Montmartre

 

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From steps leading up to  her iconic cathedral of the Sacre-Coeur, 430 feet above the city, you have a view worth the climb, or at least a ride on the funicular. 

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Today’s Montmartre is not the Montmartre of Picasso, Degas, Urtrillo, Renoir, Toulouse -Lautrec and the absinthe-filled nights of La Belle Epoque, but neither is it the tourist postcard of la Place de Tertre overflowing with caricaturists.

 

Today, whenever there is a new exhibit I head to the Musée Montmartre  

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for a café in the garden and a visit to the current as well as permanent exhibitions. 

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In the heart of Montmartre, Espace Dalí presents the unique permanent exhibition in France entirely devoted to the master of surrealism, and more particularly to his sculptures and engravings. You'll travel through a phantasmagorical world and discover over 300 artworks that have contributed to making Dalí one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century.

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and the Lapin Agile with its rousing show of folk songs enthusiastically sung by French men and women coming to rediscover their childhoods.

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There are numerous cafés along the rue des Abbesses but I often head to La Bonne Franquette for a solid, reasonably priced, classic bistro meal, with a selection from Patrick’s excellent cave. There is even a ginguette, with a sliding roof for summer dining-a great space for a private function.

The Republic of Montmartre, founded on 7th May 1921, on the initiative of the most famous artists in Montmartre, painters and draftsmen alike, has since continued its charitable and cultural actions. 

In the spirit shown by Poulbot, Willette, Forain, Neumont and Joë Bridge, and thanks to the voluntary commitment of its members, citizens, members of parliament, consuls, ambassadors and ministers, it works to aid disadvantaged children as well as bringing together visual artists, writers and musicians. Custodian of the Montmartre tradition, its members distinguish themselves by wearing a red scarf, black cape and hat, the famous outfit of Aristide Bruant, immortalised by Toulouse-Lautrec. Clinging to the slopes of its village, this beautiful and great institution ensures that the rebellious yet human spirit on which the legend of Montmartre is built is preserved, while remaining loyal to its motto: Rejoice in doing good !

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