Paris: Sacré-Coeur Basilica
Basilica du Sacré Coeur, Montmartre
Perched 130 meters at the top of the Butte Montmartre, you can't miss the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur (or Sacred Heart). Just look up and you'll see her imposing and magnificent structure.
An Architectural Beauty
The basilica's design follows the Roman-Byzantine style with its immaculate white exterior, clearly contrasting with other religious buildings in the capital.
The Basilica du Sacré Coeur also challenges the laws of physics with its colossal foundations. To build the basilica, it was necessary to dig very deep into the earth, with 83 wells each 38 meters underground to ensure that the building was solid - which brings some to assert that the basilica is supporting the hill, known for having a weaker structure.
The monument's contrast originates in its location in the heart of Paris - in the famous Montmartre district, a place of treasures that sparkles at the foot of the basilica. Thousands of pilgrims from across France and around the world make the trip to visit this magnificent location every year.
The Basilica du Sacré Coeur is definitely a visual treat for the eyes. The unspoiled white color of the building is just one of its many charms. Since 1914, despite the pollution and the test of time, the building is still pristine.
The secret? Stones used for construction secrete a white substance (cullet), which makes the building beautiful and white when it rains.
Another paradox: compared to other religious buildings in Paris, which mostly date back to the Renaissance, the Sacred Coeur only dates back a century. Nevertheless, it is the most visited religious monument in Paris after Notre Dame Cathedral.
Decor and Height
The interior of the basilica will leave you speechless. A gigantic mosaic, a large Cavaillé-Coll organ, as well as treasures (in one of the crypts) will all satisfy your curiosity.
Want to climb higher? Go up the dome, which rises 83m into the sky with stunning views of Paris. Magical, giant, sprawling, the French capital spreads out magnificently in front of your eyes. You are at the highest point in Paris, after the Eiffel Tower.
Looking up, that's not the only surprise in store. The bell tower defies gravity and contains the most famous bell in France: "La Savoyarde," a 19-ton work of art donated by the four dioceses of Savoie.