The Sacré-Cœur Basilica, which is situated on top of a hillock in Montmartre, Paris, has a slight resemblance to the Taj Mahal. The whipped cream color of this stunning structure resembles the Mughal period monument in India than the Notre-Dame, the neighboring cathedral with a Gothic architecture.
Meaning of Sacré-Cœur
The name of the church translates to Sacred Heart, which gets extended to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris in formal correspondence. The Sacred Heart alludes to the heart of Jesus Christ, which Roman Catholics devotes and represents Christ’s love for all of humanity.
Architecture of the Basilica
In fact, the basilica’s structural design is a mix of both Ancient Roman and Byzantine architectural styles. The architect of this church, Paul Abadie, was also involved in the restoration of Périgueux Cathedral in France. That church also resembles greatly to the basilica in Montmartre.
The Peculiarity of Its Exterior
The whipped-cream appearance of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica is due to the stone, which came from the quarries of the French commune named Château-Landon. In wet weather conditions, the calcite mineral contained in that stone acts like more of a bleacher, which in turn brings a chalky white look to the exterior of the church.
The Sacré-Cœur Dome
From atop the dome of the basilica, visitors can enjoy a picturesque view of the cityscapes including Eiffel and Montparnasse towers, La Défense, the Panthéon, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, and Saint-Denis Basilica. In fact, if you ascent the dome outside the building through 300 stairs, you can virtually see most of the famous monuments in Paris provided you observe the cityscapes with a binocular.
The Skyscraper in Paris
The Sacré-Cœur Basilica that sits on top of a hillock that is situated at a 130 meters altitude. The building itself is 83 meters tall, which means that it is one of the tallest points in the City of Lights. It’s second only to the Eiffel Tower (324 meters) and a shy above Tour Montparnasse (210 meters).
It is hardly any surprise that millions of people, including pilgrims and tourists, visit the Sacré-Cœur each year. Although, it may seem surprising that Notre-Dame is the most frequented cathedral in Paris considering yearly footfalls. You can access the Basilica for free when you are going on Paris tours, but to scale up to its domed summit you will have to pay a charge. After all, some of the sights in the world do come at a cost.