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The Basilique du Sacre Coeur was built from 1875 to 1914, in the wake of the Franco-Prussian war. Built from a type of stone that whitens with age, the exterior of this dominating church is best viewed from the popular Square Willet to the south of the façade.
Two features of this Paris church not to be missed are the bronze statues of Joan of Arc and St. Louis by Hippolyte Lefebvre, and the mosaics on the walls and ceiling. The mosaic of Christ and the Sacred Heart worshipped by the Virgin is the largest in the world.
Sacre Coeur is a destination stop for many Paris tours, and a must-see if you're planning your Paris tour on your own. To reach the church one must ascend to the second highest point in Paris either by the stairs in Square Willeteor by the Funiculaire, which runs every five minutes and takes one metro ticket. There is also a bus that runs every 12 minutes from Pigalle.
The Basilica is open daily for masses and prayer from 6:00am to 11:00pm. The dome and the crypt can be visited daily from 9:00am to 7:00pm (6:00pm in winter).
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|