Results 1-10of 31 Reviews
Menlo Park, California
September 15, 2010
From journal Winter in Paris
July 7, 2000
From journal My 2 brief trips to Paris
Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
July 17, 2007
This white basilica is visible from its hill perch across Paris and has become a distinctive element of the Paris skyline. Its construction was the result of a private agreement of two businessmen during the Prussian war, that if France was spared they would build a church. Work began in 1875 and was completed in 1914 but the Great War delayed its consecration until 1919. There is a continual adoration of the blessed sacrament in Sacre Coeur that has been going on for over a hundred years.
Entrance into the basilica is free, but they are very strict on dress code, so be careful of what you wear or you maybe refused admission. Equally as there is prayer going on continuously silence is enforced and no photography is permitted. However, there are so many tourists wandering around that the sense of this being a place of prayer is lost. (If you are looking for space to pray in peace try St-Pierre de Montmartre which is just around the corner.) It is possible to climb the dome of the basilica and have great views over Paris, but this costs 5 euros and if you wander round the area you'll get many equally good views if you are trying to save money.
Since this basilica is at the top of Montmartre Hill, its a fairly steep walk up here if you walk up from the metro, but there are buses and funicular which will avoid most of the climb. However, there are steps just in front of the basilica, which to get a good picture of the basilica must be negotiated.
From journal Exploring 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
Cary, North Carolina
June 6, 2003
From journal Paris – La Vie En Rose
New Delhi, India
August 6, 2002
Morning was, now that I come to think of it, probably the wrong time to visit Place Pigalle - I mean, this is the place for nightlife, so morning saw it pretty deserted. But a stroll down a cobbled pavement gave us a fairly good idea of what it’s all about. And it is pretty risqué- every shop, every outlet, every little kiosk- advertises `peep shows’, lingerie, aphrodisiacs, and stuff like that. Most have very explicit photos up too. One place we passed even had a poster which proclaimed "Non-stop show nude guaranteed" ("Hey! She had her G-string on for a minute! I want my money back!"). We walked on, the length of the road, till the Moulin Rouge, with its famous red windmill and its reproductions of Toulouse-Lautrec’s paintings. Other well-known venues- like the Crazy Horse and the Lido- are nearby too. This entire area throbs with life and light once the sun goes down, but was quietness itself while we wandered around.
After a brief look-see through Place Pigalle, we took the Metro to le Basilique du Sacré Coeur . Built as a votive offering by the people of Paris after Prussia’s defeat of France in 1870, the Basilica’s a huge, white-domed structure with pale yellow tulips and orange poppies growing along the steps leading up to it. Although revered by many (and in fact believed by some to contain a relic of Christ himself- the `sacred heart’), the church isn’t really that spectacular- well, somebody actually said it was a `lunatic’s confectionery dream’! The interior does have some rather nice decoration, which is worth a look- there’s some good stained glass and plenty of very ornate mosaic (incorporating a fair amount of gold paint). The crypt is also open to the public, and is worth visiting for the statues it houses, as well as the relic.
From journal Paris in the Springtime
February 6, 2001
From journal Beguiling 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