Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur

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No matter if you come to Paris by train, plane or car, the Basilica of the Sacré Coeur, at the top of the Montmartre's hill, is the first to be seen.

A sacred hill since the time of the Gauls, Montmartre means 'hill of the martyrs', because tradition attaches to this place the martyrdom of Saint-Denis, the first parisian bishop, who lived at the end of the 3rd century. A great Benedictine abbey occupied the entire hill until it was destroyed during the French Revolution. In 1873, after France was defeated by Prussia, the construction of a basilica, devoted to the Heart of Jesus, was planned. All dressed in white, shaped like a greek cross and decorated with 4 Roman-Byzantine domes, it nowadays receives over 10 million pilgrims and visitors each year, being second only to the Notre-Dame cathedral in terms of visits in France.

With its 80 meters of height and mosaic-adorned ceiling, it looks magnificent from close range and from afar alike. It also has a huge square bell tower that protects an 18 ton bell, the biggest of France. From its belvedere we can enjoy one of the most beautiful sights of the capital, with the emerging Eiffel Tower and the golden Dôme des Invalides.

At the lap of the hill we find the famous Place du Tertre, next to the Sacre Coeur Basilica;where painters work to earn a living -like Picasso did back in the day, the picturesque 'Abbesses' district and, not to forget, the unmissable Moulin Rouge.

Visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart with Pariscityvision.com in an excursion comprising both Montmartre and the Louvre.