Appreciated for the picturesque atmosphere of its small streets, the Montmartre district attracts millions of visitors each year. And if we all know the Sacré-Coeur basilica, the Butte Montmartre and the Place du Tertre, this district of the 18th arrondissement of Paris is also full of unusual places. Let’s find out!
Montmartre: places with a strong artistic history
The Montmartre district and its bohemian atmosphere have always attracted artists and dreamers. Along the little streets, we discover all the places frequented by artists yesterday and today.
Founded in 1904, the Boat-Lavoir is a city of artists which has housed the biggest names in the art scene from around the world. The 25 artist workshops at 13 place Émile-Goudeau have seen world references pass by, such as Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Guillaume Apollinaire, Jean Cocteau, and even Modigliani. The artists who met there were very poor, and the places very basic. So, at the beginning of the 20th century, when prices soared in Montmartre, the excitement of the Bateau-Lavoir faded, forever marking the artistic history of the district and of France.
The Wall Pass
While walking in the 18th arrondissement, and more precisely on Place Marcel Aymé, you might be surprised to come across the Wall pass. This statue, erected in 1989, is a work of art imagined by Jean Marais in tribute to Marcel Aymé, died 22 years earlier at his home on rue Norvins. It is of course inspired by the famous work of the writer, Le Passe-Muraille, and astonishes the passer-by who seems to see a man crossing a wall.
If you liked the bohemian spirit of the film The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain, you will love the Good Franquette. This traditional restaurant welcomes you in a very friendly atmosphere, right next to the Place du Tertre and its famous caricaturists and portraitists.
La Bonne Franquette is one of the emblematic places of Montmartre, and we like to find the good atmosphere of the dancing and musical entertainment.
Good to know: Vincent Van Gogh painted his painting “La Guinguette” there in 1886. The work is now exhibited at the Musée d’Orsay.
The Pink House
An unusual visit to Montmartre necessarily involves the Pink House. With its pretty pink facade and green shutters, this old village house was built when Montmartre was only occupied by windmills and country houses. She naturally inspired many artists, who frequented her to create their most beautiful works. For two centuries, we could see in this artists’ den Modigliani, Picasso, Albert Camus, Charles Aznavour, Édith Piaf, Suzanne Valadon and Jacques Brel.
Today, the Maison Rose has become a restaurant, but it has retained its picturesque atmosphere.
The Agile Rabbit
Another emblematic place of artistic life in the Montmartre district, the Lapland Agile is one of oldest cabarets in Paris. Here again, many artists found themselves there, such as Maupassant or Picasso. The atmosphere there has always been festive, like the hoax that has long amused tourists: a work was exhibited there and all the regulars praised the artist’s merits and talent to visitors. In reality, the painting was done by Lolo, the donkey from Lapin Agile.
Good to know: the name of the famous cabaret comes from a caricature by André Gill, who drew a rabbit trying to escape from a pot. The establishment was therefore called “Le Lapin à Gill”, then “Le Lapin Agile”.
The agricultural references that marked Montmartre
If we know Montmartre today for its bohemian atmosphere and its majestic Sacré-Coeur basilica, the district has long been agricultural land. Remains of it can be found today.
Le Clos Montmartre
Since 944, a vineyard has been established on the lands of Montmartre. Since then, viticulture has never stopped, and even if the annexation of Montmartre to Paris in 1860 slowed down production, the Clos Montmartre today preserves more than 2,000 vines. The wine-growing past is preserved, and every year, the vineyard organizes the famous harvest festival, to announce the arrival of the new vintage of the only wine produced in intra-muros Paris.
The Witch’s Rock
Behind rue Lepic, in the heart of avenue Junot, there is a small private alley that might just attract your attention. Here, right in the middle of the passage, sits an enormous rock that seems to have fallen from the sky. Legends are rife about this witch’s rock, and if it seems likely that it takes its name from a local resident who frightened children so that they would not play in the cul-de-sac, others claim that it is a meteorite, while some think that the stone is evil. The most dreamy say that simply touching the magic stone helps protect their love.
The mills of Montmartre
It is difficult to pass through Montmartre without spotting the vestiges of the district’s agricultural past, particularly with the mills, now rehabilitated. Of red Mill, which has become the most famous cabaret in Paris, Moulin de la Galette, transformed into a tavern, these monuments remind us of the historic milling activity of the Montmartre district.
Accommodation near Montmartre
Would you like to discover all the unusual places in Montmartre ? The Cadet residence is the ideal aparthotel to allow you to enjoy your stay freely, at your own pace and without constraints.
The 23 apartments and studios of the residence welcome you in a warm and cozy Art Deco style, and ensure the greatest comfort for your a few days near Montmartre. The completely independent accommodations offer you all the privacy you need, with a kitchen area, a lounge area, quality bedding, a private bathroom, and all the equipment necessary for your well-being.
You will therefore reside just a few steps from the most beautiful sites in Paris, and will be able to visit Montmartre in complete tranquility. In less than 20 minutes on foot (15 minutes by metro), you will reach the Montmartre funicular to reach the Montmartre hill. Unless you prefer to wander the small cobbled streets of the neighborhood, until square of the Sacred Heart.Montmartre is full of unusual places that recall the rich history of the district. From the Cadet residence, go to the discovery of unusual Montmartre, by following our itinerary or by letting yourself be guided by your steps.