October 2, 2011

La butte de Montmartre

La butte de Montmartre is a hill which is 130 metres high, giving its name to the surrounding district, in the north of Paris.

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 anymore and it is overrun by tourists. However, having taken a look at the impressive Basilique Sacre Coeur and the view from the Square Louise Michel, you can understand why.

Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and other impoverished artists lived and worked in a commune, a building called Le Bateau-Lavoir, during the years 1904–1909. Composers, including Satie (who was a pianist at Le Chat Noir), also lived in the area.

There is a small vineyard in the Rue Saint-Vincent, which continues the tradition of wine production in the Île de France. It yields about 500 litres per year.

Montmartre was the setting of the film La Môme, (La vie en rose) which elaborates on the life of famous French singer Edith Piaf and her times in the slums of Paris, and of Amélie, the story of a young Parisian woman determined to help the lives of others and find her true love, is set in an exaggeratedly quaint version of contemporary Montmartre.

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