Photographer's Note

The beautiful and serene Basilica Sacre Coeur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart) atop a hill in Montmartre, which affords great views of Paris. A competition was held to determine the design of the cathedral, and the now well-known albeit distinct architecture was chosen out of almost 80 entries. The architect's name was Abadie, who designed the basilica in "Romano-Byzantine" style; hence, visitors often remark that it looks much older than it actually is. The first foundations were laid in 1875. Sadly, the architect died in 1884, having lived to see only the foundation of his masterpiece put into place. A law of public utility, somewhat similar to imminent domain in the US had to be enacted to appropriate the land to build it. Construction costs, reaching an estimated seven million francs, were covered entirely by funding from private donors. The basilica is built of travertine which was quarried in Château-Landon (Seine-et-Marne). It was chosen particularly because it exudes calcite, so it remains a brilliant white even after surface weathering and pollution. In addition to this structure, the basilica complex includes a meditation garden, and the top of the dome is open to the public. The basilica itself was completed in 1914 but was not consecrated until 1919 after the end of WWI. Illustrious visitors include several popes, including Pius XII; John XXIII and John Paul II in 1980.

The interior is rather dimly lit but the basilica features one of the largest mosaics in the world, which depicts Christ with outstretched arms. The bell tower is home to the "Savoyarde," which was cast in Annecy in 1895 and is one of the world's largest bells, weighing in at a hefty 19 tons. It seems that quite a few bells in Paris have names! It's quite a steep climb to get there, but the site is well worth a visit, as it also provides some stunning panoramic views of the city. You can easily orient yourself from the location of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame cathedral, and the Pompidou Center, which has some of the most distinct (and some say obnoxious) architecture in the city. High mass is held on Sunday at 11 AM; other services take place at 6 PM and 10:15 PM. Be forewarned, however: despite its significance, it is one of the few major churches in Paris that does NOT allow photography of any kind of the interior, which is somewhat disappointing. This time around, however, the interior was being renovated so I wouldn't have been able to take too many quality photos anyway.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 78 N: 1188] (2102)
  • Genre: Lieux
  • Medium: Couleur
  • Date Taken: 2013-11-00
  • Categories: Architecture
  • Versions: version originale
  • Date Submitted: 2014-11-06 14:56
Viewed: 643
Points: 2
  • None
Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 78 N: 1188] (2102)
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