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Gems of Paris by French Moments

One of the favourite gates used by sightseers on their way to the old district of Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement is the métro station Anvers (line 2). A short walk along Rue de Steinkerque leads to the Place Saint-Pierre, where the white mass of the Sacré-Cœur appears perched atop the hill of Montmartre. Let’s find out different ways to ascent to the forecourt of Sacré-Cœur.


Four ways to reach the forecourt of Sacré-Cœur

From the square of Place Saint-Pierre, there are four main ways to reach the Parvis of the Sacré-Cœur at the top of the hill.


Walking up through Square Louise Michel

Forecourt of Sacré-Cœur copyright French Moments
Square Louise Michel, Montmartre © French Moments


From the Place Saint-Pierre, the Square Louise Michel is a park that extends upwards to the top of the hill in a series of terraces with lawns, flowerbeds, shrubs, and trees.

The 222 steps leading up to the top can be avoided by walking on one of the gently sloping paths alongside the garden.

The square offers fantastic views of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and the roofs of Paris.

Learn more about the Square Louise Michel.


Ascending on the Montmartre Funicular

Montmartre Funicular leading to the Forecourt of Sacré-Cœur © French Moments
Montmartre Funicular leading to the Forecourt of Sacré-Cœur © French Moments


The first automatic funicular was opened on the 13th of July, 1900 and is operated by the RATP. It was rebuilt in 1931 and 1991. The funicular is 108 m long and climbs the 36 m that separates the Square Louise Michel to the Parvis of the Sacré-Cœur. The ascent only lasts a minute and a half and avoids a steep ascent to the top of the hill. More than 2 million passengers take the funicular each year. The use of the funicular costs one metro ticket.


The stairs of the rue Foyatier

Stairs of rue Foyatier leading to the Forecourt of Sacré-Cœur © French Moments
The stairs of rue Foyatier © French Moments

To the left of the Square Louise Michel starts the rue Foyatier with a stair of 222 steps with intermediate landings. It was opened in 1867 and owes its name to Denis Foyatier (1793-1863), a French sculptor.


The stairs of the rue Paul Albert and rue Maurice Utrillo

Stairs of rue Ronsard in Montmartre © French Moments
Ascending the hill of Montmartre © French Moments


To the right of Square Louise Michel, the rue Ronsard leads to the stairs of the rue Paul Albert. After a first ascent up the stairs, the lane reaches a small square at the crossroads with the rue Mullier and the rue Feutrier.

March in Montmartre, stairs leading to the Forecourt of Sacré-Cœur © French Moments
The stairs of rue Maurice Utrillo leading to the Sacré-Cœur, Montmartre © French Moments


To the left, another set of steps (rue Maurice Utrillo) finally climbs straight up to the forecourt of the Sacré-Cœur, offering picturesque views over the Parisian roofs.

Stairs of rue Utrillo in Montmartre 01 © French Moments
Stairs of rue Utrillo in Montmartre © French Moments


The forecourt of the Sacré-Cœur

The great view from the parvis extends to the central and eastern districts of Paris: Notre-Dame, the Panthéon, the Bastille Opera… To see the western areas of Paris (including the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and La Défense) masked by trees and buildings, it is necessary to climb to the top of the Sacré-Cœur’s dome.

Square Louise Michel 06 © French Moments
Square Louise Michel, Montmartre © French Moments

On the warm summer evenings, Parisians and tourists gather on the steps leading to the Sacré-Cœur to enjoy the village atmosphere of Montmartre and the view of Paris. There is often live music, from traditional accordion plays to RNB’s street performances.


Parc de la Turlure

Parc de la Turlure in Montmartre © French Moments
Parc de la Turlure from the dome of Sacré-Cœur © French Moments


Situated behind the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, tourists often ignore the public garden of Parc de la Turlure. In the past, the Turlure windmill. The park offers fine views of the Sacré-Cœur church and Paris’s north and eastern suburbs.


Find out more about the hill of Montmartre.

Gems of Paris by French Moments
About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of the Discovery Course on the Secrets of the Eiffel Tower and the Christmas book "Voyage au Pays de Noël".

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