Sacré-Cœur


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On a rainy Paris day last month Kongo visited the Sacré-Cœur (sacred heart) Basilica high atop Montmartre, the highest point in Paris.  The building of this beautiful church, which can be seen from almost any point in the city, was inspired by the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.  Church leaders contributed the loss to a century of moral decline after the French Revolution.  Construction began in 1875 and was completed in 1914, just in time for another war with Germany which the French won this time (thanks to a little help from friends across the Atlantic) so evidently the morality of France was properly restored.  Continue reading to learn more about this beautiful church.

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After the resignation of the French Government following its defeat by Prussia, the Third Republic was formed and Catholic leaders called for a national yearning for spiritual renewal and prevailed upon the new republic to embrace the moral certainty of the church, thus linking secular and spiritual institutions in the monumental Sacré-Cœur.  If this sounds a bit like the political discourse in the United States today it just goes to show you how much history does repeat itself.

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Regardless of the political overtones of this beautiful structure, Sacré-Cœur is a magnificent edifice and does indeed evoke a certain degree of spiritual renewal.

Access to Montmartre is easy via the Paris Metro.  Get off at the Anvers station and use your Paris Pass tickets to access the funicular car that will take you to the top of the hill.  Photographs are not allowed inside the church.  Besides a close-up look at the Sacré-Cœur, the trip affords an excellent view of the City of Paris.

View of Paris from the front steps of the Basilica.
View of Paris from the front steps of the Basilica.
Need an umbrella?  Negotiating the shot street from the Metro to the funicular car can be a challenge in the rain.
Need an umbrella? Negotiating the shot street from the Metro to the funicular car can be a challenge in the rain.

After viewing the church, Kongo enjoyed an excellent lunch on the upper floor of a small cafe.

Travel safe.  Have fun.

Sacré-Cœur, Paris
Sacré-Cœur, Paris (Photo credit: HDR-newaddict)
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3 Comments

  1. Takes me back! I was in Paris for just a couple of days in my early 20s and Sacre Couer is an abiding memory. 🙂

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  2. Great post. I saw Sacre Coeur but didn’t know its history then. And the view that opens from there is just amazing!

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    1. Thank you. I really liked the view. Even on a rainy day it was spectacular.

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