We arrived at Charles de Gualle airport very late, caught an uber and met up with a friend of ours that lives in Paris. We walked 5 minutes over to the Eiffel tower to catch the dazzling light show that starts at around 1am right before the lights go off for the night. We made our way for the Airbnb and ended our night.
The next day we met up with our friend again and made our way in another Uber to Sacré-Coeur basilica. The area outside of Sacred Heart is a super hub for pick pockets because of the number of tourists that frequent the place, as well as the many people selling trinkets and souvenirs. We climbed to the top of the hill to find Sacred Heart sitting pretty and white in the sun. There was a line to get in but it was worth it once you got inside. The interior is beautiful and way bigger than I had imagined.
Sacred Heart church, which is also known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris is a Roman Catholic Church, which has been constructed to honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is one of the most popular landmarks that you can discover in Paris as well. In addition to that, Sacred Heart church is call as the second most visited monument located within the capital of Paris as well.
The Sacred Heart church is located on the top of Butte Montmarte. This is the highest point of Paris as well. It is a religious building, which was constructed in the year 1885. In addition to that, Sacred Heart church is also called as a place that shows cultural and political importance.
History of Sacred Heart church
The construction activities of Sacred Heart church were started in the year 1884. The piece of land, which is on the top of Montmarte was owned by a private party. Hence, a public utility was passed in order to seize the piece of land. Then Paul Abadie worked on the design of the basilica. In fact, a competition was held back in the day to figure out the best design. 77 architects competed for it. Out of them, Paul Abadie was able to end up as the winner.
There were numerous delays in assembling the project back in the day. In fact, the initial foundation stone was laid in the year 1875. However, numerous factors pushed the beginning of construction activities at Sacred Heart church.
Around seven million French Francs were used for the construction of Sacred Heart church back in the day. It was constructed entirely from money that was collected through private donations. Ever since the construction of Sacred Heart church, it is known for attracting tourists and guests. In fact, the popularity of Sacred Heart church boosted along with time. That’s how Sacred Heart church was able to become the second most visited monument in Paris as well.
Few interesting facts about Sacred Heart church
If you are planning to visit Sacred Heart church, you would be interested in going through these few interesting facts. They will help you to make an informed visit to Sacred Heart church and enjoy the best out of it as well.
You will be impressed with the unique architectural style
During your visit to Sacred Heart church, you will be impressed by the unique architectural style. As mentioned earlier, a contest was held back in the day to determine the architectural style of Sacred Heart church. From that contest, Paul Abadie was able to become the winner. Paul Abadie is one of the most known architects to live in Paris back in the day as well. In fact, he actively participated in the restoration of Perigueux Cathedral as well.
It was a Pagan shrine before the Christian area
You can now see a church on the top of Montmarte. However, it was bot a church back in the day. Instead, there was a Pagan Shrine. Numerous resources say that druids sued to worship this shrine. In addition to that, Romans have gone ahead to construct temples, which are dedicated to the gods Mercury and Mars back in the day as well.
Republics built the church
The project to build Sacred Heart church was initiated by a group of influential people. They had two main objectives to go ahead and work on the construction of this church. The very first initiative was to make a National Vow in order to develop a church, in case if Paris escaped untouched during the war that they had with Prussians Army during the years 1870 and 1871. The second objective was the defeat of French Army, which took place in 1871. In fact, Sacred Heart church was called as a moral condemnation of all the sins that Paris had accumulated.
In the year 1873, the National Assembly got together and discussed about this project. That’s where approval was given to go ahead and start the construction activities of the project. They wanted to develop a church, which is clearly visible from all parts of Paris. That’s how the location was selected in the hill of Montmarte. As you can guess by now, it was the French Republic, who took the initiative for construction of Sacred Heart church.
This church looks as white as whipped cream.
The Sacred Heart church looks pretty much similar to as it is covered with whipped cream. In other words, Sacred Heart church delivers a bright white appearance. This white appearance has been obtained from a unique stone obtained in London quarries. The wet weather available in the quarries have contributed towards the chalky white color of Sacred Heart church as well.
You can witness Paris from above.
All the people who visit Sacred Heart church will be provided with the opportunity to get unique sights of Paris. In fact, you will be able to take a look at Paris from above. This will be a unique view, which you cannot get from anywhere else in Paris. You will be able to notice the breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower and la Defense while you are at Sacred Heart church. If you can take a pair of binoculars with you, you will be able to take a look at all the monuments that are located in Paris as well.
It has the largest bell of France
Last but not least, you need to keep in mind that Sacred Heart church holds the largest bell that you can find in France as well. This bell comes from the Alps. In fact, it is a present that is given by the four dioceses of Savoie.
As you can see, you will be impressed with the unique views and architecture offered at Sacred Heart church. Therefore, all people who visit Paris should think about paying a visit to Sacred Heart church.
Upon leaving, the bells began to ring. We rounded the corner behind the church to find a very narrow and very busy little street that led to nice restaurants and markets. We stopped at a crowded place for a bite to eat where I decided on a crepe since it is my first time in Paris, I’d like something authentic. I’ve had crepes at home before but this one was the best quality that I’ve tried. I ordered one with Nutella to satiate my sweet tooth and waited for my friends to finish their food.
After we ate, we continued walking on and wandered into a quaint little art market where artists had their work on display and were doing caricatures of the folks walking through. We then walked down another art filled street to find a man with a wheel barrel cart, selling all kinds of incense, spices, natural remedies, and even natural make up. Continuing down the street we found a statue of Dalida. It is a tribute to the late singer and it is believed that rubbing her chest brings luck. On our journey down the hill we came across the home of Vincent Van Gogh. Our touristy excursion ended with the red light district. We hung out over a huge air duct in front of Moulin Rouge because of how hot it was that day.
Months in advance of my trip, I booked a session with a photographer local to Paris because I wanted some decent photos of my trip that weren’t selfies. The photographer and I met up in a nice quiet part of town and walked to a sweet market where I got a few photos in front of some elaborate pastries. I got a few awesome views of the Eiffel tower and a few shots in front of the home of famous writer and playwright, Honoré de Balzac. We then walked under the Mission Impossible and Inception bridge and then finished with some photos on the Bir-Hakeim bridge.
One restaurant that I enjoyed was the Dogstar restaurant. I chickened out on the escargot but I did manage a crepe into my diet. But I inevitably fell back into my comfort zone and ordered some spicy chicken nachos that were made with some of the freshest ingredients. I would highly recommend the Dogstar to any other nerd that happens to be in Paris.