Montmartre in Paris is a phrase that never fails to evoke images both romantic and picturesque. It is a part of the city which is unique unto itself, with a long and fascinating history of Bohemian creativity and a special atmosphere it still retains today. Artists, walkers and lovers are drawn here by its timeless allure and are caught in its web of enchantment. The magic that is Montmartre can be easily reached by bus or Metro from the Hotel Britannique.
Montmartre in Paris, the city’s ancient crown
At 130 metres high, Montmartre rises above the city that has grown around it and swarmed up its flanks. Once a rocky outcrop on the outskirts of Paris, in the 17th century it became the favoured location of a number of windmills, two of which survive today. In the 19th century its scenic location drew a substantial Bohemian artistic community and became the home of struggling geniuses such as Dali, Modigliani, van Gogh and Picasso. At the same time it acquired a reputation for excess and decadence, a reputation reinforced by the clubs, bars and cabarets which sprang up there, including places whose names have passed into legend…the Moulin Rouge… Le Chat Noir…
Today, Montmartre holds many attractions. The funicular railway which ascends to the south. The ancient rue Lepic which climbs the hill and up the incline of which, for a wager, Louis Renault drove the first car he built. The Place du Tertre where artists still set up their easels and will happily draw your portrait. The Espace Dali, where the surrealist’s striking work can be viewed. The Musee de Montmartre, which occupies the former home and studio of Maurice Utrillo. The crowning glory is, of course, the highest point of the hill where the exquisite, gleaming Sacré-Cœur Basilica stands.
The Hotel Britannique salutes Montmartre in Paris
At the Hotel Britannique we love romance, and perhaps nowhere in Paris is a more romantic location than Montmartre. Its ambience is expressed so well in the heart wrenchingly poignant love song La Complainte de la Butte (The Lament of the Hill), as performed by Cora Vaucaire.