Montmartre

by Erin Corliss

What (quoi)

Montmartre is a hill in the north of Paris. It used to be home to artisans, but now is always filled with tourists. It still keeps its village like atmosphere, though. The beautiful Basilica of the Sacré Cœur sits atop the hill.

Who (qui)

Montmartre is filled with artists. The streets are crowded with paintings and drawings. For many of them, selling their art is their only source of income. The basilica is dedicated to the sacred heart of Jesus. It is inspired by Roman and Byzantine architecture.

Where (ou)

Montmartre's surrounding district is the 18th arrondissement. The hill is in the north of Paris.

When (quand)

La Basilique du Sacre-Coeur was built in 1914. Montmartre became a village in medieval times.

Why (pourquoi)

The hill of Montmartre had been considered a sacred place since ancient times. Fields and vineyards were added and it became popular farming land. In the Second Empire, Baron Haussmann built "grand boulevards" and sent the poor Parisians to live in Montmartre where the rent was lower. The countryside slowly transformed itself into suburbs which then became a part of the city.