Sacre-Coeur, also known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, is a famous Catholic basilica located on the hill of Montmartre in Paris, France. The stunning basilica was designed by Paul Abadie and completed in 1914. The architecture is a blend of Romanesque and Byzantine styles, with a distinctive white dome that dominates the Parisian skyline.

One of the most striking features of Sacre-Coeur is its location on the highest point in Paris, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Visitors can climb the 300 steps to the top of the dome for an even more impressive vista. The basilica's interior is equally impressive, with beautiful stained glass windows, a grand organ, and intricate mosaics depicting scenes from the Bible.

Sacre-Coeur is not only a stunning work of architecture but also an important site of religious pilgrimage. The basilica houses a large relic of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which draws many Catholic pilgrims from around the world.

The area around Sacre-Coeur is also known for its vibrant artistic and bohemian atmosphere. The nearby Place du Tertre is a popular spot for artists to showcase their work, and the streets are lined with cafes, bars, and boutiques.

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History of Sacre-Coeur

  • The idea to build Sacre Coeur came after the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871
  • A group of Catholics started a movement to build a basilica dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
  • In 1872, the National Assembly approved the construction of the basilica
  • A competition was held to choose the architect, and Paul Abadie won
  • The church was built in a Romanesque-Byzantine style, which was a departure from the popular Gothic style of the time
  • The construction of the basilica started in 1875 but was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I
  • The construction resumed in 1919 and was completed in 1914, just in time for the outbreak of World War II
  • During the war, the basilica was used as a military hospital and a shelter for refugees
  • The basilica was consecrated in 1919, and it has been a symbol of hope and faith for the people of Paris ever since
  • Today, Sacre Coeur is one of the most visited attractions in Paris, attracting millions of visitors every year

Things to See in Sacre-Coeur

The Nave

The nave is the central space of the basilica, stretching 48 meters in length and 16 meters in width. It is a wide, open space with high ceilings and is designed to resemble a Roman basilica. The nave is lined with columns made of pink granite, and above them are a series of roundels containing murals of the apostles and the saints. The murals were painted by a group of artists led by Luc-Olivier Merson, and they depict scenes from the life of Christ, including the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection.

The Dome

The dome of Sacre-Coeur is one of its most striking features, rising 83 meters above the ground. It is made of reinforced concrete covered in white stone, and its design is inspired by the Byzantine style. The dome is decorated with a mosaic of Christ in Majesty, surrounded by angels and saints. The mosaic was created by a team of artists led by the French painter and decorator Maurice Denis.

Stained Glass Windows

The stained glass windows of Sacre-Coeur are among the most beautiful in Paris. They were created by several different artists, including Lucien Bégule, Max Ingrand, and Jean-Baptiste Antoine Champigneulle. The windows depict scenes from the life of Christ, various saints, and the history of France. The colors are vibrant and luminous, and they cast a warm glow over the interior of the basilica.

Chapel of the Sacred Heart

The Chapel of the Sacred Heart is a small side chapel located near the apse. It contains a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is made of gold and precious stones. The chapel is a quiet and peaceful spot for prayer and reflection, and many visitors come here to light candles and offer prayers.

Choir Stalls

The choir stalls of Sacre-Coeur are located in the choir loft at the west end of the nave. They are made of carved wood and are decorated with intricate carvings of angels and cherubs. The stalls are used by the choir during worship services and concerts, and they provide a beautiful backdrop for the music.

Mosaic Murals

The walls of the basilica are decorated with intricate mosaic murals depicting scenes from the Bible and the lives of various saints. The murals were created by a team of artists led by the French painter and decorator Luc-Olivier Merson. The colors are rich and vibrant, and the details are exquisite. The murals cover every inch of the walls and ceilings, making the basilica a true feast for the eyes.

FAQ's of Sacre-Coeur

Why is Sacre Coeur so famous?

Sacre Coeur is famous for its stunning architecture, breathtaking interior, and panoramic views of Paris. It is a major landmark of the city, drawing millions of visitors each year who come to admire its beauty, learn about its history, and experience its spiritual significance.

Who designed Sacre Coeur?

The architect Paul Abadie designed Sacre Coeur.

What is the style of Sacre Coeur?

Sacre Coeur is built in a Romanesque-Byzantine style.

What is the height of the main dome of Sacre Coeur?

The main dome of Sacre Coeur is 83 meters high.

How can I get to Sacre Coeur?

You can take the funicular or climb the stairs to the top of Montmartre hill to get to Sacre Coeur.

What is the view from the top of Sacre Coeur?

The view from the top of Sacre Coeur is a stunning panoramic view of Paris.

Can I take pictures inside Sacre Coeur?

Yes, you can take pictures inside Sacre Coeur, but flash photography is not allowed.

What is the significance of the mosaic in the apse of Sacre Coeur?

The mosaic in the apse of Sacre Coeur depicts Christ in Majesty, surrounded by the Virgin Mary, St. Michael, and St. Joan of Arc. It is one of the largest mosaics in the world.



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