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Sacre Coeur facts. History. Visits.

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Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur facts: a flagship of Christian devotion to the Holy Virgin, Sacre Coeur attracts tourists and pilgrims. At the top of Montmartre hill, the highest in the city, the white Sacre Coeur Basilica also competes with the Eiffel Tower as the most visible Paris monument. The plazza and the stairs in front of Sacre Coeur are animated tourist spots. Paris monuments.

Sacre Coeur Basilica quick facts

Built between 1873 and 1919, the Sacre Coeur de Montmartre is one of the best known and the second most visited Paris monument behind Notre Dame Cathedral (10 million visitors each year). She is the flagship sight of Montmartre, a lovely, hilly and touristic Paris district. The Sacre Coeur is a holy place and a place of devotion to the Holy Virgin, animated 24 hours a day by the Benedictines du Sacre Coeur de Montmartre (web site).

Sacre Coeur mass times

Sacre Coeur pronunciation

Top Paris churches

Sacre Coeur Mosaic
Paris view from Sacre Coeur Cupola

Sacre Coeur visit facts

The Basilica is open every day from 6am to 10.30pm. Entrance is free. Reservation is not needed for group visits. Walk up 300 steps to the top of Sacre Coeur cupola to enjoy the best 360° view of Paris (ticket price: 6 euros). Access is outside the Basilica on the left. Open every day from 8.30am. to 8pm. (May to September) and 9am. to 5pm. (October to April). The Bell Tower is not open to visitors. Address:

35, Rue du Chevalier de la Barre
Paris 75018 France

Locate Sacre Coeur Basilica on Montmartre map.

Paris metro: Abbesses station on line 12. Be prepared for a short and nice walk up Montmartre hill and stairs.

Visit the Sacre Coeur as part of a Montmartre walk or on a Paris guided tour. The animated staircases in front of Sacre Coeur provide one of the best views of Paris. Book your hotel near Sacre Coeur, a lovely area for your Paris stay. The visit of Sacre Coeur will be easy.

Sacre Coeur from Place du Tertre in Montmartre
Sacre Coeur from rue Utrillo

Sacre Coeur architecture facts

The architecture of Sacre Cœur is in sharp contrast to the overal romanesque, gothic or barocco style of most Paris churches. Her architecture is inspired by churches such as Saint Sofia in Constantinople and San Marco in Venice.

The exterior travertine stone coming from the Paris region is white. The interior architecture, also in Romano-Byzantine style, gives Sacre Coeur an atmosphere of harmony and peace. The light and architectural details focus attention on the apse, the place of liturgical celebration and adoration of the Holy Sacrament. The remarkable mosaic was done between 1900 and 1922. The stained glass windows, fitted between 1903 and 1920, were destroyed by bombing in 1944 and replaced in 1946. The grand organ was built by famous manufacturer Aristide Cavaille-Coll.

Basilica dimensions: 85 meters long, 35 meters wide.
Outer Dome : 83 meter high.
Inner Dome : 55 meters high, diameter 16 meters.

The Sacre Coeur mosaic
The Sacre Coeur mosaic

Sacre Coeur history facts

In 1870 war broke out between France and Germany. France was defeated and partially occupied by German troops.

Alexandre Legentil and Hubert Rohault de Fleury vowed to build a church dedicated to the Sacred Heart as reparation for infidelity and sin which they held responsible for the misfortunes of France. In 1872 the Archbishop of Paris approved the vow and chose Montmartre.

In 1873, he got the French Parliament to pass a law declaring that the Basilica was in the public interest. Architect Paul Abadie was chosen in 1874. The unfinished Sacre Cœur was inaugurated in 1891. The consecration of the Basilica occured in 1919.

The Sacre Coeur Basilica was built amidst intense controversy with secularists and radicals.

Paris history facts

Sacre Coeur and artists

Although a flagship Paris landmark, the Sacre Coeur was never painted by the most illustrious painters who lived in Montmartre, such as Van Gogh, Picasso and Renoir. It was nevertheless painted many times by famous painters. Nowadays, many painters in Place du Tetre sell paintings of Sacre Coeur of their own making.

Sacre Coeur and Saint Pierre (Jean Dufy)
Sacre Coeur in Montmartre (Kees Van Dongen)
Sacre Coeur in Paris (Jean Buffet)

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