Basilica Sacre Coeur, Paris
The Basilica du Sacre Couer has to be hands down one of my favorite places here in Paris. It's quite breathtaking and peaceful and one of the most beautiful churches in all of Paris. The large white facade situated on a hill makes Sacre Couer visible from many angles throughout Paris. My Paris trips are never complete without a visit to Sacre Couer.
Getting to the top of Sacre Couer is quite a feat with its steep incline. You can either walk to the top of the Basilica or take the Funiculaire to the top which can be taken from the Abbesses metro station. Definitely walk inside, climb the steps to the top and visit the crypt. The Basilica is open from 6:00 am to 10:30 pm every day and there is no admission fee.
If you plan to visit the Dome or Crypt you must pay an entrance fee and the operating hours are everyday from 8.30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (May to September) and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (October to April). Please note that there are 300 steps to the top of the Dome.
For more information check out their website.
The Sacré Coeur was build in 1870 after the Prusian war in Montmarte, not far away from the Moulin Rouge. It looks like a white, giant chapel with a dome on top of a very high hill.
From the top, there is a panoramic view of Montmarte extending over 30km in all directions. Inside, you aren't allowed to film or take pictures (although you still see a lot of people trying to do it.) There are security guards inside trying to enforce these rules.
Since the Sacré is higher up, there are small lifts available that will take you up there for a small fee. Otherwise, you can climb the stairs like I did both times. It's a very nice way, with lots of shops, boutiques, cafes and places to eat. Montmarte is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Paris, so I would make time for a stroll to go with your visit to the Sacre Coeur.
Admission is free, unless you want to see the Dome and Crypte and then it costs 4.50 Euros.
The Sacré Coeur opens at 7am and closes at 10am. The Dome and Crypte open at 9am and close at 5:30pm.
This is my nomination for the ugliest building in Paris.
Or at least the ugliest prominent building. Paris like all cities has numerous ugly buildings, but most of them are smaller and are tucked away in side streets where they only nauseate their immediate neighbors.
Sacré-Coeur, though, is certainly a prominent landmark, even for those of us who dislike the building and what it stands for. Looming above Paris from its position on a hilltop at the north end of the city, it can be seen from most places that have any sort of view at all, and it even serves a useful purpose for those who emerge disoriented from the Métro in some other part of the city and want to know which direction is north.
Like the Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière, which has a similarly dominating position on a hill above the French city of Lyon, the construction of the Basilica Sacré-Coeur on Montmartre was begun in the troubled period of the 1870s to celebrate (or at least assert) the triumph of reactionary "Christian values" over the socialist aspirations of the Paris and Lyon communes.
In the words of Bertrand Taithe, Professor of Cultural History at The University of Manchester: "The reaction to the communes of Paris and Lyon were triumphalist monuments, the Sacré-Coeur of Montmartre and the Basilica of Fourvière, dominating both cities. These buildings were erected using private funds, as gigantic ex-votos, thanking God for the victory over the socialists and in expiation of the sins of modern France." (From the book Citizenship and Wars: France in Turmoil, 1870-1871 by Bertrand Taithe.)
Second photo: Looking up at Sacré-Coeur.
Third photo: Sacré-Coeur from the bottom of the stairs.
Fourth photo: I took this photo from the roof of the Centre Georges Pompidou a.k.a. Beaubourg, which is about three kilometers south of Sacré-Coeur.
Fifth photo: I took this photo from the balcony on the 28th floor of the Chambord Tower at the far south end of Paris. From there it is possible to see both Notre Dame (3.6 kilometers away) and Sacré-Coeur (up on a hill at a distance of 7.4 kilometers) if you look north between the nearby buildings.
If you promise not to be offended I’ll tell you what the Basilica Sacré-Coeur reminds me of. – – –
What? You don’t promise not to be offended? In that case I won’t tell you, so you’ll never know.
(It wasn’t anything very nice, anyway.)
