Sacre Coeur - The Famous White Cathedral

Sitting atop the hill overlooking the city, Sacre Coeur is one of Paris' most famous monuments.

As the highest point of the highest hill in the city, it can be seen from many places around town and its color makes it particularly distinctive.

Meaning "Sacred Heart", the cathedral is relatively modern - the building was only completed in 1914 and is a mix of a number of different styles of architecture.

Sacre Coeur at night
Above: Sacre Coeur at night. Photo by Rudy Tiben

When visiting, don't make the mistake of going straight up to the church, then to Place du Tertre and off to your next destination.

Montmartre is a great place to go for a walk. There are many pleasant squares where you can stop and relax. If you head west from Sacre Coeur, towards the metro stop at Abbesses or towards the Cimetiere de Montmartre, you will see some of the real Montmartre that tourists who only visit the cathedral never get to see.

This part of Paris is famous for having been the location for the studios of many of the most famous Parisian painters such as Renoir, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as being a magnet for foreign painters like Picasso and Van Gogh.

Montmartre is also famous for being the home of the Moulin Rouge ("Red Windmill") cabaret, which is located in the Boulevard De Clichy (metro stop Pigalle).

Other sights to see when sightseeing at Sacre Coeur: there's a (literally) fantastic statue in Place Marcel Ayme that's little known, but shouldn't be missed.

Finally, one of the highlights of the Montmartre calendar is the race for Vintage Cars that takes place around the streets each May.

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