Results 1-10of 31 Reviews
Blackburn, England, United Kingdom
September 30, 2011
From journal My Paris Top Five
by Joy S
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
September 30, 2006
From journal 4 Nights in Paris
July 7, 2000
From journal My 2 brief trips to 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
by Jim Rosenberg
November 4, 2000
From journal Paris: An Affordable, Spectacular Destination
October 20, 2000
The location is very fortunate too. Sacre-Coeur is located on a top of the hill in Montmare district: the souvenir shopping haven in Paris. There is hundreds of souvenir shops around, as well as cafes and ethnic restaurants. It is also within a walking distance of Place du Pigalle and Moulin Rouge.
Tip:Try the roasted chestnuts!
From journal Paris - so much to see, so little time
May 14, 2001
After going into the Church, spend some time wandering around and looking at the crypts and altars. There is beautiful mosaic and enamel work throughout. For a small fee you can climb the many steps to the top of the dome for yet a greater view. I had to pass on this because I had used all my energy getting to the front door!
There is a tram you can ride up and down the hill, and I would recommend that just for the experience. I took it down and should have taken it up! There is a small gift shop outside the Church but be prepared to spend a lot for water if you don't take your own. They know they have you because I would have paid $100 for a bottle of water by the time I got up all the stairs.
When you get to the bottom of the hill, I suggest you spend some time strolling the streets below. They have lots of fun shops, many that specialize in fabrics and laces at very good prices.
Again, this is a great site, and the view of Paris from the steps is well worth the effort.
From journal Paris in the Summer
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
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
Santa Barbara, California
March 14, 2006
From journal How You Say... Le Paris?