The Basilica of Sacre Coeur should undoubtedly be on your list of obligatory places to visit in Paris. It is not only a beautiful Catholic church but also a place of many pilgrimages. In addition, the basilica is on a hill, in the highest place of Paris, from where there is an amazing view of the capital of France.
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, usually simply called Sacre-Coeur (fr. Sacre – sacred, Coeur- heart), is not only a symbolic religious place but also a political one.
The inspiration for the Sacré Cœur project was created on September 4, 1870, when the Third French Republic was proclaimed. Along with the speech of Bishop Fournier, who attributed the defeat of French soldiers during the Franco-Prussian war to the divine punishment after the division of society after the French Revolution. The Basilique was established to commemorate the sacrifice of 58,000 people who lost their lives during the war.
The Basilica was designed by Paul Abadi, who defeated 77 other architects willing to take on this challenge. Construction began in 1875. It was completed in 1914, but the outbreak of the First World War prevented the consecration, which took place after the end of World War I in 1919.
The general style of the structure shows a free interpretation of the Romanesque-Byzantine style. White granite was used for the construction, which is why it is often called the “white basilica”.
“Many elements of the basilica symbolize nationalist threads: the portico with three arches is decorated with two horse sculptures of the French Saints National Joan of Arc (1927) and the Holy King Louis IX, made in bronze by Hippolyte Lefebvre, and the nineteenth-ton bell Savoyarde (one of the heaviest in the world ), devoted in 1895 in Annecy, refers to the annexation of Savoy in 1860. “
The great pipe organ which you can find in the Sacré-Cœur Basilica is considered to be one of the most significant in Paris, France, and Europe. Built in 1898, they are the last great instrument built by the illustrious Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.
The domes of the basilica are 79 meters high and the north tower 83 meters. In this tower, there is the heaviest bell in Paris (19 tons), called “Savoyarde”, whose heart weighs 500 kg.
The Sacre-Coeur Basilica is located in the 18th district of Paris, a bit more far from the center than other famous monuments. However, not only it is very close to Moulin Rouge and Wall of I love you, but also the area – Montmartre, is very beautiful and famous. Everywhere around you can find artist selling their paintings or able to draw your caricature or a portrait.
Also, if you are planning to buy some souvenirs from Paris, you should definitely do it in Montmartre. The variety of choice and amount of shops is countless and the prices are the best!
The view from the hill of Sacre-Coeur is really stunning – you can see the whole Paris. I totally advise to take a sandwich with you or buy a beer from the local guys and sit on the stairs under the basilica to stop for a while and look in breathtaking view which you find there.
All this you can see Basilique du Sacré-Cœur for free! There is no fee entrance and do not get discouraged by the queue you might see there – it is only a security check which goes very fasts.
How to get there:
- metro line 2 – Anvers stop
- metro line 12 – Abbesses stop
From the metro, you can take a bus or go by foot 🙂
35 RUE DU-CHEVALIER DE LA BARRE-
Opening hours: 6 am to 10.30 pm
Entrance – free.
More information on the official website of the basilica.
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