Sacré-Cœur, Paris

The clickable images and pictures on this page illustrate facts related to Sacré-Cœur, Paris. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica (pronounced), is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France. A popular landmark, the basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. Sacré-Cœur is a double monument, political and cultural, both a national penance for the excesses of the Second Empire and socialist Paris Commune of 1871 crowning its most rebellious neighborhood, and an embodiment of conservative moral order, publicly dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was an increasingly popular vision of a loving and sympathetic Christ.

The Sacré-Cœur Basilica was designed by Paul Abadie. Construction began in 1875 and was finished in 1914. It was consecrated after the end of World War I in 1919.

Basilique of the Sacré Cœur

The inspiration for Sacré Cœur's design originated on September 4, 1870, the day of the proclamation of the Third Republic, with a speech by Bishop Fournier attributing the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to a divine punishment after "a century of moral decline" since the French Revolution, in the wake of the division in French society that arose in the decades following that revolution, between devout Catholics and legitimist royalists on one side, and democrats, secularists, socialists and radicals on the other. This schism became particularly pronounced after the Franco-Prussian War and the ensuing uprising of the Paris Commune of 1870-71. Though today the Basilica is asserted to be dedicated in honor of the 58,000 who lost their lives during the war, the decree of the Assemblée nationale, 24 July 1873, responding to a request by the archbishop of Paris by voting its construction, specifies that it is to "expiate the crimes of the Commune". Montmartre had been the site of the Commune's first insurrection, and many dedicated communards were forever entombed in the subterranean galleries of former gypsum mines where they had retreated, by explosives detonated at the entrances by the Army of Versailles. Hostages had been executed on both sides, and the Communards had executed Georges Darboy, Archbishop of Paris, who became a martyr for the resurgent Catholic Church. His successor Guibert, climbing the Butte Montmartre in October 1872, was reported to have had a vision, as clouds dispersed over the panorama: "It is here, it is here where the martyrs are, it is here that the Sacred Heart must reign so that it can beckon all to come".

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Close places of interest

Saint-Pierre de Montmartre (0.08 km)

The Church of Saint Peter of Montmartre is the lesser known of the two main churches in Montmartre in Paris, the other being the 19th-century Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Historically, however, it has the greater claim to fame, since, according to the earliest biography of Saint Ignatius Loyola, the church is the location at which the vows were taken that led to the founding of the Society of Jesus.

Place du Tertre (0.16 km)

The Place du Tertre is a square in Paris' XVIIIe arrondissement. Only a few streets away from Montmartre's Basilica of the Sacré Cœur and the Lapin Agile, it is the heart of the city's elevated Montmartre quarter. With its many artists setting up their easels each day for the tourists, the Place du Tertre is a reminder of the time when Montmartre was the mecca of modern art. At the beginning of the 20th century, many penniless painters including Picasso and Utrillo were living there.

Montmartre funicular (0.16 km)

The Montmartre funicular is an automatic funicular railway serving the Montmartre neighbourhood of Paris, in the Eighteenth arrondissement. It is operated by the RATP, the Paris transport authority. It was opened on 13 July 1900 and was entirely rebuilt in 1935 and again in 1991. The funicular carries passengers between the foot of the (outlier) of Montmartre and its summit, near the foot of the Sacré-Cœur basilica. It provides an alternative to the multiple stairways of more than 300 steps that lead to the top of the Butte Montmartre.

Musée-Placard d'Erik Satie (0.17 km)

The Musée-Placard d'Erik Satie (Cupboard Museum of Erik Satie) is a small museum dedicated to composer Erik Satie (1866-1925). It is located in the XVIIIe arrondissement at 6, rue Cortot, Paris, France. The "cupboard" museum consists of a tiny room that Satie occupied from 1890-1898, during which time he wrote pieces including Gnossiennes and Pièces froides. It is not an exact reconstruction but contains articles that belonged to him, especially drawings and portraits, as well as a gift from artist Man Ray (an iron bristling with nails). The museum is closed permanently since 2008.

Espace Dalí (0.24 km)

The Espace Dalí is a permanent exhibition in France devoted to Salvador Dalí and more particularly to his sculptures and engravings. The museum, near the Place du Tertre in Montmartre, has around 300 original artworks. The Espace Dalí is France's biggest collection of Dalinian sculptures, which represent a significant aspect of the artistic creation of Dalí. The collection reveals three dimensional realizations of his known surrealistic paintings.

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