Posted by: nancycurteman | March 22, 2010

Two Paris Treasures Await The History Buff and The Wine Connoisseur

What do Roman amphitheaters and grape vines have in common? They can both be found within the city limits of one of the most sophisticated cities in the world, Paris, France. The Montmartre Vineyards sit in Montmartre at the corner of rue St-Vincent & rue des Saules. The Roman amphitheatre, Arenes de Lutece is located at 47 rue Monge.

Montmartre Vineyards are quite a surprise to most tourists who don’t imagine grapes growing in the middle of Paris. In the heart of Montmartre village Clos Montmartre is still producing full-bodied wines, mostly Gamay, Pinot Noir and some Sauvignon. Production is less than 2000 bottles per year. Each vintage bears a colorful name such as Dalida, Moulin-Rouge, Lapin-Agile, Toulouse-Lautrec. Each year the vintage made from the grapes is sold at auctions. The money is donated to social causes.

The Arenes de Lutece is what remains of a 1st century Roman amphitheater that seated about 15,000 people. The Romans built it on the slopes of the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève to provide a theatre where they could enjoy circuses with live animals, sporting events, and other spectacles of the day. Remnants of the once-grand amphitheater including parts of the stage and the barred animal cages still remain. The city added the bleachers for the convenience of visitors.

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