A brief history of Montmartre
The history of Montmartre goes back to antiquity. Historians believe that this name comes from the Latin "Mons Martis" or Hill of Mars, referring to the temple dedicated to Mars, the Roman god of war, built on the hill of the city in the first century AD. The four columns of this temple still exist near the Church of St. Peter, between the Sacred Heart and the Place du Tertre. It is also believed that Saint-Denis, the first bishop of Paris, was decapitated and his head was carried to the place where the present eponymic basilica was built for his homage. The name Montmartre would, thus, come from the expression Mons Martyrum, or Mount of the Martyr, in memory of the Bishop of Saint-Denis.
Montmartre was outside the wall of Paris built by the Ferme Générale, the corporation of tax farmers, between 1784 and 1791. As wine in Montmartre was consequently cheaper, the area became the place for entertainment and the busiest place in the city, and this is still the case today.
The Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur is the symbol of the district and the second most visited monument in the capital. It was built between 1873 and 1914 and houses the largest mosaic in France under its dome. Montmartre is undoubtedly the most visited area of France.