Results 11-20of 31 Reviews
October 4, 2005
From journal Paris is a moveable feast
August 29, 2005
It’s a strange old story that accompanies the building of the basilique, as it seems the site merited a church in the mid-1600s when a nun reported seeing Jesus on the mound. Several requests were made to the church authorities, but it was not until the end of the Franc-Prussian war that the state agreed to fund the building to "do penance for the sins of the people of France."
Building started with a vengeance following a highly spirited design competition in which the most outrageous entry (according to critics at the time) was successful. The basilica’s many cupolas are overseen by the 260-foot-high dome, and in the square bell tower is La Savoyarde at over 20 tons, one of the world’s heaviest bells.
This is what can best be described as a pilgrimage church, and inside are countless reminders of the many miracles that are purported to have occurred here. The dome sports a spectacular, colourful image of Jesus, arms outstretched surrounded by saints, blessing the faithful. Indeed there are several brightly designed mosaics throughout the church. And yet, this is a place of contrast, because, despite its ostentatious exterior, vibrant mosaics, and stunning stained glass, much of the internal architecture is plain and unadorned. The chapels of Saint-Pierre and Sainte Famille mimic the exterior design with arches and simple pillars, but here the walls retain the simple form of neatly assembled brickwork with uncomplicated altars and straightforward representations of Jesus with his outstretched arms.
The internal architecture of the Coupole is again simple and uncluttered, with two rows of pillared arches and a spiritual flooding of bright pure white light from the upper row. Sometimes less is truly more. The church order is tres magnifique, and if you’re lucky, you may hear its superb tones as the organist practices for one of the many services. The carving around the organ pipes is mirrored in the choir stalls, and it’s hard not to be distracted by the complexity of the floor’s mosaics. Like all churches, it has a vast array of superb sculptures and religious icons.
Make sure that you visit the crypt and admire the labyrinth of arches that seem to support the very structure of the massive structure. The artistry of this exposed fine building’s substructure work is divinely complex in a simple way!
From journal Picturesque Paris
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
July 15, 2005
Even though it looks white from everywhere in the city, the building is really light beige. The dome is covered in U-shaped plates put next to each other. Take funicular and then a flight of stairs to the entrance. Three horseshoe-shaped gates form the entrance. The style of the church is Romanesque-Byzantine, and it was built between 1876 and 1919. The mosaic above the altar shows Christ with religious leaders on the left-hand side offering him the globe, the crown, and everything they have, and on the right-hand side, there are writers, philosophers, and military men offering their earthly possessions. On each side of the altar are the chapels, and each has mosaics showing religious scenes with flower motives. You can visit the cupola if you want to walk 237 steps to the top of the dome. My impression of the church is that it looks much more interesting from afar. Let’s say from the top of the Eiffel Tower in the fog. It looks so enchanting, but once you get up close, all the enchantment vaporizes and it looks rather ordinary and much like any other church you’ve seen before.
To the left of the basilica (if you are facing the entrance), there is another small church – St Pierre de Montmartre (12th to 17th centuries). It is a lovely church with metal carved doors. The stained-glass windows are modern and look like work of Max Ingrand; the old ones were demolished by the bomb explosion during World War II.
From journal Paris in September - Part III
Diamond Bar, California
June 21, 2005
The Sacre-Cour has the most beautiful mosaics; unfortunately, they don’t allow you to take photos. The interior is really dark and has a very solemn feel to it, but it really makes the mosaics stand out that much more. I read that the crypt is supposed to house a piece of Christ’s heart, but I couldn’t find where it was supposed to be. The gift shop has a large assortment of rosaries, postcards, and other religious merchandise.
Once you’re done, walk around the area surrounding the Sacre-Cour. The shops are very touristy, but there was a great little art fair the Saturday we were there. Be aware, though, there are a lot of street peddlers that want to draw your picture, too, and they can get a little annoying. We took the stairs back down, and it had this really cool "Parisian park" feel to it. Another thing you may want to do while you are in the area is grab some sweets from the patisserie, Le Gostelier, across from where the funicular is, and sit and enjoy the park and carousel. We did a little sampler of mini pastries, and it was really yummy.
