Rue des Martyrs not Pigalle!
Trip Start Mar 07, 2005
20Trip End Aug 14, 2005
To take words of another clever bugger, read on to learn more about the wonderful area of Paris I call home:
"SUNDAY in Paris and nowhere to go. Much of the city shut tight.
So how to satisfy that craving for comfort that is particularly acute if one is not staying in a suite at the Ritz but in one of those functional, undersize rooms for which Paris is famous? How also to satisfy that perennial desire for discovery, particularly if the city is familiar?
Sure, there's the Marais - but every other tourist in Paris is already there.
...Instead, head over to the Rue des Martyrs, just northeast of the Galeries Lafayette department store and southwest of the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur at Montmartre. This half-mile street, mostly uphill, is the spine of a neighborhood that offers magic in a compressed time and space.
It was the martyrdom of Saint Denis in the fifth century for preaching the Christian Gospel that gave the street its name. According to legend, Saint Denis miraculously picked up his head after he was beheaded and walked for miles before dying.
During the Renaissance, the site of his beheading, on what is now the Rue Yvonne Le Tac, became a place of pilgrimage. In 1534, Ignatius Loyola and his companions came to pay homage and took vows that led to the creation of the Jesuit order. (The tiny chapel dedicated to Saint Denis, and rebuilt in the 19th century, can be visited on Friday afternoons and on Sundays by appointment.)
The Rue des Martyrs starts at the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Church and ends near the Place des Abbesses. The busy Boulevard de Rochechouart slices the street in two at the Pigalle Métro, and divides it between the 9th and the 18th Arrondissements. Both parts blend the coziness of a village frozen in time and the vitality of a neighborhood described as "bobo," or bourgeois bohemian..." Taken from New York Times Feb 27 2005