The Sacré-Coeur Basilica (also known as The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) is a Roman Catholic church in Paris dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It has the status of minor basilica. The church is located in the 18th arrondissement, on the top of the Montmartre hill, which is the highest point of the city. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Paris.
Before the construction of the Sacré-Coeur in 1873, Montmartre was a small village inhabited mostly by farmers. According to legend, this was the site of the beheading of Saint Denis, the saint patron of the city, in the 3rd century, hence the name of the hill referring to the 'mountain of the martyr'. The basilica was built in honour of those who lost their lives in the Franco-Prussian War and the victims of Paris Commune of 1871. The idea was to build an imposing basilica that would signify a moral condemnation of the sins of Paris.
The construction of the basilica began in 1876, its consecration took place in 1891, and the church was finished in 1914. It received the status of a minor basilica right after the end of the First World War in 1919.
Before the basilica was erected, a competition for the best design project was held among the architects and was won by Paul Abadie, known from his works on the two cathedrals in France. In contrast to the other buildings built in France at that time mostly in a Romanesque style, the basilica was designed in a Roman-Byzantyne style. After Paul Abadie's death in 1884, the architect Lucien Magne took over the project, adding an 83-metre tall clock tower, which is one of the largest clocks in the world. Thanks to the location on the Montmartre hill, the peak of the basilica's tower is higher than the top of the Eiffel Tower, making it one of the most noticeable sites in Paris.
The building of the Sacré-Coeur is made of white Château-Landon travertine stones, which react with water producing calcite that in turn acts as a bleach of sorts preserving their white colour. Inside the basilica, the most noteworthy decoration is one of the largest mosaics in the world called "Christ in Majesty", found in the building's apse. Near the basilica, you can also find a garden for meditation with a fountain. The basilica offers a wonderful panorama over the city of Paris.
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|Neighbourhood||Clignancourt (18th Arrondissement - Buttes-Montmartre)|
|Geographical coordinates||48.8863280, 2.3430490|
|Address||75018 Paris, Rue de Cardinal Dubois|
|Construction dates||1875 - 1914|
|More information||official website|