Friday, May 29, 2009

Postcards from Paris - The Basilica of the Sacre-Coeur

La Basilique du Sacre-Coeur, Paris
35 Rue adu Chevalier de la Barre, 75018
Bascilica open 6 am - 11 pm daily

When Prussia invaded France in 1870, two Catholic businessmen made a private religious vow to build a church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Christ if Paris was spared. Despite the lengthy siege of the city, the two men survived. Their project was taken up by Archbishop Guibert of Paris and work began in 1875 to Paul Abadie's Romano-Byzantine designs. The bascilica was completed in 1914 but consecration was forestalled until 1919 due to the war.

The Basilica, which is located in the artist's mecca of Montemartre, contains exquisite stained glass windows, a colossal mosaic of Christ in the chancel vault, a statue of Jone of Arc and many other religious treasures.