Basilique du Sacré Coeur

The Basilique du Sacré Coeur, or Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, or simply, the Sacré Coeur Basilica, is a monumental church located in the highest point in the city in the district of Montmartre. It is an iconic landmark that the French Capital prides itself in having it. It is easily seen from different parts of the city given its elevation, and it likewise provides a scenic view of the city. The panoramic expanse from the Sacre Coeur Basilica is unbridled, inspiring and calming at the same time.

The Basilique du Sacré Coeur was constructed between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, or 1875 and 1914 to be more precise. It was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Paris a few years after construction began, and consecrated as a Basilica 5 years after completion in 1919 which was also the end of the First World War. The Basilica expresses a Romano-Byzantine architectural style. It provided a contesting style to the other styles at the time that included classical and Neo-Baroque. While it is by all means a church, the Basilica expresses nationalism, and this is founded with its arches and statues of Joan of Arc and Louis IX, two people in French history considered to be saints in the eyes of Parisians. The Sacre Coeur Basilica has an enormous bell, so named Savoyarde which is enlisted as one of the heaviest in the world with a record mass of 19tons. The stone used to build the Basilica is travertine, which has the unique characteristic of retaining its whiteness even as it ages thanks to its calcite exudates.

The beauty of the Basilique du Sacré Coeur is mostly expressed on its exterior. A noteworthy thing about is interior is its apse mosaic which holds the record for being the largest one in the world. It is carefully detailed, depicting Christ in Majesty. It also has a large and carefully built pipe organ which was above the others at the time of its creation. There is a crypt inside the church with the statue of Christ and other saints. Also worth mentioning is the bronze altar which has been the home of the Blessed sacrament since the mid 1880s.The Basilica has a large dome, and thanks to its colossal structure, it is visible from every angle. Access to the dome is allowed, as it provides one of the most compelling views of the large city of Paris. On a clear day, one gets treated to an expansive view of the skyline of the city, with buildings such as the Tour Montparnasse and the Eiffel Tower standing in clear view. You get to better appreciate the size of the city, and its intuitive arrangement since you get a view that is neither too raised, nor obstructed. It is said that seeing Paris from the dome of the Basilique du Sacré Coeur alone is worth the visit to the hilly point, even when the monument itself presents you with a reason to. There is a garden before you reach the entrance on the front façade, perhaps for meditating owing to its religious setting. And there is of course a fountain the garden to complement and complete it.

The Sacré Coeur Basilica is one of the most important landmarks in Paris. It’s easily recognizable due to its easy visibility, even when you are miles away from it. Its gleaming white stands out against a clear sky, and coupled with its unique architectural style and the wonderful view of Paris it offers, makes it one of the must-visit destinations in the city. And while the Basilica is the epitome of Montmartre, the district is also known for its artistry and its famous Parisian vineyard, so there’s more for you to see.