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A Quick Tour Of Paris
North By Northeast

Our quick tour comes to an end or is it the beginning...

We finish our quick tour of Paris by visiting the eighteenth to twentieth districts in the northern and northeastern part of the city. The 18th arrondissement of northern Paris is located on the Right Bank of the Seine River. The distinctive Moulin Rouge (Red Mill or windmill) is one of the world’s best-known nightclubs or to use the French term, cabaret. Josephine Baker, Frank Sinatra, Mistinguett, and Edith Piaf and many other famous entertainers regularly played the Moulin Rouge. This historic cabaret, arguably the site where striptease was born, has been immortalized in paintings by Toulouse Lautrec and to a lesser extent by two films nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award.

Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris tourist attractions

Pere Lachaise, one cemetery worth seeing.


Butte Montmartre is a hill not far from the Moulin Rouge. Its height and natural beauty have attracted religious ceremonies since time immemorial. The area itself was the site of the first Paris Commune insurrection in 1870-1871. In 1873 Paris city council expropriated land at the summit of Montmartre for the construction of the Basilica. The foundation stone was laid in 1875 and the church was opened for services in 1891. Go to top of the dome for a spectacular panoramic view of Paris, which lies mostly to the south. The church and its surroundings have often starred in films, most recently the 2001 movie Amélie. You may want to take the funicular (cable-car) to get to the top of the hill. From the late Nineteenth Century until the end of World War One Montmartre was home to the artists and their milieu. Among those who hung their hats there were Salvador Dalí, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh. You won’t have trouble finding many museums including the Musée de l'érotisme in nearby Pigalle. Montmartre is also home to a functioning vineyard.

Timhotel Montmartre Paris 18th arrondissement

Montmartre, once the artistic center of Paris.

The 19th arrondissement of northeastern Paris is home to the Canal Saint-Denis and the Canal de l'Ourcq. This district is fairly residential and is not visited by loads of tourists. In other words, by spending some time there you may get an idea of the real Paris, one less expensive than the touristy arrondissements. The Parc des Buttes Chaumont contains many lovely features including English and Chinese gardens, a waterfall, and several cliffs and bridges. It has been called the most romantic park in Paris.

What is less romantic than a slaughterhouse? To say that Villette was a slaughterhouse is like saying the Empire State Building is a skyscraper. It once employed over three thousand people but has now been transformed into Paris’s largest park with attractions for people of all ages including the biggest science museum in Europe.

The major attraction of the 20th arrondissement is the Père-Lachaise Cemetery, named for the confessor to Louis XIV. It is the largest cemetery is Paris and frankly one of the best-known cemeteries in the world. The Mur des Fédérés (Communards' Wall) is also located in the Père-Lachaise Cemetery. This marks the spot where 147 Communards were shot in May 1871 effectively ending the Paris Commune. Belleville which means beautiful town is a Parisian working-class neighborhood situated mostly in the 20th and 19th arrondissements with a bit of overflow into the 10th and 11th. It’s a colorful area and home to a large Chinese community. Tuesdays and Fridays you’ll find farmers from the region selling their wares in an outdoor market on Belleville Boulevard. Many artists now live and work in this district. Legend has it that the incomparable singer Édith Piaf was born under a lamppost on the Rue de Belleville.

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About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com    and    http://www.theitalianwineconnection.com

Visit his website devoted to Italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com

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