After the tour we made our way uphill to the main festival site in front of the Sacré-Coeur. Here we found a bustling street food market selling a wide range of French specialities. The wine yield from the vineyard is auctioned off with proceeds going to charity. Local artists design the labels. Historically an area that attracted artists – Monet, Renoir, and Degas to name but a few, creativity is still evident as you walk the streets, and this custom pays homage to this. Montmartre retains its village feel and remains one of the most beautiful areas of Paris.
|L'Atelier des Lumieres|
We couldn’t linger too long however as we had tickets for the Atelier des Lumières. A nineteenth century foundry in the 11th arondissement houses an immersive art exhibition. Their first display predominantly features work by Gustave Klimt, as well as some photography from the period and works by Hundertwasser, whose work was new to me. A playlist accompanies the experience as images are projected across the walls, floors and ceiling. Accused by some of pandering to the Instagram generation, it is nonetheless a unique experience. By no means a replacement for seeing the originals, instead it feels not like experiencing them so much as witnessing new art in this carefully curated space, and is well worth a visit.
|Pere Lachaise Cemetery|
Conveniently nearby sits sprawling Pere Lachaise cemetery. Established in 1804 by Napoleon I, it is the final resting place of many a famous name and is the most visited cemetery in the world. Rows of ornate tombs line paths that spread as far as the eye can see. It feels almost to be a city in its own right. Home to tributes to wars and mass killings, it is hard to imagine that this peaceful, emotive place was once the site of a massacre itself.