Sacre Coeur, oh Sacre Coeur – how can you be so pretty?
Before I went to Paris, I again watched one of my favorite films of all time – Amelie. The movie gives you a really nice introduction of what you can see in the Montmartre district including the Sacre Coeur. The Sacre Coeur part of the movie is my favorite scene actually.
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris commonly known as the Sacre Coeur Basilica is a Roman Catholic church and is a very popular landmark of Paris situated on top of the Montmartre hill, the highest point in Paris. You can climb the numerous steps towards the Basilica or you can also take the cable car ride which is normally covered by your normal Paris metro ticket. We opted to get the exercise and climbed the hill on foot. It was all worth it though as you get to see the most amazing views of Paris from that point.
On top of the hill, you will see lots of artists giving you a free performance unless of course you’d be willing to spare a few euros if you liked what you saw/heard. Amongst all the artists performing at the time that I was there, this man right here was my favorite:
His name is Hugo, he plays the harp beautifully so I bought his CD worth EUR10.
I spent quite a few minutes sitting on the steps towards the Basilica and just watched him play his harp. He also played my favorite Canon in D by Pachelbel.
The area of Montmartre is a haven for artists back in the days. Famous artists like Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso either lived or had studios in this area as it was considered a cheap place to live in back then, which I don’t think is the case now. I think now it is more of a haven for pickpockets victimizing the unknowing tourists. Just before we reached the very top of this hill, we saw two policemen talking to a non-French looking guy in French. We were nosy so we sort of slowed down our walk to see what’s going on. After a few seconds, the two policemen started to take out all the things inside the guy’s pockets one by one. He had loads of things inside his numerous pockets (he was wearing an army pants). I’m not really sure what happened to the guy afterwards though as we went on our way towards the Basilica.
At least they warn you about the pickpockets in Montmartre, I’m not sure though if that was a warning for tourists or if it’s a sign for pickpockets that they can only do their business in this arrowed path. I walked into that path nevertheless and didn’t come across any pickpockets, or maybe I just wasn’t aware. LOL. Again, the normal precautions must be observed while in Montmartre – be aware of your surroundings and you’ll be alright. It isn’t so bad as what I have read on tripadvisor. :p
With or without the pickpockets, Montmartre is my favorite place in Paris.
Nearest metro stations:
Abbesses Line 12 (Amelie’s metro stop :))
Anvers Line 2
Lamarck Caulaincourt Line 12