A Brief History of Place Dalida in Paris
What is Place Dalida?
Place Dalida is a small cobbled square in Montmartre, Paris, dedicated to French singing icon, Dalida
Place Dalida History
Place Dalida is certainly one of the most picturesque squares within Montmartre. An area renowned for its hustle and bustle, with tourists swarming the streets, this small square provides a secluded escape, a quiet sanctuary on the edge of the district.
The square is actually named after the famous French icon, Dalida, the successful singer, actress and winner of Miss Egypt. Born Yolanda Gigliotti in Cairo in 1933, Dalida spent most of her life in France, performing across the country. The house that she lived in until her death can be found within Montmartre, nearby to the square at Number 11 Rue d’Orchampt.
Dalida was an extraordinary success over the course of her three-decade career, and today is still remembered as one of France’s greatest musical icons. She’s sold over 170 million records to date, along the way becoming the first artist to ever receive a platinum disc in recognition of her sales.
In 1996, Paris City Hall established by decree that the square would be named after the French singer to commemorate ten years since her death, which tragically occurred by suicide in 1987. In the square you’ll find a life-size bust of Dalida in bronze, which when erected meant that Dalida became only the third woman in France to receive a statue, after Joan of Arc and Sarah Bernhardt. You’ll see that some of the metal on the breasts of the statue has now been over polished due to visitors touching them out of superstition, as this apparently brings good luck.
Whether you’re a Dalida fan or not, the square is nonetheless a beautiful place to sit and watch the world go by and to take in views of Paris, including the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. If you walk down the adjacent Rue de l’Abreuvoir, a picturesque cobbled road, you’ll also find the iconic café and restaurant, La Maison Rose, which has been frequently visited by many artists during its lifetime, including Pablo Picasso and Suzanne Valadon.
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