Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, Paris

EpicureanPiranha | May 1st, 2010 - 02:40

Basilique du Sacré-Coeur ~ An Impressive Structure Overlooking Paris

The Sacré-Coeur Basilica crowns the top of the Butte Montmartre. Always lively and very colourful, it’s always been one of the city’s favourite rendez-vous’s for arists, bohemians, lovers, and tourists.

Basilique du Sacré-Coeur in the late afternoon sun's golden light.

I took this photo of the iconic, majestic, and very impressive Basilique du Sacré-Coeur in the late afternoon, It looks stunning in the rosy golden light!

I’m proud to say that the above photo was recently selected by Schmap Guides [which is recommended by the International Herald Tribune and Times among others].


“I am delighted to let you know that your submitted photo has been selected for inclusion in the newly released eleventh edition of our Schmap Paris Guide:

Basilica of Sacré-Coeur

Thanks so much for letting us include your photo – please enjoy the guide!

Best regards,

Editor, Schmap Guides”


I took this next photo during my favourite time of the day, which I call the “golden hour”. It’s the time when the setting sun bathes everything in golden, and sometimes pinky hues. The white stone of Sacré-Coeur takes on a lovely colour at this time of day!

This view of the back of the Basilica is seen from Rue du Chevalier de La Barre which runs along the Cimetière du Calvaire. Calvaire cemetery was originally built in 1688. The tiny cemetery – only about 600 square meters – was rampaged during the Revolution, but reopened for local residents in 1801, then permanently closed in 1831. Several famous people were burried here, including the Duc de Crillon who’s father, also a Duke and General, gave his name to the sumptuous Hôtel de Crillon on place de la Concorde.

The Basilique du Sacré-Coeur bathed in rosy, golden light.

The white stone of the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur looks stunning in the rosy, golden light of the late afternoon sun.

A Little On Sacré-Coeur’s and Butte Montmartre’s Colourful Past:

“The Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur was built on Montmartre from 1876 to 1912 by public subscription as a gesture of expiation of the “crimes of the communards”, after the Paris Commune events, and to honour the French victims of the 1871 Franco-Prussian War. Its white dome is a highly visible landmark in the city, and just below it artists still set up their easels each day amidst the tables and colourful umbrellas of Place du Tertre.

In the mid-1800s artists, such as Johan Jongkind and Camille Pissarro, came to inhabit Montmartre. By the end of the century, Montmartre and its counterpart on the Left Bank, Montparnasse, became the principal artistic centers of Paris. A restaurant opened near the old windmill near the top, the Moulin de la Galette.

Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and other impoverished artists lived and worked in a commune, a building called Le Bateau-Lavoir during the years 1904 – 1909.

Artist associations such as Les Nabis and the Incoherents were formed and individuals including Vincent van Gogh, Pierre Brissaud, Alfred Jarry, Gen Paul, Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Henri Matisse, André Derain, Suzanne Valadon, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Maurice Utrillo, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Théophile Steinlen, and African-American “expatriates” such as Langston Hughes worked in Montmartre and drew some of their inspiration from the area.

Composers, including Satie (who was a pianist at Le Chat Noir), also lived in the area.

The last of the bohemian Montmartre artists was Gen Paul (1895 -1975), born in Montmartre and a friend of Utrillo. Paul’s calligraphic expressionist lithographs, sometimes memorializing picturesque Montmartre itself, owe a lot to Raoul Dufy.

Montmartre is an officially designated historic district with limited development allowed in order to maintain its historic character.”



4 Responses to “Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, Paris”

  1. Fleur says:

    Nice article, and the photos are beautiful. They remind me of one of the wonderful sunny days you and I spent at Montmartre, walking for hours, and then sitting at a little cafe enjoying everything the day and our surroundings could bring to us!

  2. dbutali66 says:

    Very interesting article, good!!

    You photos are wonderful too, nice colors and point of view.

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