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Basilica of the Sacred Heart, La Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre
Structure in General
church (roman catholic)
In the belfry is the huge Savoyarde bell, cast in 1895 in Annecy and given by the dioceses of Savoy. At 19 tons it is one of the world's heaviest.
Sacre-Coeur Basilica stands high above Paris atop Montmartre, as much a part of the city skyline as the Eiffel Tower.
It had its beginnings following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, when Catholics started raising funds for a church to the Sacred Heart to be built on Montmartre as an act of devotion for Paris being spared invasion. It also took on meaning as an act of penance for the massacre of Communard rebels. The effort was made a state undertaking by act of the National Assembly in 1873. Total costs amounted to 40 million francs by the time of completion.
The church's consecration was delayed by the outbreak of the First World War and didn't take place until October 16, 1919.
The adjacent belfry is 84 meters (275.59 feet) tall.
The interior, designed to function as a pilgrimage church, features mosaics and stained glass.
Paul Abadie, famous for his restoration of St. Front in Perigueux, won the design competition among a field of 78 entries. The Romano-Byzantine styling of the new building recalls the earlier work. The main features are the great central dome surrounded by four lesser domes (a typical Byzantine theme) along with the 80-meter tall campanile. Abadie died in 1884 with only the foundations in place. The aesthetic quality of Abadie's design has been a point of controversy over the years.
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