Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rue Sainte-Rustique

The impossibly narrow Rue Sainte-Rustique is the oldest street in Montmartre. Mentioned in records more than 900 years ago, it has no automobile traffic and no sidewalks but retains its paving stones, complete with a medieval gutter running down the center of it. The length of it is just one long block between Rue du Mont-Cenis and Rue des Saules.

At the terminus with Rue des Saules sits the legendary restaurant La Bonne Franquette, a gathering place for the Impressionists: Cézanne, Sisley, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Pisarro - as well as writer Émile Zola. It faces the square that is home to neighboring restaurant Le Consulat, immortalized in a painting by Utrillo.

La Bonne Franquette and its green façade is on the immediate left in this photo.

Religious processions often pass through here, departing from St-Pierre-de-Montmartre church, and magical views of the white domes of the Sacre-Cœur Basilica arise above the rooftops looking eastward.

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