Basilica of Sacré Coeur

Sacré Coeur

Translated, the name means "Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus". It is a Roman Catholic pilgrimage site on the hill of Montmartre and is the 2nd most visited tourist site in Paris after Notre Dame Cathedral.

Its construction began in 1875, but was not completed until 1919. Its somewhat unusual appearance may not appeal to everyone, but it certainly captures everyone's attention.

It also houses 5 bells and 1 of them is the largest in France. The basilica is popular with locals and tourists alike, you will find a beautiful view of the whole of Paris and the surrounding parks and steps are good for relaxing and picnicking.

The church is sometimes nicknamed "Big Meringue", or "Big Meringue", after the white shape and rounded shapes that resemble this confectionery treat.

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Although the name of the basilica is often transcribed as "Sacré-Coeur", it is correctly spelled as Sacré-Cœur with a special œ sign in place of the two letters o and e.

The church is built in an interesting and rather rare Byzantine-Romanesque style and is built on the plan of a Greek cross.

The basilica is decorated with a total of four smaller domes and one main dome reaching a height of 83 metres. At the back of the church there is a square bell tower reaching 84 metres.

Thanks to its position on the only hill in Paris, the highest point of the basilica rises to an altitude of 130 metres and is the highest and most visible point in Paris after the Eiffel Tower.

Since 1909, the Basilica has been the site of uninterrupted Eucharistic adoration, making it a very important place of pilgrimage.

Admission and opening hours

The Basilica is open daily 6:00-22:30, with entrance to the dome between 9:00-18:00 (until 19:00 in summer).

Admission to the basilica is free.

The entrance to the dome is outside on the left side of the basilica and there is an entrance fee - adults €6, children €4.

There are 300 steps and no elevator when you climb to the viewpoint in the dome, but the view of all of Paris will certainly be worth the visit.

For more information, visit the official website:

How to get there

There are various ways to get here, but most will involve at least a short walk and it will always be uphill. Walking through the Montmartre district is a definite bonus, though.

  • Metro 2 - stations Anvers (approx. 500 metres)
    • Arc de Triomphe, Bassin de la Villette, Nation, Père-Lachaise Cemetery
  • Metro 12 - stations Abbesses (approx. 500 metres)
    • Place de la Concorde, Champs-Elysées, Tuileries Gardens, Church of the Madeleine, Musée d'Orsay, Opera Gariner, Tour Montparnasse
    • Gare Saint-Lazare, Gare Montparnasse

From both metro stations, you can shorten the steep climb by taking the short funicular, which is about 200 metres long and has standard tickets (including day and multi-day tickets).

The cable car runs at intervals of about 5 minutes from about 6:00 to 0:45.

  • Buses from the Funiculaire or Place du Tertre - Norvins (approx. 50 metres)
    • 40 - local line running to Abbesses, Pigalle or Le Peletier metro stations

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