The Montmartre Tourist Scavenger Hunt takes you on a self-guided walking tour of Montmartre in Paris. See all the sights while having fun and of course, learning some history too! Indeed, you will walk from Place d’Anvers to the Sacré-Coeur, around the butte and back down to Place Pigalle while taking on a few various challenges.
You will see
- Basilique du Sacré-Coeur
- Espace Dali
- Place Dalida
- Café les Deux Moulins
- Martyrium of Saint-Denis
- Cimetière de Montmartre
- Place Pigalle
- Moulin Rouge
We have visited Paris including Montmartre in 1985, 2011, 2015 and 2017.
- Starting Location: Place d’Anvers, next to Anvers metro station, 75009 Paris, France.
- Distance: 4 km / 2.7 mi
- 2h – 2h30 – depending on walking speed and riddle-solving time.
- A fully charged Smartphone with data-plan.
- Bottled water.
- Local street map or tourist map.
- Courage to ask questions of locals if you need help!
- Also, pen and paper will come in handy. Otherwise, you can also take notes on other smartphones.
Montmartre means Mount of Mars in Latin. The name dates to Merovingian times. People have settled here since the Gallo-Roman times. 3rd-century coins were found in an excavation at the Church of Saint-Pierre. Another excavation at the Fontaine-du-But found the remains of a Roman bath from the 2nd century.
The Butte owes its religious importance to Saint-Denis, a legendary 3rd-century Christian martyr who was bishop of Paris. You will learn more about him on the Scavenger Hunt.
In 1134, King Louis VI bought a chapel here and built the Church of Saint-Pierre de Montmartre which stands to this day next to the Sacré-Coeur. Historic abbeys and convents built around this time were demolished during the French Revolution of 1790.
By the 15th century, there were many vineyards on the slopes of Montmartre. In the 16th century arose windmills here to grind wheat, barley, and rye. There were up to 13 mills although by the late 1800s only two remained, one of which is the Moulin Rouge.
At the time of the French Revolution, Montmartre was just outside the Paris city limits. Gypsum was mined on Montmartre from the Gallo-Roman period until 1860.
In 1814, Russian soldiers occupied Montmartre and used the hill for artillery. In 1870, under the Third Republic, Montmartre was included in Paris’ 18th arrondissement (neighborhood).
The construction of the Basilica du Sacré-Coeur (1876-1919) required special foundations that went 40 meters down which forced the end of the mining. Around this time is when Montmartre took on its more artistic and bohemian flavor (la Belle Époque 1872-1914). The Butte was now covered with cafés, bistros, cabarets, and guinguette (cross between a beer garden, but for wine, a restaurant and dance venue).
This Montmartre tourist scavenger hunt will point out many places where well-known artists have lived and worked.