One of my favorite places in Paris is the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, or “Sacré-Cœur.” It’s just so different, so starkly white against the deep blue sky. Did you know that the basilica is constructed of travertine stone which exudes calcite? This ensures that the structure remains white despite weathering and pollution.
The basilica was designed by Paul Abadie, who won a competition over 77 other architects. Construction began in 1875 and was finished in 1914. Sadly, Abadie died not long after the foundation had been laid, and five architects finished the work.
One tip: there’s a funicular that leads to the top of the Butte Montmartre on which Sacré-Cœur stands. It’s a lot easier than climbing the more than 300 steps!
Also, you can go to the top of the dome for incredible views of Paris.
Hope your week’s going well so far.
Loved this church, and unfortunately found out about the funicular after we climbed the stairs! Story of my life as I found out about the trolley going up to Neuschwanstein castle after I got dusted by older women climbing up the hill path.
I didn’t know about the funicular the first time either, MB. We did a walking tour up the Butte and then found out we had to hike back down. We asked the tour guide if we could stay at the church and thankfully, he let us do that. It was really hot that day and we needed a break!
So ingenious that they used travertine. Otherwise I can’t imagine how often they would have had to paint the outside. 🙂
I love how the windows are rounded at the tops.
And can you imagine painting something this size and height? I get vertigo just looking at photos of painters working at dizzying heights. 🙂
I always visit from the back because I love those stairs. From Métro Abbesses) The access isn’t that difficult either.
It’s funny that you post this now. Anna Gavalda mentions it in her novel and calls it ugly. I like the church so much because it’s so different. In Martinique they have a replica of it. It was quite astonishing.
Recently, someone told me they thought the Church on the Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg was ugly too. I was amazed, because I loved it. (Photos coming soon.) Different strokes….
Did not know that about Martinique! It’s not the same size, surely?
No, it’s smaller but since it’s ina tiny town it looks huge. And it’s on top of a mountain, surrounded by rain forest.