Montmartre Vineyard in Paris

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Montmartre is a high hill in the territory of modern Paris, known to tourists as a historical meeting place and residence of the artistic bohemia of the capital of France. But not everyone knows that part of Montmartre occupies the territory of the vineyard. Today, vineyards are crowded out onto the sunless northern side of the hill and are extremely reduced in size. But in the past, the vineyard occupied most of Montmartre and served to produce a number of famous French wines. Some of them were honored to be served at the royal table. The origin and past of the vineyard is associated with a number of legendary personalities and important events in the history of the country.

Land Sanctified by the Blood of the Holy

In ancient times, there was a small settlement on the site of the modern vineyard. Its inhabitants worshiped the god Mars and mined gypsum in quarries scattered along the hill. At the beginning of our era, during the persecution of Christianity, here, with his comrades, the Martyr Dionysius, the patron saint of Paris, was executed and buried. In the 5th century, a chapel was erected over them. Later, the relics of the saints were transferred to Saint-Denis. But the hill itself has since received its name, meaning "martyr's hill".

The heyday of the vineyard and the monastery

In the 12th century, the French king Louis VI became interested in this place. Having repaired the chapel, he ordered the construction of a monastery around it. The main work on the creation of the Benedictine monastery was carried out by his wife, Adelaide of Savoy. At that time, one of the oldest churches in Paris, the Church of St. Peter, was built here. After the death of the king, the inconsolable widow took her hair in the monastery founded by the royal couple. There, in the underground crypt under the chapel of the monastery, Adelaide rested forever.

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The monastery itself became known not only for the famous chapel, but also for the vineyards divorced by its first abbesses.

On the territory of Montmartre, hardworking nuns created a strong economy by building mills, cultivating a vineyard and pressing facilities to extract juice from it. On the illuminated hillsides, grapes seemed to pour in the southern French sun and the sisters began to make excellent wine out of it. Its best varieties were delivered to the royal court, and the rest were sold to everyone.

Naturally, this occupation, as well as thousands of pilgrims who visited the Martyrs' Chapel, brought great income to the monastery. However, the natives themselves worked tirelessly, engaged in gardening, weaving, embroidery and providing shelter and education for orphans.

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In the 16th century, the crypt of the chapel became known for the fact that I. Loyola founded the Jesuit Society in it. And in the 17th century, the abbess of the monastery took part of the vineyard under the cemetery - the smallest in Paris.

Death in the whirlwind of revolution

The monastery and the vineyard had to endure both the devastation of the Hundred Years War, and the grandiose fire of the 16th century, which destroyed most of the buildings, and the wars of the Protestants with the Catholics in the Reformation era.

Only he failed to survive - the Great French Revolution of the 18th century. As a result of the actions of the fighters against the old regime, all the buildings of the monastery were destroyed, except for the ancient church. The monastery itself is closed, and its elderly paralyzed abbess is sent to the guillotine.

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After this, the famous vineyards of the monastery fell into decay. Partially they began to process the locals. Arriving in the suburbs, in Montmartre, their cheap wine was enjoyed by Parisians. But the quality of wine was declining, and new buildings replaced the plantations.

Revival of an ancient plantation

The fate of the old vineyard was saved at the beginning of the 20th century. At the suggestion of the painter Poulbo, who obtained permission for this, a group of Montmartre artists revived the vineyard by planting samples of vines of several well-known varieties.

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Nowadays, the Montmartre vineyard, despite its modest size, produces from 1 to 1,5 thousand bottles per year. In addition, it is known for its traditional annual wine festival. Not reaching the former "royal" level, the wines of Montmartre, today, however, are very popular with tourists. In addition, they also have the opportunity to visit the revived vineyard itself, to which special excursions are held.

Getting there

Address: Rue des Saules, Paris 75018
Phone: +33 1 42 62 21 21
Metro: Lamarck - Caulaincourt
Run time: 9:00-20:00

Source
INFO-MANIAC