The Artistic Quarter of Montmartre with the Fantastic View from Sacre Coeur

Frequented by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Salvador Dali, Amedeo Modigliani and Piet Mondrian, Montmartre is Paris’ artistic quarter.

An area bustling with poets, street performers, musicians, young lovers, philosophers and gypsies; it seems that one could come out of this place a little bit more creative and reflective just by breathing the air.

Definitely a MUST for every traveller in Paris, Montmartre is where one would go not to admire buildings, works of art or masterpieces; but people and the creative spirit.


* Coming out of the Abbesses Metro, one can’t help but feel cozy walking along the streets of Montmartre. So this is the real charming part of town.. no grand museums or monuments to kings, no outward displays of religious art; the most interesting part of this area is the people itself. Just charm, pure charm.

Montmartre Funicular

* To get to the Basilica, one can either go up a flight of 300 steps (aka the Spartan-Leonidas-Badass way) or take the Funicular all the way to the top. Made in 1900 and renovated thrice, the Funicular resembles a Cable Car / Elevator that moves diagonally along the flight of stairs. The only thing missing from the experience was the upbeat, hotel elevator, bossa-nova sounding, background music.

Sacre Coeur

* Looking more like a Greek Orthodox church than a Roman Catholic one, the Sacre Coeur Basilica (or Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) is a sight to behold. Set on one of the highest points in Paris, the Basilica holds its own against Notre Dame’s immense size and craftsmanship and Saint Chapelle’s sheer interior beauty; with its spectacular view of the city and its intimacy, it being the place where one can truly pray and reflect as picture taking isn’t allowed inside.

Sacre Coeur

* My only up-close shot of the Church! To keep the sanctity of the Basilica, with its pilgrims and devotees to the sacred heart, intact; there is absolutely no photography allowed, with kindly old gentlemen and ladies to catch erring misfits!

Sacre Coeur Crypt

* I had a choice of going 400 steps up the belltower of Sacre Couer with a fantastic view of Paris for 6 euros, or going down a flight of stairs to the crypt for 2 euros… Obviously, I went with the “creepier” albeit-cheaper path. Legend claims that a fragment of the actual heart of Jesus is entombed somewhere here in the crypt.

Sacre Coeur Crypt St Genevieve

* Statue of Santa Genovefa (or St. Genevieve) who is the patron saint of Paris and is credited with saving Paris from the wrath of both Attila the Hun and Childeric I. The Pantheon, in the Latin Quarter of Paris, is dedicated to her.

Sacre Coeur Crypt St Denis

* The most awesome statue here belongs to that of Saint Denis, who is also a patron of Paris. Legend states that after he got his head cut off, he continued walking and preaching for 10 kilometers.. whilst carrying his head! Wonder what he did for an encore!

Sacre Coeur Crypt St Ignatius

* Statue of Saint Ignatius de Loyola, founder of the Jesuits and all around bad-ass. He once had a cannonball rip through his knee, and when it healed he wasn’t satisfied with how oddly-shaped it now was. So he did what any sane man would do.. he had it re-broken! Coincidentally, this writer is a product of the Jesuit educational system, on both high-school and university levels.

Sacre Coeur Crypt

* Some guy who bears a striking resemblance to either Pope John Paul II or John McCain.

Sacre Coeur Crypt

* The main altar in the crypt-area features a gorgeous rendition of the Pieta at St. Peter’s. If I were a betting man, I would bet that here is where the legendary relic of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is hidden.

Sacre Coeur Crypt

* One thing I really appreciate about churches in Europe is the abundance of relics on display! It’s one thing to read about saints in books and what-not, and an entirely different thing to actually see their collarbones / ribs / vertebra. If the good Lord blesses me with sainthood one day, I hope pilgrims get to see my beloved toe!

Sacre Coeur Crypt

* I’d like to imagine that this guy was some famous knight / cardinal / wizard. Check out them boots; they were made for adventurin’!

Cardinal Francois Richard

* Cardinal Francois Richard was an Archbishop of Paris, who oversaw the completion of the Basilica of Sacre Coeur. Here he is giving his best “you-love-me-you-really-love-me / my precioussssss" pose.

Sacre Coeur Crypt Francis Xavier

* Another renowned Jesuit, Saint Francis Xavier was one of Ignatius de Loyola’s students and is best known for being the first Christian missionary to really penetrate the Indian Subcontinent, Japan, Borneo and the Malacca Islands. Whether he really rocked this awesome staff or not, is still in question to this day.

Sacre Coeur Crypt Jean Baptiste de Lasalle

* A statue of Saint Jean Baptiste de Lasalle, founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and patron saint of teachers. He is considered by historians to be the founder of the first Catholic school. Here he is wearing an awesome cape and hanging with his young padawan.

Sacre Coeur Crypt

* The darkest area of the crypt, brought to life by my awesome, all-terrain, unstoppable camera, the Panasonic Lumix LX-5 (shameless plug). Half the time I was taking photos hoping to catch a sighting of something ethereal. This is a “crypt” after all.

Sacre Coeur Crypt Priory of Sion

* I don’t know what any of this means, but the fact that I am a huge fan of Dan Brown's novels and that there is the word SION so prominently written on top means that this photo is news-worthy! A family tree of Christ perhaps?

Sacre Coeur View of Paris

* The amazing view of Paris from the top of Sacre Coeur. Them Parisians sure love to picnic! Wish we could do this here in Manila, but it’s just too damn humid.

Sacre Coeur

* I totally understand why people love hanging out here. On this day, we were entertained by a street performer singing Wonderwall by Oasis with a German accent!

Montmartre Funicular

* The Funicular again on the way down. Check out the steps on the right; for some reason I couldn’t help but think of that scene in Ace Ventura 2 with the slinky!


* Pizza and pasta dinner after the long day! Montmartre and the Latin Quarter have to be my two favorite places in Paris to just chill. The great collection of cafes, boutiques, antique / book / record stores make them the ultimate hipster’s dream.

Moulin Rouge

* Of course no trip to Paris would be complete without stopping by the famous Moulin Rouge, located in Paris’ red light district which ironically is just down the street from Sacre Coeur.


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