Walking in Montmarte area is also to imagine how would it feel to be in Paris during the Belle Epoque.
The end of nineteenth century, the beginning of twentieth century Paris was the place many artists chose to live and most of them settled around this area. From Van Gogh to Monet, from Picasso to Modigliani many painters had their studios here in Montmarte. For instance, the Bateau Lavoir building on Rue Ravignan, an ex piano factory was converted into painters’ studios. Picasso’s first studio on Rue de la Gabrielle when he worked during his first visit at the age of nineteen is still there.
After the first world war though many artists left this neighbourhood and moved to Montparnasse area. Today’s Montmarte may be packed with tourists, being the second most visited place int he city, but you may choose a week day to enjoy its picturesque streets.
Built on the top of the highest hill of the city Sacre Coeur is a Roman-Byzantine style Catholic Basilica built with white travertine stone. You may either climb or take the teleferic. The mosaic of the Great Christ inside the Basilica covering the whole interior side of the dome is one of the biggest in the world. You may then walk the streets around Montmarte and go down to the theatre area: Theatre des Abbesses, Divan du Monde, Theatre de l’Atelier are all found in this district, check their programmes if you want to watch a play. Further down on the Strasbourg Avenue the legendary La Scala is renovated and opened to public recently in 2018.