Place du Tertre, Montmartre

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The little shaded square of Place du Tertre is situated just a stone’s throw away from the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and is the tourist centre of Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement. 


Created in 1772, its name means the ‘mound‘, a direct reference to the hillock of Montmartre.

At an altitude of 130 metres, the Place du Tertre is highest square of Paris.

All over the square, various artists set up their easels in the afternoon, tempting the visitors with their works of art: personalised charcoal portraits, water-paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc.

The Place du Tertre is bordered with the colourful façades of small building which house cafés, restaurant, art galleries:

– The first town-hall of the ancient village of Montmartre (number 3) was founded in 1790 in the house of the first Mayor of the commune, Félix Desportes. The building is nicknamed ‘Poulbot House’ in reference to local children (P’tits Boulbots) who have been popularised in Belle Époque’s drawings.

– The restaurant La Mère Catherine was founded in 1793. In 1814, Cossacks enjoyed eating there and would bang on the table for food to come more quickly and shout: ‘Bistro!’. This is how the French started to use the word bistro to describe a particular type of restaurants.

– The seat of the Free Commune (number 21) was founded in 1920 to preserve the traditions of Montmartre. Today it houses the local tourist office.

To avoid the invasion of tourists, it is best to visit the square and the neighbouring streets in the morning.

A view of the Place du Tertre from above can be admired from the dome of Sacré-Cœur:

Find out more about the hill of Montmartre.


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About 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. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French 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.

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