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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Basilique du Sacré Coeur


The Basilique du Sacre Coeur in Montmartre is one of the finest landmarks in Paris. Montmartre is so named because it is the place of martyrdom (c.250) of St Denis, Bishop of Paris and patron of France. After suffering defeat in the Franco-Prussian was of 1870-71, French society was divided and the Communard uprising in Paris led to atrocities on both sides. The Archbishop of Paris, Georges Darboy, was among those executed. Alexandre Legentil and Hubert Rohault de Fleury proposed the building of a Church consecrated to the Heart of Christ in reparation and for the spiritual welfare of France. Their idea was taken up by the Church in France which proposed a National Vow. The building of the Basilica was financed by donations from Catholics in parishes throughout France.

It is quite a walk up to the top but there is also a funicular railway:


Since 1885, there has been perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, day and night, without interruption. The Basilica is therefore reserved as a place of prayer - the taking of photographs inside the Church is forbidden and therefore I copied this picture, taken by Matthew Clemente, from Wikipedia Commons:


From the area in front of the Basilica there is a good view across Paris:


To the left of the next picture, you can see the Cathedral of Notre Dame:


Behind the Basilica there are crowded squares and streets with restaurants, tourist shops, and artists selling their goods and offering to do portraits. It was warm enough to eat lunch outside.

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