Sacré-Coeur

The Sacré-Coeur Basilica (Basilique du Sacre-Cæur, «Basilica of the Sacred Heart») is a Roman Catholic basilica and popular landmark in Paris, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city.

The original idea of constructing a church dedicated to the Sacred Heart, with its origins in the aftermath of the French Revolution among ultra-Catholics and legitimist royalists, developed more widely in France after the Franco-Prussian War and the ensuing radical Paris Commune of 1870-71.

In 1873 the city council of Paris voted a law of public utility to seize land at the summit of Montmartre for the construction of the basilica. Architect Paul Abadie designed the basilica after winning a competition over 77 other architects. The foundation stone was finally laid 16 June 1875. Abadie died not long after the foundation had been laid, in 1884, and other architects continued with the work. The Basilica was not completed until 1914, when war intervened. The basilica was formally dedicated in 1919, after World War I, when its national symbolism had shifted.

A mosaic in the apse, entitled Christ in Majesty, is among the largest in the world. The basilica complex includes a garden for meditation, with a fountain. The top of the dome is open to tourists and affords a spectacular panoramic view of the city of Paris, which is mostly to the south of the basilica.