Situated in the very heart of Montmartre, close to several carousels and in a lesser-frequented spot of the 18th arrondissement, you’ll easily spot it. All blue tiles scrawled over in dozens of different languages, this is the ‘I Love You Wall’ or ‘Le Mur des Je t’aime’ as it is so-called in French. Here’s how to visit, a history, and things to know before you go!
Address / Square Jehan Rictus, Place des Abbesses, 75018 Paris
A history of the ‘I Love You Wall’ or ‘Le Mur des Je t’aime’
The wall has been a fixture in the 18th’s landscape since 2000. The project began when artist, Frédéric Baron, asked various acquaintances (including neighbours) to write ‘I love you’ in their mother tongues. Eventually he managed to assemble a list of ‘I Love You’ in over 250 languages, with over 300 declarations total.
The calligrapher Claire Kito was then tasked with writing out all of the various scripts onto glazed enamel plates. In total, there are 612 tiles of enamelled lava, which in turn cover a space of over 40 metres squared.
As well as widely spoken languages, the tiles incorporate the phrase ‘I Love You’ in lesser-spoken languages such as Esperanto and Inuit. When asked why a wall was chosen, Baron cites that a wall is not only a symbol for division and separation (especially in a world such as our own), but that it can also be a place to serve as a home for beautiful human feelings.
How to visit Le Mur des je t’aime
Should you wish to visit the wall for yourself, the Mur des je t’aime is at the base of Montmartre, close to plenty of other Parisian attractions. Free to visit, the garden (Square Jehan Rictus) where the wall is located (on Square des Abbesses) is open at varying times throughout the year, though typically between sunrise and sunset.
Even if you visit the wall at a time when the garden is closed, you can still see the work of art from afar thanks to its position, clear from any trees, and a fairly low fence surrounding the park.
If you want to get the best possible photos of the wall (it’s pretty popular, especially thanks to the rise of social media apps such as Instagram), then you should arrive earlier in the day (mid-morning) and mid-week if possible.
Things to see and do nearby
One of the best coffee shops in Montmartre is that of KB CaféShop. Situated in SoPi (South Pigalle), KB CaféShop is an über cool venue that’s perfect for both hanging out with friends as well as catching up on a spot of work, or even simply hanging out and watching the world go by.
Amelie filming locations
Fans of French cinema will no doubt be familiar with the film Amelie, which follows the adventures of Amélie Poulain as she navigates life and love in the French capital. Much of the movie is filmed in the Montmartre area and nearby to Place des Abbesses, you’ll soon discover the iconic greengrocer’s from the film, as well as other iconic locations. Check here for more Amélie filming locations.
Place des Abbesses Christmas Market
If you happen to be visiting the I Love You Wall during the winter, then you’re in luck. One of the smallest Christmas Markets in Paris takes place on the Place des Abbesses, directly in front of the garden where the I Love You Wall is located.
The annual event takes place from the end of November to the end of December and sees around 15 stalls erected around a central carousel. As well as food stands, there are a number of wooden chalets selling ‘Made in France’ products such as jewellery and clothing. Discover more about the Abbesses Christmas Market here.
Le Refuge des Fondus [PERMANENTLY CLOSED]
As of fall 2021, the Refuge des Fondus is permanently closed. Of course, no trip to Paris, or indeed France, would be complete without trying at least a little of the local cuisine.
After all, you can’t get more French than eating cheese and drinking wine! Head to Le Refuge des Fondus at the base of Montmartre for an authentic and offbeat French dining experience you won’t forget anytime soon.
There are only two options on the menu: meat or cheese. And you quite literally drink your wine (again, only two options: red or white) from baby bottles. Perfection. Address: 17 Rue des Trois Frères, 75018 Paris, France.