Remember that the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur, which should be visited at the end, sits on the crest of the hill, so as long as you are heading uphill there is little possibility of being lost for long.
Today Montmartre is talked about by Parisians the way New Yorkers talk about ‘the Village’: ‘it's not what it used to be,’ ‘it's like Disneyland,’ ‘the artists can't afford to live here’ are some common complaints. But in truth, most of the great bohemians left after the outbreak of World War I.
During what is referred to as the Belle Époque, many notable artists lived and worked in Montmartre from 1872 to 1914, where the rents were low and the atmosphere congenial to expression. Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Raoul Dufy and Maurice Utrillo all shared the same address at different times - 12 rue Cartot - which is now the Musée de Montmartre. Renoir's famous windmill, the Moulin de la Galette, is at the top of the district.
Picasso painted one of his most important masterpieces, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, whilst living here; Vincent van Gogh, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Henri Matisse and Edgar Degas all worked in Montmartre and drew some inspiration from the area.
Montmartre still has a great feel, and is also home to two notable churches that are both well worth seeing: the Sacré-Coeur and Saint-Pierre de Montmartre. The district's high altitude - though not quite the mountain its name suggests, it is certainly quite a hill - offers views over Paris rivalled only by the Eiffel Tower.
Start your tour at metro Blanche and gradually enter the district on a pilgrimage into the place that nurtured France's great artists. Try to lose yourself in the steep and cobbled streets of one of the most historic and interesting neighbourhoods in Paris.
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