The basilica of the Sacre Coeur (the
holy heart) is situated on the top of the
hill of Montmartre and it towers
above the city of Paris.
The construction of this famous church was
decided on the 23 July 1973 to expiate the
faults and the crimes of the Parisian Commune
and to pay homage to the memory of the French
citizens who died during the Franco-Prussian
The architect Paul Abadie won the contest
for the construction of the church.
The first stone was laid on the 16 June 1975.
The construction of the church was performed
with the direct participation of the government
of the third republic to celebrate the creation
of a new period.
However the works of construction were terminated
only in 1914 after the end of the First World
War. The basilica of the Sacre Coeur
is one of the most visited monuments of Paris.
Its structure develops following a Greek cross
form, decorated by four domes; the central
one, 80 meters high, is overtopped by a colonnade.
The architectural style of the church reminds
the roman and byzantine architecture and it
has inspired many other religious buildings
of the XX century.
Inside the church, the roof of the apse is
characterized by one of the biggest mosaic
in the world covering a total surface of 475
Conceived by Luc-Olivier Merson, from 1900
to 1922, the mosaic represents the holy heart
of Jesus glorified by the catholic Church
and by France.
The belfry of the basilica of the Holy Heart
keeps the biggest bell of the whole France.
Named the Savoyard, this bell has been created
at Annecy in 1895 by the Paccard brothers
who offered them to the Holy Heart basilica.
It is possible to access to the Holy Heart
church by foot (walking a lot of steps) or
by the comfortable funicular of Montmartre.
The organ of the basilica has been made by
the famous constructor Aristide Cavaillé-Coll,
in 1898, for the castle of the baron of L'Espée.
When the baron died the elegant instrument
was moved to the Holy Heart and it was inaugurated
Place du Parvis du Sacré-Coeur
The funicular of Montmartre is open from
6h45 a.m. to 11h p.m.
The crypt and the dome are open from 9h
a.m. to 6h p.m.
The basilica is open everyday from 06h45
a.m. to 10h30 p.m.
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