Next review from September 2011: Picnic by the Eiffel Tower
We were already staying in Mont Marte, so we took the train near our house on Rue Lepic Then walked and then took the train thing up, just for the fun of it, we could have managed the stairs. The inside is a beautifully maintained and very opulent place to worship. The fact, that though wars, burnings, etc, it has been a vigil of praying for 24 hours a day since the late 1800's. Then I walk out and admiring the view when the low lying dark clouds of a section opened up to what appeared to me an angel welcoming us. Its a stunning place to visit. I did light a couple of candles and I was happy to donate just for the experience to enter their doors. Hundreds of years of prayers, 24 hours a day in this once beautiful place, how can you not feel the love ? If you go, please don't complain about the candle donations (as I heard some do), just pay for it and then take it all in. All the years it has stood in some way, wile Paris burnded to the ground from war, in parts.
In the top of the only hill of Paris, this church was built by the national will, following the defeat in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.
The basilica, by the architect Abadie was consecrated in 1919.
The Basilica of the Sacre Coeur is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is located at the summit of the Butte Montmartre, the highest point in Paris, so there are good views from the top of the steps that climb up to it.
The Sacre Cœur Basilica was designed by Paul Abadie. Building work began in 1875 and was completed in 1914.
Although it was busy here, we did manage to get inside. Some restoration work was going on when we visited.
I especially wanted to visit the Sacre Coeur when we visited Paris. I remember as a child in primary school our whole class doing a project on Paris and trying to make models of its most famous buildings. I had to make a model of the Sacre Coeur and of course instantly wanted to go and see the real thing. Finally made it in the year 2000.
Vandalization of the Sacré Cœur.
This very morning (19/03/2014) - anniversary of the "Commune" - the front of the Basilique du Sacré Cœur de Montmartre has been vandalized with insulting inscriptions in red paint!
The way this act showing anti-Christian feelings inside the "République Française" has been reported by the French press shows the deep division of the French society:
In "Le Figaro" (right):
"Les auteurs de cette agression non revendiquée à ce stade sont vraisemblablement issus de ces groupuscules d'extrême gauche, qui prospèrent depuis un an avec l'aval des autorités politiques, et qui se sentent encouragés par l'expression d'une cathophobie décomplexée."
The perpetrators of this attack, unclaimed at this stage, are likely from these small groups of extreme left which thrive since a year with the approval of the political authorities, and feel encouraged by the expression of uninhibited cathophobia(*).
In "Le Monde" (center-left? - left) a very short line with no comment:
"Des tags anarchistes sur le Sacré-Cœur".
And in "Libération" (left? - extreme left): nothing.
It appears also from the tags that these extreme left groups don't like tourists!
(*)The word of "cathophobie" is used in France in a meaning similar to "islamophobie".
The Sacré-Cœur Basilica is also known as The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris is a Catholic Church is located on the summit of Montmatre in Northern Paris. It is a stunning building and while you are able to to take photographs of the outside of the building, once you are inside photography is forbidden.
If you go into the Basilica you are able to go to the top dome and enjoy panoramic views of Paris.
My favourite place in Paris....... it may not be the most beautiful or the most romantic or even the most peaceful. But to me... I could sit at the top all day.
Yes you will get harrassed by Gypsies trying to scam money out of you with what ever the scam de jour is or the 'artists' who want to draw you then charge you 40 euros for the privledge but I still love it.
Cafe latte in hand, and ipod turned up I could sit there all day and just take in the breathtaking views of what I think is the most beautiful city fullstop!!!
Is located on top of the Montmartre hill, is one of the most visited churches in Paris. There are two ways of going up hill, with cable or the stairs, (we choose the staircase)... once you are on the top, you have the beautiful view of the city it can be very crowded up here
As Montmarte is quite a hilly area of Paris, a cable car (Funiculaire de Montmarte) is available to take you from the base of the church grounds to the entrance of the basilica. The cable car fee is included in regular Paris Metro tickets and passes
"The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris", commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris.
A popular landmark, the basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. Sacré-Cœur is a double monument, political and cultural, both a national penance for the supposed excesses of the Second Empire and socialist Paris Commune of 1871 crowning its most rebellious neighborhood, and an embodiment of conservative moral order, publicly dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was an increasingly popular vision of a loving and sympathetic Christ.
The Sacré-Cœur Basilica was designed by Paul Abadie. Construction began in 1875 and was finished in 1914. It was consecrated after the end of World War I in 1919.
Due to its location on the Montmartre hill, the basilica towers over the city; its highest point is even higher than the top of the Eiffel Tower. Thanks to this prominent location the Sacré-Coeur Basilica is one of the most noticeable landmarks in Paris.
