The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris is a Roman Catholic Church located in Paris, France. Also known by its French name, the Basilique du Sacre Coeur, this church is also a minor basilica and is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is a notable landmark in Paris, being located at the summit of the hill of Montmarte which is the highest point of the city.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart History
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart was built at a time when there was a considerable internal turmoil in France. There was a call for spiritual renewal in order to reduce division among the French and to aid national restoration. Plans for building the basilica was initialized around 1873. The first foundation stone was first laid out sometime in 1875 amid delays in trying to clear the property where the basilica is to be built.
The construction of the basilica took quite a long time complete. Construction took around 39 years with the basilica being completed in 1914. World War I intervened afterwards which delayed its dedication. It formal dedication was made after the war in 1919.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart Features
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart was designed by architect Paul Abadie who won the design competition where over 77 architects took part in. The basilica, which was built in the Romano-Byzantine architectural style, stands at a height of 83 meters or 272 feet. Due to its location on the summit of Montmarte gives the basilica even more imposing stature amid the surrounding buildings.
The material used for building the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is formed out of travertine stone which was quarried in Chateau-Landon in France. The stone contains calcite which ensures that the structure remains white even with pollution and weathering. The basilica is also known for its oversized dome that further gives the building its rather imposing view. Climbing the 237 steps going toward the top of the dome provides people with a wide reaching panoramic view of Paris.
Other interesting features found in the basilica it the Christ in Majesty mosaic located in the apse of the building, considered to be among the largest in the world. It also houses the largest bell in France, which was cast in 1895 and measures 3 meters in diameter.