From journal Paris for Beginners
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
November 17, 2004
A Romano-Byzantine church completed in 1914, it has quite a few treasures, including Eugène Benet's figure of Chirst.
At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, two Catholic businessmen made a private religious vow-that should France be spared the Prussian onslaught, they’d build a church and dedicate it to the Sacred Heart of Christ. The two men, Alexandre Legentil and Rohault de Fleury, lived to see Paris saved from invasion despite the war and a lengthy siege, and the beginnings of the Sacré-Coeur basilica project. Inspired by the church of St. Front in Périgueux, work began in 1875. Although completed in 1914, the German invasion forestalled its consecration until 1919.
Started by Paul Abadie, chief architect and designer,it took two other architects to complete it, 40 years after initiation. Construction was fraught with problems, starting with its foundations, which had to be dug deeper than anticipated because of the quarries under the hill-cost increased, work was delayed. Eighty-three pillars, 16 feet thick and standing on stone shafts, were driven into the hill to support the walls and columns. Because of this, it has been claimed that the basilica is the one that holds up the hill, not the other way around!
The facade is best viewed from the gardens that spread out below the church. One distinct feature is its ovoid dome, which is the second highest point in Paris after the Eiffel Tower. It boasts pristine white turrets and an 83m tall bell tower containing one of the world’s heaviest bells, the Savoyarde, weighing in at an enormous 18.5 tonnes with an 850 kilogram clapper. Relief sculptures adorn the bronze doors in the portico entrance, illustrating scenes from Christ’s life, such as the Last Supper. Above this main entrance, facing Place du Parvis du Sacré-Coeur, is the basilica’s most important statue, that of Christ, symbolically placed above two bronze saints by H Lefèbvre, one of whom is Joan of Arc, the other is Saint Louis.
Inside, Luc-Olivier Merson’s colossal mosaic of Christ dominates the chancel vault. Alongside the Virgin, the pope, and the saints of France, the mosaic depicts the Parisian cardinals, bishops, and the project’s initiators. A chapel in the basilica’s crypt also contains Legentil’s heart in a stone urn. The dome’s inner stone structure has a stained-glass gallery, with views of the whole interior; a climb up its spiral staircase offers a dizzying view of the square outside.
The best time to visit the Sacred Heart is either at sunrise or sunset. The basilica is not a parish church, but a place of pilgrimage, drawing Catholics from the world over. A continuous service is held here, manned at night by delegates from the Parisian parishes. It is open daily from 6:45am to 11pm. There is an admission charge for the dome and crypt.
From journal Paris, for All Seasons, All the Year Through
April 18, 2004
The Sacre Coeur district offers many spectacular views on Paris: its village-like streets and squares, its cafés and restaurants. But, as you walk a few meters away from the core tourist area, you discover very quiet and charming spots, quite unexpected in such a large city as Paris.
You can easily get there by Metro, but be prepared for a short walk up the hill!
From journal A Weekend in Paris
March 19, 2004
One other interesting item-- one of the times we were there was about midnight, right as they turned the lights off, and we ran into one of the stars from E.R. there. I can't remember his name, but he's the guy that plays Luca. He was there with a group of friends. The really strange thing is that we had watched a little TV earlier that evening while getting ready for dinner, and we watched an episode of ER (called Urgency in France) in French, and it was an episode that he starred in. Just a bizarre little Sacre Coeur story!
From journal Paris in March
February 1, 2004
I've heard that it is particularly good at night -- just be careful around the notorious pick-pocket area; avoid the guys tying string to people's fingers.
Also, while you're around the area and you want to check out the Moulin Rouge it's near Sacre Couer.
From journal Paris on a Budget
Cary, North Carolina
June 6, 2003
From journal Paris – La Vie En Rose
North Liberty, Iowa
December 18, 2002
From journal Paris at Christmas Time