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Sacré Coeur

Sacre-Coeur

The Roman Catholic Basilica of Sacré Coeur is located on the butte or hill of Montmartre, at the highest point of Paris. It is a great place to get a panoramic view of the City. Montmartre translates as "mount of martyrs", and is so named, it is thought, because it was the place of the martyrdom of the first bishop of Paris (Saint Denis) in the third century.

Designed by architect Paul Abadie, the basilica's foundation stone was laid in 1875, but the building was not completed until 1914. Abadie died in 1884, and a further five architects had to be used before completion. It took a further five years, before the basilica was eventually consecrated, in 1919, immediately after the First World War. Sacré Coeur translates to Sacred Heart and the basilica is not a parish church but an independent sanctuary, where the Sacred Heart of Christ is venerated.

The calcite in the travertine stone, of which Sacré Coeur is built, ensures that the building remains white, despite the effects of weathering and pollution.

Inside the basilica, there is a fine pipe organ, which was built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, and a very large mosaic, entitled Christ in Majesty.

There is a long and very steep climb up to the building, so you might prefer to use the funiculaire. In good weather, the area in front of Sacré Coeur is packed out with people sitting on the grass and steps, enjoying the view over Paris and eating a snack.

Visiting Address:
 Place du Parvis-du-Sacré-Coeur
 75018 Paris

Nearest Metro:
 Lines 2 and 12, stations Anvers and Abbesses

Opening Hours:
 Basilica: daily 6am-11pm
 Dome and crypt: daily 9am-6pm

Construction Date:
 1875 - 1919

Architect:
 Paul Abadie

Website address
 http://www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com/