Interesting Facts about the Sacre-Coeur

Paris Walking Tours
Paris Tour

The Sacre-Coeur or the Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre is one of the most visited monuments in Paris. For visitors, the Sacre-Coeur remains a major landmark beside prominent attractions like Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum. Located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, this basilica stands atop the highest point in the Montmartre hill and offers a spectacular view of the Paris cityscape.

Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, this basilica is a prime architectural marvel to consider during your Paris tours. The following are some quick facts about this magnificent cathedral in Paris.

History

The location of this monument hosts a rich and complex history. The Montmartre hill has witnessed many of history’s remarkable phases like paganism, middle Ages, and the French Revolution. The Druids are also presumed to be worshiped at this place.

Construction

The construction of the Sacre-Coeur traces back to 1875 and completed in the year 1914. Designed by the architect Paul Abadie by adopting the classic Romanesque-Byzantine style, this iconic monument was finally consecrated in 1919, after the conclusion of the First World War.

Names

The name of the basilica, Sacre-Coeur signifies ‘Sacred-Heart’ in the English language. It is a direct reference to the sacred heart of Jesus Christ. Montmartre, on which the monument stands, signifies “Mount of the Martyr”.

Paris Commune

The Sacre-Coeur has been an important location during the Paris Commune of 1871. Many members of the commune used the chalk mines near the Sacre-Coeur for hiding from persecution. Eventually, they were all killed when the authorities destroyed the mines using dynamites.

Savoyarde Bell

Located in the nearby bell tower, the Savoyarde is one of the heaviest bells in the world and weighs about 19 tons. It was cast in 1895 at the Paccard bell-foundry and has a diameter of 3 meters. The toll of this bell can be heard up to 10 kilometers far away.

White Stone

The Sacre-Coeur basilica is made of stones from Chateau-Landon, renowned for its high calcite content. The appearance of the basilica would transform into chalk-white color in damp weather due to the unique property of the stones to reach out calcite.

Number of Visitors

The Sacre-Coeur remains the second most visited monument after the Notre-Dame cathedral in the whole of France. It has an annual visitor count of about 11.5 million visitors.