What To Expect
The neighborhood of Montmartre, situated on a hill above Paris' Right Bank, has always stood apart from the rest of the city. As rents in central Paris rose in the early 1900s, artists and bohemians of all types flocked to its leafy, steep streets, transforming it from a sleepy quarter into one of the most important centers for art and radical thought in the world.
During this three-hour exploration of Montmartre (hill of the martyr) we will look at the traditions, lifestyle, and bohemian character of the neighborhood as it has evolved over the centuries. Beginning near the Abbesses metro, one of Montmartre's most central points, we'll trace the route that the decapitated and martyred Saint Denis supposedly walked (carrying his own head no less) and discuss the importance of quarter in the history of Christianity as the home of the Society of Jesuits, founded here by Saint Ignacio de Loyola and Saint François Xavier in 1534.
Climbing the hill to the Moulin de la Gallette, we'll have an opportunity to discuss how Paris' growth in the 19th century pushed the city outward until it pressed into sleepy villages like Montmartre. By the time the 20th century arrived, places like the Moulin de la Gallette, once an open-air dance hall, sprang up in droves, making Paris famous for its nightlife, risque cabarets, gas-lit cafes, and concert halls. Immortalized by artists like Toulouse-Lautrec, van Gogh, and Renoir, the Moulin de la Gallette was a meeting point for the down-and-out bohemians of the neighborhood and a perfect place to contemplate the modern revolution taking place in art and society at the time.
Continuing upwards to the top of the hill, we'll stop at Le Sacre Coeur, the basilica that has since become the symbol of all of Montmartre. With its Romano-Byzantine features, Sacre Coeur stands in sharp contrast to the Gothic architecture of Notre Dame and Saint Eustache, both of which can be seen from its belvedere.
Throughout this walk we'll strive to put Montmartre within an urban and social context, painting a vivid portrait of the key figures who have lived here and been inspired here throughout history. This is a great walk for people intrigued by the art and intellectual movements of the early 20th century.
Meals and drinks
Tips and gratuities
Walks are held rain or shine with some variations to accommodate the weather.
If you are running late for your meeting with our docent, we ask that you call to alert us so that we can relay the message to the docent.
All our card payments are protected by thawte to give you peace of mind.
1 hour and 30 minutes