Saint-Pierre de Montmartre

An unsung gem of a medieval church, Saint-Pierre started life in the 12th century as a renowned women's monastery.

TravelCurious Tip

This is a great place to visit if the Sacré-Coeur is too busy - it’s very calm inside, and can make quite a pleasant contrast.

Mons Martius

Now rather overlooked thanks to its more brash and famous neighbour the Sacré-Coeur, Saint-Pierre is the oldest church in Paris. It was built in the 12th century on the site of a 7th century Merovingian church: this in turn was built on the site of a Roman Temple of Mars, which gave the hill of Montmartre its name via the Latin Mons Martius (Mountain of Mars) - and four of whose columns today help to support the existing church.

Consecrated in 1147, it served as part of a large Benedictine nunnery, whose convents and other buildings no longer survive. The Benedictines moved elsewhere in 1680, and the last Abbess was guillotined during the Revolution.

Unsung beauty

The surviving small church has accrued a number of interesting medieval, 17th, 18th and 19th century alterations; more recent additions include the bronze doors, added in 1980, and its beautiful 1950s stained-glass windows.

Though only a small vestige of a once-great religious establishment, Saint-Pierre remains a fascinating and lovely sanctuary, and is less crammed with tourists than the Sacré-Coeur. The climb up provides fantastic views over surrounding Montmartre.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Paris
Moulin de la Galette
A windmill in the historic Montmartre district that has been immortalised in works by Renoir and Van Gogh.
A vibrant and artistic neighbourhood once home to Renoir and Gauguin, offering spectacular views over the city.
'I love you wall' Paris
A 40 square metres love-themed wall located in the romantic garden of the Square Jehan Rictus in Montmartre.
Le Clos de Montmartre
The last vineyard in Montmartre at the junction of rue des Saules and rue Saint-Vincent.
Bateau Lavoir
From 1889 the "Bateau-Lavoir" was the most famous place for artistic creation in the heart of Montmartre. A place to live and discuss for many painters, writers, actors and art sellers.
Le Petit Moulin Restaurant
A Traditional French restaurant in the heart of Montmartre.

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