Perched 130 meters at the top of Montmartre, you can't miss the Basilica du Sacré Coeur at Montmartre. Just look up and you'll see it... an impressive and diverse structure.
When we say it’s impressive, that’s because it truly is! Designed in the Roman-Byzantine style and pure white, this structure clearly contrasts with other religious buildings in the capital.
From where it all began…in the year 1875!
The Basilica challenges the laws of physics due to its colossal foundations. The monument was built from contributions pledged by Parisian Catholics through generous donations. (The names of the people who invested in the construction are engraved all over the walls of the church.) To build the Sacré Coeur, it was necessary to construct very deep bases, 83 wells 38 meters underground to ensure the building was solid! Some people say that this basilica supports the hill, filled with limestone and gypsum, known for being weak.
And why this name you ask? Well, the word means ‘Sacred-Heart’ in English. This is a reference to the heart of Jesus, which is the representation of his divine love for humanity.
The famous Montmartre district, a place known for its trendy hotspots, clubs, [cabarets] and cafés, sparkles at the foot of this unique sacred place, which attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over France and around the world every year.
One of the most visited religious monuments in Paris
The Basilica du Sacré Coeur is definitely a visual treat for the eyes. The unspoiled white colour of the building is just one of its many charms. Since 1914, despite the pollution and the test of time, the building is still pristine.
The secret? Stones used for construction secrete a white substance (cullet), which makes the building beautiful and white when it rains.
Another paradox: compared to other religious buildings in Paris, which mostly date back to the Renaissance, the Basilica only dates back a century. Nevertheless, it is the most visited religious monument in Paris after [Notre Dame Cathedral.]
Decor and height of the Sacré Coeur
Inside the Sacred Heart, the decor will leave you speechless. A gigantic mosaic, a large Cavaillé-Coll organ, as well as treasures (in one of the crypts) will all satisfy your curiosity.
You want to go even higher? Some 234 spiraling steps lead you to the basilica’s dome, which rises 83m high with the most spectacular panoramas of Paris. They say you can see for 30km on a clear day. Magical, giant, sprawling, the French capital spreads out magnificently in front of your eyes. La Defense, Montparnasse Tower, the Panthéon, the Bois de Vincennes, the Buttes-Chaumont and the basilica of Saint-Denis, you can see nearly all the monuments of Paris with binoculars.
Afterall, the Sacré Coeur is the highest point in Paris after ... [the Eiffel Tower]
Take a look above your head ... that's not the only surprise in store: the bell tower defies gravity and contains the most famous bell in France: "La Savoyarde" a work of 19 tonnes given by the four dioceses of Savoie.
The peaceful vibe of this impressive church
While you are here, you will notice plenty of locals, simply sitting and talking to each other, while enjoying the views. You can also observe street artists and other performances. A calm feeling that you will only get at the Sacré Coeur and nowhere else in the city.
You can enter the church for free but there is a charge to enter the crypt and the ascent to the dome. Photography is not allowed unless you get special permission from the church!
The next time you are in Paris, and if you have already visited this beautiful monument, revisit it and see it in a new light with all these facts. And why not stay [in this property], only 10 mins from the Sacré Coeur?
More information on Paris and the sacred heart - sacre coeur :
Paris Tourist Office