- Location: In 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre in Paris
- Attraction type: Basilica
- Significance: A unique structure in Romano-Byzantine style
- Best Time to visit: Throughout the year
- Visiting Hours: Basilica — 6 am to 11 pm; Crypt — 9:15 am to 5:30 pm
- How to Reach: By bus nos. 85, 81, 31, 30
- Nearest Airport: Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport
Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre or popularly the Church of The Sacred Heart in Montmartre is a pilgrimage for thousands from all over the world. This Basilica in Montmartre testifies the significance of the hill, which has been treated as sacred since ancient times. Initially the temple site of Roman Gods Mercury and Mars, it later had St. Peter’s Church rebuilt in its place. A pilgrimage to Montmartre Basilica is comparable to a parable wherein you discover limitless joy, and hence the popularity of this place.
The phrase ‘Heart of Christ’ emanates from ‘heart’ the seat of all thoughts, emotions and will. Heart in essence is Jesus Christ in his entirety, truly man truly God. The life of Jesus Christ is a representation of God’s love for humans and his crucifixion the ultimate expression of this love.
Montmarte derives its name from ‘mount of martyrs’ in memory of the martyrdom of Paris’ first bishop St. Denis and his fellow mates. Thereafter St. Germain, St. Joan of Arc, St. Bernard, St. Vincent de Paul visited this Montmartre Hill. St. Francis Xavier and St. Ignatius Loyola together with their companions in 1534 founded the Society of Jesus at this hill. Subsequently, a Benedictine abbey was built on this hill, which remained till the French Revolution during which the nuns were guillotined and the abbey destroyed. Construction of Sacred Heart Basilica in Montmartre began towards the middle of the 1870s under the guidance of Cardinal Guibert, the Archbishop of Paris. This Basilica though completed in 1914 was consecrated on 16th October 1919.
Visiting Montmartre Sacred Heart
The Sacred Heart Basilica in Montmartre, based on St. Mark’s in Venice and St. Sophia in Constantinople, was designed by architect Paul Abadie. He designed this Basilica in a Romano-Byzantine style, which lends it a distinctive appearance. The dome has got a height of 85 meters whereas the cupolas are 55 meters high and 16 meters in width. From the dome, you would get a panoramic view of the entire Paris city. Make a careful observation of The Great Mosaic showing Christ with outstretched arms, designed by French architect Luc Olivier Merson. It is one of the greatest mosaic arts in the world. The other notable features of Sacred Heart Basilica are the stained glass windows and a great organ by Cavaille-Coll.
The bell tower has the Savoyarde, a bell of 19.3 tons cast in Annecy. Walking up to the Basilica is considered a pilgrimage to many.
Staying in Paris
For visiting Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre you need to stay in Paris. Staying in Paris in itself is a dream among many visitors, where there are abundant of hotels catering to the requirement of each and every traveler. The recommended accommodations include Residence Lord Byron, Hotel de Fleurie, Hotel du Quai Voltaire, Hotel de la Place des Vosges, Hotel du Louvre, and Hotel le A.
For unforgettable dining experience in Paris visit Melac, La Grand Vefour, Au Pied de Cochon, Aux Lyonnais, Carre des Feuillants, and Taillevent.