Montmartre Hill

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  • The very first bistrot

    There is a memorial sign on one of the restaurants on Montmartre that says (in French) : "On 30 March 1814 - here the Cossacks first launched their famous 'Bistro' and thus on this summit occurred the worthy Ancestor of our Bistros". Bistro means "fast" in Russian, and although the story is not unanimously accepted among historians, it might well be true, don't you think ? Now, let's find this memorial sign !

The place

Montmartre hill, primarily known for the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré Cœur on its summit, as well as for the artists in the Place du Tertre, is one of the most popular tourist area in Paris. A funicular railway, the Funiculaire de Montmartre, ascends the hill from the south.

The toponym Mons Martis ("Mount of Mars" in Latin) survived into Merovingian times, Christianised as Montmartre, signifying "mountain of the martyr".

The area developed into a centre of free-wheeling and decadent entertainment at the end of the XIXth and the beginning of the XXth centuries, and it became the principal artistic center of Paris. Individuals including Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Maurice Utrillo, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, or African-American expatriates such as Langston Hughes worked in Montmartre and drew some of their inspiration from the area.

Montmartre Hill main sights also include the Marché Saint-Pierre, area of the cloth sellers in the south-east ; concert halls (La Cigale, L'Elysée-Montmartre, Le Trianon, La Boule Noire, the Moulin de la Galette...) inspired from the 19th century cabarets ; the Montmartre cemetery ; or the famous and often sung rue Lepic with its Les Deux Moulins café, made famous around the world by Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain movie.

The Fête des vendanges of Montmartre, which assembles more than 350,000 people during the first October weekend, every year.

Source : Wikipedia contributors, "Montmartre"

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