When thinking of Paris, everyone can recognize the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe, but can you recognize this basilica on the north side of Paris? The Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, or Sacred Heart Basilica, is a uniquely designed cathedral located in the northern area of Paris in the Montemartre District. Its all-white, domed features make it unique to many other Gothic style cathedrals across Europe. In 1870, France was in the middle of war and decided to build the church in Paris dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Typically, churches were built for the Virgin Mary, so this was a major contrast to the norm. The white stone domes are incredibly beautiful at night, and this area of Paris is always bustling with people, places to eat, and things to do. Check out some other things to do while you’re in the Montmartre District.
Photo via Martin Soler
Various features on the interior were added throughout the 1900s. The mosaic was done between 1900 and 1922, the stained glass windows were added between 1903 and 1920. However, they were destroyed by bombing in 1944 (during World War II) and had to be rebuilt again in 1946. The main features of the cathedral that you can’t miss are the grand organ, the crypt, a view from the top of the dome, and the striking and huge apse mosaic, pictured below. It was created by Oliver Merson, H.M. Magne, and R. Martin and is one of the largest mosaics in the world.
Photo via Sacre-Coeur-Montmartre
The basilica is open for viewing and prayer everyday from 6 am to 10:30 pm. Entrance is free, and no reservation is needed for group visits. After you finish mesmerizing in the beauty of religion and art in this basilica, you can enjoy a view of almost the entire city of Paris. The basilica sits atop a hill in Montemartre, where you can sit and relax in the grass.
Photo via Hotel Nights