The Sacré-Coeur Basilica has managed to keep its beaming white color even in the polluted air of a big city like Paris. This can be attributed to the Château-Landon stones which were used for the construction of the Sacré-Coeur. When it rains, the stones react to the water and secrete calcite, which acts like a bleacher.
Great place to visit to have an amazing view of Paris ... :)
It's the dollop of cream on the dessert that is Paris. Basilique Sacré-Coeur is perched on the highest hill of the city, Butte Montemarte; Hill of Martyrs. Some believe this to be near the execution site of early Christians at the hands of the Romans - including the first bishop of Paris, Saint Denis. As the legend goes, he tucked his decapitated head under his arm and trotted north to where a basilica was built in his name and where his remains are buried.
This basilica was constructed in 1875-1914 on the ruins of a former abbey as an atonement and memorial for lives lost in the Franco-Prussian War and Paris Commune, and dedicated to the Sacred Heart (Sacré Coeur) of Christ. Unlike other Catholic churches, the Host of the Sacrament is on permanent display above the altar and venerated "in perpetuity" by members of congregation. This means there have been parish volunteers there to worship 24/7 every day and night for nearly 100 years.
Mostly, visitors come here for the panorama of Paris from the steps or highest central dome of the church. And take some time for a wander of touristy-but-fun Place du Tertre (to the left of the basilica) after your visit.
Things to know:
• Because of the Perpetual Adoration of the Host, visits to the basilica should be treated as if attending church. Appropriate dress and silence is requested, and photography/video taping of any kind is expressly forbidden. They mean business, too: church staff is vigilant regarding slealthy shutterbugs.
• We purposely chose the interesting way to get there, huffing and puffing our way up through the backstreets. An easier route is via the funicular that takes you from Place Saint-Pierre to the square at the base of the church. Cost is one metro ticket each way.
• Admission to the church is free - climbing the tower and exploring the crypt costs around 8 euro for a combined ticket
• The exterior of the basilica and the view are more interesting than the inside but don't miss the golden mosaic in the apse, one of the largest in the world, and enormous organ. The travertine stone of the exterior contains a mineral that continually bleaches away the effects of weather and pollution and maintains that luminous glow.
• Place du Tertre and the square in front of the church are swarming with hucksters who want to draw your picture or sell you stuff. Some of the artists are pretty good but I'd observe a few and settle firmly on a price before letting them put pastel to paper. Ignore the rest (firmly) and do watch your pockets in this area.
• The best times to photograph the church are at sunrise or sunset on a clear day when the surface reflects the colors
• The basilica's website is rather curiously disorganized and lacking in critical information (such as no photography) but contains visiting hours and some history:
Better background information can be found here:
We arrived late in the day and caught a really great sunset. You can choose to view the catacombs and the dome, or just one of them, depends on what you want to do. The view up at the dome is unobstructed so you get a good view of all the city landmarks. Just remember to bring your energy as, like most Paris landmarks, there are a ton of stairs to climb. There is the usual user fee like all landmarks in Paris. Enjoy the view!
Basilique du Sacre Coeur is one of the most recognized Catholic churches in the world. It is located high on the butte Montmartre of Paris and there are at least one hundred steps to get there from the Metro stop.
Most people forget that Sacre Coeur is a beautiful place for Catholics to worship and their purpose for making the journey is the spectacular panoramic view of Paris, also they come to see the famous artistic area known as Montmartre.
Climb the steps to Sacre Coure, and when you do, thank God you survived the ascent and for the breathtaking view of Paris.
Fondest Memory of Paris:
Finding out (before the ascent,) that I didn’t have to climb one hundred steps to see Sacre Coure. I could simply ride up in a Funiculaire!
Going to Montmartre is an obvious thing to do when you are in Paris, France and so many people check out the beautiful Sacre Coeur, a basilica on the top of a high hill in Paris. Many people flock to it and take pictures in front of the church and the beautiful view of the city, but surprisingly not many people actually climb up to the top of the church. In my opinion this is a must!!! The view from the top of the basilica is beyond words! I have a photo, however photos do not do a justice! After going to the top i could not believe how many people just stay at the bottom when the view from the top is so beautiful! The ticket to go the top is 6 euros and yes there are plenty of stairs crammed in a tiny spiral but I promise the view is worth the climb! In my opinion one of the best things to do in Paris.