35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris; +33 1 53 41 89 00; http://www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com/english/
Daily: 6 AM—10:30 PM
After France was defeated by Germany in a war in 1870, Alexandre Legentil and Hubert Ronhault de Fleury spearheaded a vow and a project to build a church pledged to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to mark the country’s contrition and repentance. The two believed that the defeat by the Germans was rooted in spiritual, rather than political, foundation. Montmartre (“the Mount of Martyrs”) was selected as the site for construction of this church in 1872.
According to the website, this basilica is committed to “the perpetual adoration of the Holy Sacrament…a prayer silent in nature,” so with the exception of the organ concert on Christmas Eve, no concerts are held there.
There was a long line outside to get inside the basilica, but the wait wasn’t too long. It probably helped that we used our umbrella while waiting in high noon, but others seemed to be suffering a bit. There were a lot of what I presume to be illegal vendors outside selling water bottles. After a quick security check (showing the inside of our bags), we were led inside, which was much cooler than outside. The middle section with pews was reserved for those who were seeking to pray, while the rest of the crowd was ordered to move along to the left of the church.
Click on the gallery below for more pictures from Sacré-Cœur!