The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica and often simply Sacré-Cœur,standing at the summit of the mountain Montmartre, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France.After the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sacre-Coeur is the most visited church in France.The Sacre-Coeur welcomes more than 10 millions visitors per year.The Basilica was designed by Paul Abadie. Six other architects succeeded him to complete the building.The exterior travertine stone, comes from a quarry in Seine et Marne and it exudes calcite on contact with rainwater, making it extremely white. It offers a jaw dropping panoramic view of the downtown.
7th JulyMontemartre - home to Sacre Coeur Basilica, Moulin Rouge, former home of Van Gogh and a square alive with artists coaxing you to get your portrait made! Eat the combo breakfast at Coquelicot. I strongly recommend opting for the bowl of chocolate! You will need that energy, trust me. We climbed up several flights of stairs to finally reach the base of the basilica. We approached it from behind and were able to get stunning views of the cathedral with not a single tourist or street hawker in sight. Even if you don't get a portrait made, visit the Place du Tertre and watch the artists at work. Some were good but most had a set template for portraits, me felt! Observe and observe more before you select who will do justice to your portrait! Climb the 300 odd stairs to the dome of the basilica and soak in the beauty that is Paris. If you are too weary from all the walking, take the funicular down to Anver metro station.
That evening, we climbed up the butte Montmartre, to visit Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Unlike Notre Dame, it was white in colour, more recent and not Gothic. We had climb up 3-4 steep flights of stair to get to the Church. The narrow, meandering, cobbled streets were different from those of the main city – they were quiet and laid back. It was like an old world. The lanes housed little traditional shops and big castle like mansions. Led by their walking sticks, the faithful Catholic oldsters could be seen approaching the basilica in a slow paced motion.La Gare, a restaurant fashioned out of an old train station, was very close to our apartment and we were very thrilled about having our last supper there. It was supposed to be authentic French, moderately priced and very popular amongst the residents. But the long queue and our famished bellies made us chose a quicker resort, Le Cardinal.Brussels, Belgium
Tip # 10: Be very careful of theft – Unfortunately, this bit is not just research but experience. In tourist attractions, it is very common for touristy looking young fellows to smile and request you to click a picture of them. If you leave your valuables unattended even for seconds, it’s enough for their accomplice to swoop in and run away with your valuables. Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that you act like a jerk and don’t offer to click photos for someone. But do remain very careful when you are doing that. We fell for this trick on our last day in Paris at Montmarte, in front of Sacre Cour and got our DSLR stolen. This was despite knowing that Montmarte is notorious for pickpockets. Another common trick is for someone to pretend to drop and scatter their change and when the saint in you leans down to help this distressed person, you’ll be relieved of much more than your change.Paris is a fantastic city where every building is a landmark and every street corner is lined with terrific cafés and boulangeries. It is a city everyone dreams of visiting and everyone with the means must experience at least once. I hope this post makes it a tad easier for you on your dream trip.
Because of the magnificent views that it provides, the Sacré Coeur Basilica draws more yearly visitors than even the iconic Eiffel Tower. If you’ve got time, it’s definitely worth exploring the interior of the church as well. The church features one of the largest mosaics in the world, and the domes are just as impressive seen from the inside. It’s also possible to climb to the top of the central dome, from which you’ll have an even better view of Paris and also of the Eiffel Tower.