Series: From Pasadena to Paris: Sacré-Cœur & Montmartre

Sacré-Cœur Basilica, Paris, France

Sacré-Cœur Basilica, Paris, France

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 RomanoByzantine influence.

First View: Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, Paris

First View: Sacré-Cœur, Montmartre, Paris

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!

Funiculaire de Montmartre

Funiculaire de Montmartre

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!

View of Paris in Front of Sacre-Coeur

View of Paris in Front of Sacre-Coeur

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…

Vaulted Ceilings Inside Sacré Cœur

Vaulted Ceilings Inside Sacré Cœur

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!

Inside Sacre Coeur During a Service

Inside Sacré-Cœur During a 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!

Montmartre Street Performers

Montmartre Street Performers

As we leave the incredible views outside of Sacré-Cœur and head into the village of Montmartre, what inviting charms will we uncover?

Walking Into the Village of Montmartre from Sacré-Cœur

Walking Into the Village of Montmartre from Sacré-Cœur

Fancy taking a tour in a vintage French “Citroën“?

Citroën Tours - Paris

Citroën Tours – Paris

Want to bring a bit of the iconic Moulin Rouge can-can dancers home for memory’s sake?

Cancan Souvenirs, Montmartre

Cancan Souvenirs, Montmartre

Or how about basking in the spirit of modern-day Paris and the thought-provoking street art that can be discovered on many corners?

Montmartre Street Art

Montmartre Street Art

While enjoying this magical atmosphere, we recommend making your way to the charming Musee d Montmartre.

Exploring Enchanting Montmartre

Exploring Enchanting 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.

Musée de Montmartre, Paris

Musée de Montmartre, Paris

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.  

Spectacle, Musée de Montmartre

Spectacle, Musée de Montmartre

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.

Montmartre Themed art at the Musee de Montmartre

Montmartre Themed art at the Musee de Montmartre

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.

Le Chat Noir poster, Musee de Montmartre

Le Chat Noir poster, Musee de Montmartre

One can also snap a photo at the exact location Renoir painted in his 1876 piece, The Swing.

La Balançoire, The Swing, by Renoir

La Balançoire, The Swing, by Renoir

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.

Le Café Renoir, Musée de Montmartre

Le Café Renoir, Musée de Montmartre

Upon departing the museum, one can also pass by the famous Vignes du Clos Montmartre and book a table at the historic La Maison Rose for dinner.

La Maison Rose, Historical French Restaurant, Montmartre

La Maison Rose, Historical French Restaurant, Montmartre

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.

Evening in Montmartre

Evening in Montmartre

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!
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