We are excited to bring you the next video post from our series, “From Pasadena to Paris”! It is episode Two and gives our readers/views a wonderful insight into spending time in Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur!
Like many of Europe’s grand cathedrals, Sacré-Cœur inspires a sense of awe as soon as the impressive basilica is revealed in one’s view. Consecrated in 1919 as a joint effort between the secular government of France and the sacred Holy Church, the outside is iconic, the architecture of the great basilica offers a unique example of Romano–Byzantine influence.
After a fun and inexpensive trip on the funicular it is exciting to walk to the area in front of Sacré-Cœur and take in the awe-inspiring and panoramic views of Paris!
Whether it’s a cold, grey, winter’s day like the one we had here in mid-February, or a hot, blue-skied summer day in August, the views are breathtaking and the tourists line up along the generous walkways to take it all in and snap their keepsake photos!
After breathing in the fresh air and the festive sense of joyful community in front of one of Paris’s most visited monuments, we make our way inside…
The vaulted ceilings and beautiful mosaics of the basilica immediately bring one into a sense of the holy. Even as tourists are quietly snapping photos, the prayerful candles and service reminds one of the primary nature of Sacré-Cœur – to bring one’s focus to the eternal…and we are fortunate on St. Valentine’s Day to arrive during a special service!
Once outside, the secular comes into view again with many street performers (depending on the season) bussing for tourists donations. This particular scene is inspiring as diversity and the French “joie de vivre” blend in the streets of Paris!
As we leave the incredible views outside of Sacré-Cœur and head into the village of Montmartre, what inviting charms will we uncover?
Fancy taking a tour in a vintage French “Citroën“?
Want to bring a bit of the iconic Moulin Rouge can-can dancers home for memory’s sake?
Or how about basking in the spirit of modern-day Paris and the thought-provoking street art that can be discovered on many corners?
While enjoying this magical atmosphere, we recommend making your way to the charming Musee d Montmartre.
Here we find a once-hotel from mid-17th century where Renoir and Suzanne Valadon both lived and Renoir painted several of his most famous paintings.
In addition to the permanent collection and gift store, the museum offers a short film which is a great primer on the history of the area, called Spectacle.
For a sweet rendezvous, be sure and spend time engaging with the museum’s collection of Montmartre-themed artwork, art and photos focused on the famous French “can-can” dance of the late 1800’s, and the newly re-touted career of female post-impressionist artist Suzanne Valadon.
There is also a great focus on the famous Le Chat Noir, the bohemian gathering place in Montmartre thought to be the very first cabaret.
One can also snap a photo at the exact location Renoir painted in his 1876 piece, The Swing.
After taking in the museum, it is lovely to find space for a few moments of rest and reflection while sipping a warm cup of coffee in the small Renoir cafe overlooking the garden.
Once dinner is complete, taking an evening stroll and stopping to peek into the various shops located on the winding streets of the village is a joy.
Ending your night with a wonderful sunset view at a cafe facing the artists square in the heart of Montmarte will satisfy even the most romantic of heart. Adieu from us until next time!