Results 1-10of 31 Reviews
Blackburn, England, United Kingdom
September 30, 2011
From journal My Paris Top Five
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
July 29, 2010
From journal The most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Santa Barbara, California
March 14, 2006
From journal How You Say... Le Paris?
New York, New York
March 11, 2006
From journal An American in Paris
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
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
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
August 20, 2007
The white domes of the Sacred Heart Basilica patrol the Paris skyline from the top of Montmartre. The French government decided to erect Sacre Coeur in 1873 as a sort of national guilt offering in expiation for the blood shed during the Commune and the Franco-Prussian War in 1870- 71. It was meant to symbolize the return of self confidence to late 19th century Paris. Even so, the building reflected political divisions within the country: it was largely financed by French Catholics fearful of an anticlerical backlash and determined to make a grandiloquent statement on behalf of the Church.
Construction lasted until World War I; the basilica was not consecrated until 1919. In style the Sacre Coeur borrows elements from Romanesque and Byzantine architecture. Built on a grand scale, the church is strangely disjointed and unsettling; architect Paul Abadie had made his name by sticking similar scaly, pointed domes onto the medieval cathedrals of Angouleme and Perigueux in southwest France. Golden mosaics glow in the dim, echoing interior; climb to the top of the dome for the view of Paris. On clear days you can also catch grand vistas of the city from the entrance terrace and steps. Try to visit at sunrise or long after sunset, as otherwise this area is crammed with bus groups, young lovers, postcard sellers, guitar-wielding Christians, and sticky-finger types; be extra cautious with your valuables.
From journal Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Paris
by Joy S
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
September 30, 2006
From journal 4 Nights in Paris
August 11, 2006
From journal Paris in Spring...and Summer