If you’re like most people, the Eiffel Tower is probably one of the first things you think of.
However, there’s another destination in Paris that is arguably much more beautiful and interesting.
And that place is The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, or Sacre Coeur.
This Roman Catholic Church is perched high up on the butte of Montmartre and overlooks the entire city of Paris.
Construction of this magnificent church started in 1875 and was completed by 1914.
And at 85 meters long and 35 meters wide, it is a massive structure.
Sacre Coeur also stands 91 meters tall (to the top of the bell tower), making it the third tallest church in Paris.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Sacre Coeur is its all white exterior. That’s because the white stone used to build Sacre Coeur is travertine limestone of a type called Chateau-Landon.
This stone has unique properties, namely that it exudes calcite upon contact with rainwater. This helps give it its spectacular white appearance.
You’ll also see three statues adorned on Sacre Coeur. The first being a statue representing The Sacred Heart of Jesus. And the other two being French national saints on horseback: Joan of Arc and King Saint Louis IX.
The interior of Sacre Coeur is perhaps even more stunning than the exterior.
The most important piece of art in the church is the 475 square meter mosaic, named The Triumph of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This mosaic is the largest in France, and one of the largest mosaics in the world.
Over 25,000 pieces of ceramic were used to create this masterpiece.
This mosaic took 22 year to complete and it represents the Glory of Christ.
For those that want a spectacular view of the city, you must walk up the 300 steps to reach the dome. But you will be rewarded by a stunning 360 degree view of the city.
Sacre Coeur also contains a crypt, which has many interesting artifacts and pieces of art. The crypt at Sacre Coeur is unique in that it has stained glass windows.
So this concludes our brief look into The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, or Sacre-Coeur.
Just like the other structures featured on this site, Sacre Coeur is a building that inspires wonder and awe.
Perhaps its beauty can explain the number of people who have reported having intense spiritual experiences upon entering this church and taking in its magnificence.