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Montmartre: The Soul of Paris

Published on June 19, 2015 by Ralph and Karen

montmartre-artists-marketmontmartre

Photo of Montmarte by DeepakG on Flickr

After more than two decades of exploring Paris and its diverse arrondissements, we concluded that nowhere in Paris is more enthralling, and quintessentially Parisian, than La Butte de Montmartre.

Guests at our apartment,  Le Tresor de Montmartre,  agree: whimsical, beautiful Montmartre feels almost untouched by modern influence.  It’s as if the world stopped turning during France’s Belle Époque.  In fact, some of our guests are so drawn to Montmartre’s time-capsule qualities, they end up spending their whole trip in just this one arrondissement.

Movie Set Scenery

Picture cobblestone streets, flowering Bougainvillea vines, window shutters painted vibrant colors, and the white domes of the Sacré Coeur presiding over it all.

Climb the steps to the Sacré Coeur, take a few more steps into the belly of the dome, and be presented with an unbeatable panorama of Paris:

 view-from-sacre-coeur
Twin views of the Sacré Coeur and the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Photo by Florian Plag on Flickr.

Fun Fact: in part because of these views, the Sacré Coeur Basilica draws more yearly visitors than even the iconic Eiffel Tower.

Where Art Lives

A creative, bohemian heart beats here, and has for centuries.  Montmartre is where Picasso, Monet, Dali, van Gogh and other modernists created the masterpieces that changed art forever, and where the Moulin Rouge introduced its raucous cabaret in 1889.

Today, artists gather at the many cafés and boulangeries that perfume the air with delicate pastries and loaves of crusty bread.  At the square, Place du Tertre, artists set up their easels and paint portraiture for tourists in the open air.

Meanwhile, at the base of the hill, Moulin Rouge’s dancers still Cancan dance underneath an iconic neon-lit windmill.

It’s the perfect place to end a perfect day in Montmartre.

moulin-rouge-night

Photo of the Moulin Rouge by Juanedc on Flickr

Meet The Author
Hello! We are Ralph and Karen, an Anglo-American couple who fell in love with Paris and France over 20 years ago. Work-related trips brought us here, but we kept coming back for holidays, then extended visits, and then… In 2005, we decided nothing was stopping us from buying a place of our own in Paris. Lots of research, learning, and many kilometers of sneaker-rubber later, we put our house in the United States on the market. It sold in 10 days, and we found our apartment in Montmartre two months later. After a massive, year-long renovation project and its many challenges, we hit our biggest bump yet. As it turned out, we had to stay based in the US after all. Our lovingly remodeled apartment in Paris became a place where we returned only for short visits. In 2008, we started renting to guests—travelers like we once were (we always preferred apartments over expensive, cramped hotels). And the rest, as they say, is history. Le Trésor de Montmartre has proved quite popular, to the extent that we have trouble finding a break in the booking calendar to stay there ourselves! In the midst of this, we found Nice. After several holidays in and around Nice, we thought, why not buy a pied-à-terre in the area? Despite the challenges involved in renovating from afar—which we knew very well at that point—we jumped in again in late 2010. After another renovation, another year, and hundreds more gray hairs between us, we added Le Trésor de Nice to our rental portfolio. A year so so later we picked up 3 other apartment to manage. We hope you find the properties inviting, and hope even more that you will come see them for yourselves! Please get in touch with questions, or to book your stay at one of our apartments. We’d be happy to share our insider knowledge of these places we love so much.
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