Paris at the Place du Tertre!!

So here i am staying in Paris and continue finding new photos of older days in the beautiful city. I have many posts on Paris, many… but have ,also many photos some not shown yet. I used to worked in it and lived next door so Paris was like my backyard. Still was until the virus…. Looking forward to be back.

In the meantime, let me show some new text and photos of a very very popular place, the Place du Tertre square in Montmartre.

As any visitor/tourist would attest, coming here is like a pilgrimage while in Paris. I admit came here for the glamour in the travel books as my French family was not taken none of this. However, just for the bragging rights I came, back in 1991!

It immediately struck as an overpopulated square loaded with visitor/tourists walking around and so popular! Many cheap portraits made in China but signed by locals! indeed. It was a one time impression and I believe been back maybe once after that. Montmartre has better places to be, but if you are here for only a visit or is your first time then do come if simply for the bragging rights! I was here!

paris pl du tertre montmartre jan20

This artists square is divided into 149 locations of 1m² where everyone gives free rein to their talent. The place is once again at the heart of the history of Paris at the end of the 19C. At the end of the siege of Paris, part of the 171 guns were stored on the mound. On March 18, 1871, it was an attempt to withdraw these cannons that sparked a major riot, heralding the Paris Commune!

This square is served by the metro stations Abbesses (line 12) and Anvers (line 2), as well as by the Montmartrobus. I have come and parked at the parking Anvers 500 meters from Sacre-Coeur at 41 boulevard de Rochechouart.

A bit of history I like

We are in the Middle Ages. Let’s say without seeking too much precision, in the 12C. A few houses were built, especially a little lower, towards the current place Jean-Baptiste Clément which was then the center of the village, its main square (then called Place du Palais) . Later, probably in the 14C, the land (which is not yet a square) is bordered on the east side by a thick wall which forms part of the Abbey enclosure. In the center of the square which extends at its feet, the abbesses who possessed the right of justice had installed forks and gallows. The square did not have its current appearance and three houses were built in its center. They were destroyed in the middle of the 19C and it was not until 1921 that the city bought back the private part of the central square. The name Place du Tertre which obviously alludes to its location at the top of the hill only appears late, in the 19C. It almost disappeared when a decree of 1867, a year after the annexation of Montmartre to Paris, had provided for its abolition in order to widen the rue Norvins. Luckily, the project was abandoned!

A bit of nostalgia me think. At number 3 Place du Tertre which apparently opens onto Place Jean Marais (formerly Place de l’Eglise) to extend at a right angle and form the east side of Place du Tertre. It bears the same plaque in two very different places indicating that the first city/town hall of Montmartre was established there in 1790.

The No 17 Place du Tertre is of course a restaurant! It is Chez Eugène (my first meal there! 1991). If artists have performed there, we do not see what the official site is referring to when it tells us that it inspired the famous Jacques Brel chorus! There is indeed a restaurant at Eugène’s in the song “Madeleine” by Brel, but you have to take tram 33 to get there because it is in Brussels!

paris chez eugene fam 1995

At No 6 Place du Tertre ,you will find the famous Mère Catherine. Before the Revolution, there was the presbytery where the parish priest lived as the church St Pierre was divided into two parts , one “St Denis” reserved for nuns, the other “St Pierre” for the villagers.

With the Revolution and the confiscation of religious property, the house was sold and bought by Catherine Lamotte who turned it into a café-restaurant. One of the clients at the time was none other than Danton! After the death of Mother Catherine, there will be other owners including the second mayor of Montmartre Mr. Lemoine who installed a wooden billiard table, which was very successful, and earned him the nickname “Father of billiards”. For many years the place has lost its soul and has become a tourist trap!yes. The poor victims imagine when they enter that they will consume delicious traditional cuisine in an authentic place! The restaurant claims that the word “bistro” was born here!

The restaurant claims that the word “bistro” was born here when, after Napoleon’s defeat, the Cossacks who came to occupy Paris were served there drinks and to hasten the service shouted “bistro bistro” which phonetically and approximately means in Russian “quick quick”. The thing is disputed and questionable but it is part of the Montmartre legend made of gaffes and stories mixed with the truth!

The Paris tourist office on the Place du Tertre :

A wonderful local webpage Montmartre Guide on tourism and information on Montmartre, on the Place du Tertre:

And now you have a bit more on another monument of Paris. Yes even more touristic today but as said, one needs to see it at least once. And you are in Paris, well Montmartre as the locals would tell you ::) Enjoy the visit to the Place du Tertre

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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2 Comments to “Paris at the Place du Tertre!!”

  1. Always a great atmosphere on this Place du Tertre. Contrary to many tourist places where vendors of all kinds harass the tourists, here it is the opposite, the tourists take pictures of the artists who don’t always want to. Revenge.

    Liked by 1 person

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