to snow, hard. By the time we left, it wasn’t snowing or raining, so the remainder of the walk was more pleasant than getting there.

Tomorrow, we have a partial day in Paris before we transfer hotels to one at the airport.

Photos at Flickr.

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