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Sacred heart basilica (Sacré-Coeur)


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The white temple of Montmatre

Translated by Ross Smith — 3 years ago

Original text by Maika Cano Martínez

The Sacred Heart basilica, also known as Sacré-Coeur, is found at the top of a hill in the Parisian neighbourhood of Montmatre. It's one of the most visited monuments in Paris.

It's a relatively new temple - the building was completed during the First World War. The basilica consists of four domes, and although there isn't a lot of detail on the façade of the building, it is quite pretty to see and is worth the journey up the hill. I really like the look of the temple; the views from below up to the temple are amazing, and the views of Paris from above are some of the best free views that exist.

The white temple of Montmatre

Entrance into the temple is free, although it's much more beautiful outside, at least it is in my opinion. I went in one time and it looks small, but there is a beautiful altar with a painting of Jesus which stands out, since the basilica is dedicated to the sacred heart of Jesus.

The white temple of Montmatre

One time, there were a lot of people sitting on some stairs which are close to the temple, there was a street performer who was quite good, so whilst one of my friends went into the church, I stayed outside with another friend and sat on the stairs contemplating the views of Paris and listening to the street performer.

The white temple of Montmatre

To get up to the temple, you can take the stairs or you can pay for a funicular. The first time that I was in Paris, I took the funicular up to Sacré-Coeur as someone recommended it to me, I believe it costs about the same amount as a metro ticket, but it's not worth the cost. It's not an unbearable walk to the top if you take the stairs, unless you're older or disabled. What's more, there are astonishing views of the temple and Paris whilst taking the stairs.

The white temple of Montmatre

The visiting hours are from 6 in the morning until 10 at night, and it's open to the public every day. However, there is also a perpetual prayer sanctuary, so after 10pm, only the faithful who have previously registered at the church can stay inside, they are given a place to relax and they take turns to pray hour after hour to God.

The white temple of Montmatre

It's meant to be lovely at night, but I've not been since it had been suggested to me not to go to Montmartre at night; it's not that it's very dangerous, but it's better to avoid Montmartre at night. Some friends from my Erasmus went there at sunrise and they said it was incredible.

The best metro stop to get off at for Sacré-Coeur is "Anvers", and there you take line 2. But if you are around Montmartre, you get off at a different stop which is easy to get to, since you can see the monument at the top of the hill.

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The highest place in Paris

Published by Ethel Rudnitzki — 2 years ago

Churches usually have tower that point to the sky, like they want to reach it. Sacre Coeur is a church that is already among the clouds, with a view from heaven to Paris.

It is located in the highest point of the city - the mountain Matre, in Montmartre neighbourhood - and has 4 big domes, the central and biggest one with 80 meters high. To get to the church you need to climb many stairs and up there you can see the whole city. Truly a church in the sky.

Besides its altitude, Sacre Coeur is more than a church, it is a Basilica, a temple recognized by the Vatican and a headquarters for the Catholic Church in the world.

The highest place in Paris

Also, it is a very beautiful building made of white marble and with many statues. Inside the church, the ceiling has mosaics of religious images over the main altar. Many small chappels surround the ailse and stained glass windows illuminate the place. It is a nice environment, where the columnes and the high domes represent its greatness.

The highest place in Paris

History

Sacre Coeur is not as old as the other important churches and monuments in Paris. It has little more than 100 years old, being innaugurated in 1914 (but it only became a Basilica after the First World War ended in 1918).

It is a church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Christ, a catholic order, and its construction started after the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, when the militars promissed to build a temple if they resisted the battles.

The architect responsible was Paul Abadie, and the chuch was build with roman and byzantine influences.

Visitations

The highest place in Paris

The basilica is open for visits every day and many religious cerimonies take place there. It is also possible to go up to the towers of the church to see a panoramic view of Paris - this visit is available from 9 am to 5 pm only, and you'll probably face a line to go up.

Location

Sacre Coeur is located in Montmartre, a neighbourhood in a mountain in Paris where artists and bohemians gather. Around the church there are many coffee shops, art galleries, bars, theaters and even clubs (that used to be strip clubs years ago), such as Moulin Rouge.

In the churches domains there is also a park, where you'll find a carousel and many trees and plants. A very beautiful place with a great view to Paris as well.

The highest place in Paris

You can get there by train or subway. The closest stations are Gare du Nord (RER B, lines 4 and 5), Blanché (line 2), Barbés (lines 2 and 4), Marcadet-Poissonier (lines 4 and 12).

If you're in Paris don't miss Sacre Coeur and Montmartre neighbourhood - my favorite place in town.

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