At the top of Montmartre hill, the white Sacre Coeur Basilica competes with the Eiffel Tower as the most visible Paris monument. Sacre Coeur is also a pilgrimage place and a sanctuary of devotion to the Virgin Mary. Top Paris monuments.
The Sacre Coeur is one of the best known and the second most visited Paris monument (10 million visitors each year).
She is the flagship sight of Montmartre, a lovely and hilly 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
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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:
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 picture) 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.
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.
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.
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.