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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
The Louvre
The Louvre is the biggest museum in the world. Inside you’ll find the jewels of every civilisation since prehistory.
Place de la Concorde
One of the major public squares in the city centre, well-known for its fountains and obelisk - and its bloody history.
Le Sacré-Coeur
The Sacré-Coeur is a white basilica perched atop Montmartre, with a stunning view of Paris below.
Moulin de la Galette
A windmill in the historic Montmartre district that has been immortalised in works by Renoir and Van Gogh.
Montmartre
A vibrant and artistic neighbourhood once home to Renoir and Gauguin, offering spectacular views over the city.
Moulin Rouge
An iconic venue opened in the late 19th century, credited with the invention of the can-can dance.

Related Tours

Private Bohemian Montmartre Walking Tour: Home of the Artists
Uncover the history and art of a quintessentially Parisian neighbourhood on this walking tour. 

  • Explore bohemian Montmartre, the home of world-renowned artists, including Picasso and Renoir.
  • See Sacré CoeurVan Gogh’s former home and the city's last vineyard.
  • See the home of the Moulin Rouge.
  • Experience some of the best panoramic views of Paris from the top of the hill.
    
Bohemian Paris

In this fascinating walking tour of Montmartre, you will be immersed in Paris' most bohemian and intriguing neighbourhood, whilst exploring this unique enclave of the city. You will see first hand where some of the world’s most influential painters including Renoir, Picasso and Van Gogh, lived and worked on this beautiful hill towering above Paris. 

You will also have the pleasure of discovering the windmills and many monuments for which this area is famous. A highlight undoubtedly will be paying a visit to the famous  the Moulin Rouge, as well as traversing the highest point in Paris at the gleaming white Sacré-Cœur Basilica. 

Sacré-Cœur: Worship and War

Built in the 19th century in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War and the chaotic Paris Commune, the Sacré-Cœur emerged to become a symbol of the struggle between the conservative Catholic establishment and the secular republic radicals. Your expert city guide will explain the complex history of Montmartre, a place of devout worship spanning from the Druids of ancient Gaul right up to today. Make sure you have your camera as you are sure to be rewarded by a spectacular picture-perfect view of Paris below.
VIP Paris: Explore Paris in Half a Day by Private Car Tour
Experience Paris’ key sights and neighbourhoods on this relaxing private car tour. With your own guide and car, you will have the flexibility to focus on the things that you find most interesting. Stop off at your leisure and enjoy your tour in comfort without worrying about the weather or the queues. 

  • See the best that Paris has to offer with your own private car and expert guide.
  • Cruise past Champs ElyséesPlace de la Concorde and Notre Dame.
  • See the Arc de TriompheOpera GarnierPlace Venôme and the Musée d’Orsay.
  • Stop off at Dôme des Invalides and see Napoleon’s tomb.
  • Stop by the Louvre (outside) and get the best views of the Eiffel Tower.
  • End your tour with a wander through bohemian, picturesque Montmartre.
  • Car pick-up and drop-off from a place of your choice.

Start at the iconic Arc de Triomphe, a monument to those who fought and died during the Revolution and Napoleonic Wars and visit the Champs Elysées (end-point of Tour de France) and Opera Garnier (‘Phantom of the Opera’.) Next, see Place Vendôme (featuring a monument to commemorate the victory at Austerlitz in 1805), Place de la Concorde (the largest square in the city), the famous Louvre museum and the beautiful Musée d’Orsay, before visiting Napoleon’s tomb. Explore the wonders of the Latin Quarter and stand in awe of the gothic masterpiece that is Notre Dame CathedralTake in the outside beauty of Sainte Chapelle (featuring the most impressive stain glass windows in the world). Then, visit the quintessentially French Trocadero where you will have the opportunity to snap some beautiful photos and catch some great views of the world famous Eiffel Tower.

To conclude this epic tour of the great city of Paris you will take a short walk to Montmartre: one of the most colourful and bohemian neighbourhoods, where you will learn more about the fascinating life and works of Renoir, Picasso, Gauguin, and Van Gogh, all of whom lived and worked here. The perfect way to experience the city if you have limited time, and also a great way to find out what to focus on for the rest of your trip. 

Tours can be adapted to suit your needs and interests, just get in contact with us!
Private Walking Tour of Montmartre with a Parisian
Travel isn’t just about travel, it’s people, faces, food and cultures, fresh perspectives, discoveries and different ways of life - it’s about uncovering the city’s soul. It’s about connection. On your private, guided tour of Paris with a local: 

  • Enjoy meaningful insights from a local Parisian
  • Hear how locals describe Paris - the experiences that have shaped their worldview of their own city.
  • Spend a few hours walking around bohemian Montmartre with a private, local guide.
  • Wander down the streets where Renoir, Picasso, and Van Gogh each called home for a season.
  • Pick up invaluable recommendations, advice, tips and reassurance as you explore highlights and off-the-beaten-track side streets of this charming neighbourhood. 
  • Grab a glass of wine or coffee at your local’s favourite sidewalk cafe. 
Learn first-hand what locals love about Paris from someone who knows the place inside-out.
Paris evokes romantic visions of intimate bistro tete-a-tetes to the melodic strains of accordion music. While Napoleon didn’t ask designer Georges Haussman to create a City of Love, for many people world-wide Paris is just that. Why? Few cities are so beautifully cared for - from the wide, leafy boulevards and pretty cobbled courtyards to carefully-preserved historic sites. Part of the seduction is UNESCO-protected Paris, home to the iconic Eiffel Tower, Louvre, the Sacré Coeur, and Arc de Triomphe. The city has a style obsession, with Parisian culture ingrained by Haute couture idols Chanel, Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent - to name a few from a lengthy list. Today as a fashion capital, Paris is generously endowed with life’s finest things: museums, art, cultural treasures, perfumeries, grand gardens, galleries and chic boutiques. Equally highly-prize is food with everything served with Parisian panache - be it bœuf à la Bourguignonne or a baguette. To truly be part of Paris, though, it must be experienced with a local. 

Enjoying a private, guided tour with a local will help you discover the sights that tourists so often miss. Hear the intriguing backstories and learn the neighbourhood contextual backstories and neighbourhood rumours which bring Paris’ Montmartre district to life. There are no substitutes for anecdotes and first-hand insight – which is why we’ve built this tour: so that you a Parisian can help you side-step the inauthentic and cliche imitations of true Paris. Experience the humour, subtle nuances of Parisian manners, the social conventions and psyche of a place over a glass of house wine or coffee, and then jot down your guide’s version of the real “must do Paris.” 
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