The Basilica is visible all over Paris.
, "Basilica of the Sacred Heart," is a Parisian Roman Catholic church and landmark that crowns the butte Montmartre, the highest point in Paris, and is one of the city's most visited monuments. Sacré-Cœur is fast by Place du Tertre
and adjacent to l'église-Saint-Pierre-de-Montmartre
The XIX ème siecle
church was designed by architect Paul Abadie (who died in 1884, when only the foundations had been laid) in a Romano-Byzantine architectural style. Its foundation stone was laid in 1875, with the direct involvement of the Third French Republic, marking the foundation of the new French state whose constitutional laws were enacted that year. It was built, as contemporaries put it, pour expier les crimes des communards
, "to expiate the crimes of the Communards," and is therefore a controversial monument. It was also intended to commemorate the many French citizens who lost their lives in the Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune (1871). It was, however, not completed until 1914 and not officially opened for worship until 1919 after the end of the First World War, which paradoxically was seen by many French people as revenge for Prussia's defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War.
View of the sanctuary and part of the altar, Sacré-Cœur.
The site is traditionally associated with the beheading of the city's patron, Saint Denis
, in the III ème siecle
. Legend says that upon being slain, the bishop Denis picked up his severed head and carried it to the area northeast of Paris where the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Denis was founded.
Sacré-Cœur peeks around the corner at Place du Tertre.
More recently, during the Commune of 1871, hundreds of Communards hid in the chalk mines of the butte Montmartre, and were forever imprisoned inside when the government troops dynamited the exits.
was paid for by national subscription. Its iconography is distinctly nationalistic: the triple-arched portico is surmounted by two bronze equestrian statues of France's national saints, Jeanne d'Arc
and King Louis IX (Saint Louis), by H. Lefebvre. Even the great bell, the Savoyarde
, has a nationalist program, Savoy having been attached to France as recently as 1860. Cast in Annecy in 1895, it is one of the world's heaviest bells, at 19 tons.
The statues of Sainte-Jeanne d'Arc et Saint Louis crown the triple-arched portico of Sacré-Cœur.
Sacré Cœur is built of Château-Landon (Seine-et-Marne) stone, a frost-resistant travertine that constantly weathers out its calcite, so that it bleaches with age to a chalky whiteness.
The mosaic of Christ in Majesty in the apse is one of the world's largest. Chapels in the crypt commemorate those who lost their lives in French wars beginning with the Franco-Prussian War. At the rear of the grounds are a contemplative garden and water fountain.
Christ in Majesty
Frommer's Memorable Walks in Paris
Blood in the City: Violence and Revelation in Paris, 1789-1945
Next is the DVD of a famous recent movie located on and around Montmartre. (Image not available.)